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How (not) to do a crunch

You want a flatter belly, so you work a few sets of crunches into every workout. Good plan—if you’re doing them right. When performed correctly, crunches work your abs big time; do them wrong, and you can strain your lower back and neck, or shift the workload to your hip flexors. A few signs you might be in that latter group:

  • Your chin touches your chest when you crunch up
  • Your knees turn in or out
  • Your lower back lifts off the mat, so your belly sticks out
  • Your hip flexors get tired before your abs (or you can crank out 50 reps and your abs are still raring to go!)

But enough about how to do a crunch wrong, here’s how to do one right—courtesy of one of my favorite trainers, The Biggest Loser’s Bob Harper. Watch the video, follow Bob’s tips, and finally get the firm abs you’ve always wanted!


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