Want strong and sexy abs? Try a traditional ab crunch, says a new study from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Researchers asked eight men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 to test out a variety of ab exercises, including traditional crunches, bicycle crunches, planks, yoga poses and stability ball moves. They also tested out popular gym and at-home equipment like the Ab Roller, Ab Lounge, Perfect Sit-Up, Ab Coaster, Ab Rocket, Ab Wheel and Ab Straps.
To determine the effectiveness of each move on different muscles, the researchers attached electrodes to the participants while exercising.
The result? None of the moves elicited greater muscle activation than the traditional crunch.
But wait – don’t give up your gym membership just yet. F.U. Youngbuck, co-founder of F.U. Youngbuck Workout Gear, says that while traditional ab crunches are great, they’re not the be all end all in muscle definition.
‘The issue with any EMG study [a study that measures electrical activity produced by muscles] is that it’s just measuring maximum contraction, which isn’t necessarily the same as measuring effectiveness,’ he says.
‘Peak contraction of any muscle occurs based upon the position and angle of surrounding structures, like the hips, arms, etc. That means that more effective exercises may not score high in an EMG study because other structures in the way are limiting the contraction. To state that a traditional ab crunch is the ‘best’ exercise for the abs would be dependant upon the goal of the trainee and their structural differentials.’ Got it?
We say that the best way to get those rock hard abs is to combine healthy eating with regular cardio and strength training. Plus a couple of crunches.
IFBB Pro Bikini Loves Crunches