Sure, crunches aren’t fun, but new research shows that they are vital to achieving those toned abs we’re all gunning for.
In a new study, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) says that the old-school exercise may be the best approach after all. Shape explains that the commission evaluated and compared the effectiveness of popular abdominal strengthening equipment such as the Ab Roller and Ab Lounge to exercises including yoga boat pose, bicycle crunch, and traditional crunch. They measured the subjects’ maximum voluntary contraction as they did each exercise and used piece of equipment. So what was the result?
“Traditional crunches showed the greatest muscle activation overall.” This is not to say that it is by far the best abdominal exercise. Targeted equipment, however, immediately makes it easy to cheat and use momentum.
So skip those machines and get back to the basics! Try these plank variations to help you get those abs.