Chapter 3 : Crunches For Abs

Naturally, you will have to exercise if you want to tone your abdominal muscles.  If you do not need to lose weight, you can use the toning exercises as outlined here in this book to help you get the sculpted abdominal muscles that you need.  If you are overweight and want to lose weight to get the sculpted muscles, you still need to do toning exercises and will also want to work on some cardiovascular exercises that will be described later on in this book. 

Crunches are the ideal way to tone your abs and are one of the many toning exercises that you should use on a daily basis to get the muscles in your abdomen taut.  Crunches are the first exercise you want to incorporate into your daily routine so that you can have sexy abs. 

If you are a woman who wants to have flat abs but does not want to have the defined muscles that you see on men, relax.  Women can get sexy, washboard abs without looking like a man.  Your abdominal area will be flat, but softer.  And although the muscles will be defined, they will not be bulging like a man.  Women and men both get different results from exercise routines.  Using the tips and exercises here will get you the perfect abs, whether you are a man or a woman. 

To do crunches, lay flat on your back and bring you knees up so that your feet are flat on the floor.  You will then want to put your hands behind your head and pull up towards your knees, concentrating fully on the abdominal muscles.  You should isolate the muscles as you are pulling up so that you feel the strain.  You will want to do repetitions of 8 crunches.  The first day, you might be only able to do two or three repetitions.  Or you might only be able to do one.  If it has been a while since you have worked out, it will be more difficult for you to use these muscles.  But you will want strive to do as many reps as you can  without hurting yourself.  If you feel as though you are in pain, you should stop. 

The purpose of the crunches is to build abdominal muscle.  The way that you build muscle is to tear it a little, let it heal and then tear it again.  This is where the pain comes in when you are doing crunches.  You are actually building up the abdominal muscles so that you can have your six pack. 

When you first start doing crunches, you will notice that it is quite a strain and that it is difficult.  As you do this exercise every day, you will notice that it is easier to do and will start feeling the difference.  You will not notice the strain any longer when you are exercising in this way. 

The more you practice your crunches, the better toned your abs will become.  Crunches will flatten and tone your abdominal muscles, but this is not the only exercise that you need to do in order to get the perfect abs. You also need to work on side to side crunches. 

How to do side to side crunches

Side to side crunches will help to develop the sides of your abdominal muscles.  Just as you move up straight, you will also want to move to the side.  Start with one side and pull yourself up to lean towards that side.  Do 8 reps, just as you would with the center crunches.  After you are finished, work on the other side. 

It is important, when doing toning exercises, to allow your muscles to relax after each time you do your reps of crunches.  You want to take a few deep breaths and relax the muscles after you are finished the toning.  When you are performing the crunches, however, you want to tense up the muscles, effectively isolating them so that they will get toned. 

Another way to perform crunches for perfect abs is to lean on one side and then lift yourself up, concentrating on the abdominal muscles.  This will work the muscles on the sides.  Remember that you want to work the entire abdominal area to achieve the look of a sculpted six pack. You need to do both front crunches as well as side crunches that are performed on your back as well as your side to achieve this look.  

Crunches may seem difficult at first, but will soon become easier.  You may want to increase your repetitions as you continue to work on your abs so that they will continue to be effective.  The best aspect about using this type of toning exercise is that you will start to see the results of your efforts not long after you have worked on the abs.  You can usually see a difference in your muscle tone after a week of performing these exercises. 

Try to do these exercises every day.  If you skip a day, for some reason, just pick up where you left off the next day.  Do not get discouraged if you get out of the habit.  It is more important to get back into the habit as soon as possible. 

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