Author: Scott Smith
Why it made the list (Why you should do them): Crunches in general are a little over-rated in my personal opinion. I’ve always felt like the best “Core” exercises are the ones that require you to squeeze your abs so tight in order to maintain technique while you are lifting something extremely heavy (Squats, Deadlifts, Olympic Lifts, etc). With that being said, those outer abs (the six pack) can be further accentuated and developed by doing high intensity crunch work and that is just what the reverse abdominal family of exercises can do. Hanging knee tucks, TRX prone crunches, and leg raises are all viable options, however, the reverse crunch on a decline bench gives you awesome control and a brutal sticking point.
How to do them properly:
– Lay down on your back (on the floor or bench). You will need to grip something solid near your ears or just above your head (someone’s feet, the bench itself, a handle) in order to anchor your upper body.
– Push your low back into the floor/bench and begin to roll your hips (pelvis) toward your ribs, slowly bringing your bent knees into your chest, between your elbows. Make sure to round your back and squeeze your abs as your hips barely lift off of the floor/bench.
– Pause at the moment where you are maximally tucked into a ball and then SLOWLY release from that position rolling your spine and then hips back onto the floor/bench and bring your feet back down, still maintaining a bend in the knee. The down phase should take around 3 seconds if you have solid control.
– 3-5 sets of 12 – 20 repetitions seems to be the sweet spot with this exercise.
I wanted to personally invite all of you to follow me over the course of the next 5 weeks as I drop these videos one at a time.
I’ve picked these 10 lifts because of their proven efficiency and effectiveness at forcing the body to adapt and change for the better! Some of the variations may be a bit more advanced than you are currently ready to perform, but if you continue to follow my blog, newsletters, and youtube site, I can promise you that regressions will be made available for your learning. But that does not mean you shouldn’t aspire to be able to do these 10 exercises at some point!
If you are/have been a client of mine you no doubtably know some variation of these movements because they are a true staple of my programs. I hope they serve you as well as they have served me!
Scott Smith, CSCS