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Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip - 03/01/2005


Question:

How do I properly do a Swiss ball crunch? How is it better than a regular floor crunch? (Helen, Deer Park)

Answer:
Instead of placing a value judgment of better, letís say that itís progressive Ė a challenging way to work our abs and core muscles. Sit on a Swiss ball and carefully work your way down the ball and position yourself, so that you are flat with your lower back pressed flat into the ball. Your feet are planted securely on the floor with heels pressing into the ground. Place your hands loosely behind your ears to support your head and keep neck and spine in alignment. Then flex the spine forward and compress the lower back into the ball. This is your crunch. Differences:

  • You will add about 30 degrees to your range of motion which will make the abs work harder during the flexion phase.
  • You will be working in an unstable medium. So, you will engage different muscles in your core to keep you balanced during the movements which create an additional challenge.
After this, you can take a ball class to change your workout. Also, I hope that the Swiss ball crunch will inspire you to incorporate balance and stability to make your workouts more intense.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on www.turnonyourinnerlight.com/page3.html