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Video Demonstration Crunches (Abdominals)

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Your abdominals, commonly called abs, consist of several muscle groups, all located in the midsection, just below your chest to your pubic bone. These include: rectus abdominis which is made up of upper, middle, and lower abs; transverse abdominis; and the obliques. The upper, middle and lower abs start near the middle of your sternum and runs vertically to the lower part of the pelvis; they are responsible for flexing the vertebral column or helping you curl your trunk as you would when doing crunches or sitting up in bed. The transverse abdominal muscles run horizontally and are the deepest muscular layer of the abs; they run around your body like a girdle and help compress and support internal organs. The obliques are the muscles that make up your waist and consist of two smaller groups: the external obliques and the internal obliques. The external obliques are the muscles of the upper and outside part of your waistline; they start just under your chest, on your lower eight ribs, and are responsible for helping you twist and bend sideways. The internal obliques are located beneath the external obliques; they also helps you twist. It is important to have strong abdominals for most all motions, including common day-to-day activities. In addition, most low-back pain is attributed to weak abdominals.


Muscles worked:
  Upper and Middle Abdominals
  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet together flat on the floor and about 10-15 inches from your buttocks.
  • Your hands should either be crossed on your chest, by your side, or cupped behind your ears.
  • Without moving your lower body, curl your upper torso up and in toward your knees, until your shoulder blades are as high off the ground as you can get them. Only your shoulder blades should lift--not your back.
  • As you come to the highest point tighten and flex your abdominals for a brief second.
  • Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
  • Don't jerk yourself up to achieve the exercise. Slowly bring yourself up using your abdominals only.
  • Don't let your lower back raise off the floor. Go as far up as you feel your abdominals become tight and hold for a brief second.
  • Don't move quickly. You must do this exercise very slowly and resist on the way back.

System Requirements
These demos are presented to you in the latest QuickTime technology to display our exercise video demonstrations. If you're having problems viewing these video demonstrations, you can download the latest version of QuickTime by clicking here, FREE of charge.
This video demonstrations were obtained with the permission of Global Health & Fitness.  Visit our partner site for advanced topics, health club listings, a full line of instructional videos, and unlimited member personal fitness consulting.


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