First of all, stop doing crunches.
This may make some people mad, but 90% of us don’t need to round our upper body into further flexion. I mean sitting hunched over is already what we do all day, don’t make it worse! A good core means you have a stable torso that stays stable during movement of the limbs and here is the single best exercise to begin developing just that:
Dead Bug Exercises
Lie on your back and press your lower back into the floor. This is the most important part: that back should be as flat as a pancake! Now bring both hands out in front of you and bring your hips to 90° and bend your knees at 90° (Figure 1). Now move one arm back behind your head and the opposite leg straightens until the heel just barely touches the floor (Figure 2). It looks like a bug after you sprayed them with a generous amount of insect repellant.
figure 1figure 2
Want to make it more challenging? Grab a swiss ball and now the stationary hand and knee are squeezing toward each other, squishing the swiss ball in between and really activating those abdominals. (Figure 3).
Repeat these 10 times for 3 sets or until you feel that you can’t keep your back flat.
Dr. Nick Predtechensky is the author of this post. He may be reached at DrNick@OnsightChiro.com.