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aviona's avatar

Is doing crunches pointless?

Asked by aviona (3240 points ) April 15th, 2009

I know that you’re not going to get a six pack doing crunches alone. You need to complement them with some sort of cardio workout. But even so, has anyone really seen results from doing crunches on a regular basis?

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17 Answers

Myndecho's avatar

I personally haven’t and without results it’s hard to keep at it. As I’ve said before if you want to be fit and healthy just lead a healthy life. Just doing crunches is so little it’s not pointless as it’s a start but you will unlikely see results.

Facade's avatar

for me, yes.

casheroo's avatar

I found them to be quite helpful after I had my son.

ru2bz46's avatar

Yes. My yoga teacher can do amazing things with her core. She does 100 crunches each day. I see her twice a week (where she makes me do them, too), and though I still have a “winter layer” over my abs, I can feel the muscles underneath. I just need to put the fork down.

westy81585's avatar

When I used to work out regularly I did an insane weekly ab work out that gave me a six pack. When I stopped working out, doing nightly (or bi-nightly) push-ups and crunches (and some freeweight stuff but not that would have helped) managed to keep my six pack intact for some years.

It would be a PAIN in the ass to reach a good six pack with JUST crunches (though they help a lot in an overall workout). BUT you can maintain a six pack pretty well with them if you no longer have the time or motivation to do a full workout.

lisaj89's avatar

Yes, at least for me. To keep from getting bored with the same basic crunches, change them up a little. There are several different kinds of crunches. Try twisting to each side when crunching or lifting your legs up straight instead of bending them. Also, you can try butterfly crunches, these are my favorites, you bend your knees and put the bottoms of your feet together, hands one on top of the other a few inches above stomach, and lift head/shoulders up.

ShauneP82's avatar

Instead of crunches get a pull-up bar. I have had some pretty impressive results from doing pull-ups.

cwilbur's avatar

Doing crunches strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles. Whether this is pointless or not depends on whether you think there is a point to having strong abdominal muscles, I guess.

ru2bz46's avatar

@cwilbur A strong core helps with everything else; posture, prevention of back injuries, walking/running, etc.

3or4monsters's avatar

Strong abs are good. A strong back to balance it is better. If you’re going to strengthen one side of your body, strengthen it’s antagonistic muscle group too. Yoga is great for maintaining this strength-development balance. The Plank is also great because you hit your whole body at once, but the most strengthening is in your abs and back simultaneously.

ru2bz46's avatar

@3or4monsters Yes, a balance is important. I used the generic “core” to include both, but not everybody will interpret that as I meant it.

ShauneP82's avatar

I recommend Capoeira. It challenges every muscle group and also gives you excellent cardio.

Disc2021's avatar

I think you answered your own question partially when you mentioned that doing them alone isn’t going to get you a six pack.

That’s true across the board – physical fitness isn’t just doing a crunch or two or eating a salad here and there. It’s everything combined that really makes the difference. I’ve been working out for around 3 years, and since then I have seen substantial improvement.

If you cut back on eating, do some cardio AND do crunches, you will see results. The amount of willpower you put into it will determine your results, not necessarily the crunches themselves.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Crunches by themselves will strengthen your abdominals but it won’t help you lose weight. You need sustained cardio to burn calories and show off that 6 pack if the crunches are to give you any cosmetic value.

FrancisRude's avatar

Well, crunches are useless if your diet and cardio work outs are poor. Not to forget, doing crunches the wrong way. For me, cunches works great to develop abdominals. I couple it with cardio and proper ab diet regimen. :)

But to maintain my abs, not only i do crunches alone, i change my ab routine almost every time i work out. i do crunches, i use the swiss ball, hanging leg raises etc.. I also do variety of crunches to develop different parts of your abdominals.

For example, for lower abdomen, i do the reverse crunches. for the mid section i do the normal abdominal crunches, for your obliques i do the oblique crunches, but mostly decline oblique crunches.

There are other ways to build your abs, if crunches doesn’t work for you try looking into different ways.

Darwin's avatar

For me crunches plus strengthening exercises for my lower back are absolutely essential to keep from having debilitating back pain. I add to this upper and lower body strengthening exercises plus a nice chunk of cardio at least two to three times a week.

If all you are doing is crunches, you need to work on the rest of your body, too.

Kiev749's avatar

aslong as you do them correctly and don’t cut corners on them, they do wonders.

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