Primary Muscle Group: Abdominals
Secondary Muscle Group: Obliques
Equipment Needed: Crunch Machine
The Benefits of Machine Crunch
The machine crunch is a machine-based exercise targeting the abdominal muscles. It involves sitting upright in the machine and curling the torso down toward the chest against some pre-set level of resistance. On some machines, the knees also curl up towards the torso. Crunch machines usually use extra resistance in the form of weight stacks or plate loading, and are often performed for moderate to high reps, like 8-12 reps per set or higher, as part of the ab-focused portion of a workout.
Some key benefits of Machine Crunches are;
Works the rectus abdominus or "six-pack" muscles
Allows for progressive overload in ab training.
Machine makes it difficult to cheat form.
Weighted ab training can help the core muscles grow and look more defined.
Easy weight changes for drop sets.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Machine Crunch
While the Machine Crunch is a popular core move, it isn’t safe for everyone. It can place a lot of stress on your back and neck so, if you have any prior injuries in those regions, you should avoid this exercise.
How To Do Machine Crunch
1. Sit on the ab machine and select a slight resistance. Position your feet under the pads and grab hold of the top handles.
2. Make sure your arms are bent at 90 degrees and rest your triceps on the pads.
3. Begin lifting your legs up as you engage your abs and crunch your upper torso. Exhale as you do so.
4. Pause and slowly return to starting position as you inhale.
For Perfect Technique
Use slow, controlled motions and concentrate on using your abs to control the weight. Your feet and legs should be relaxed throughout.
Once you have mastered the Machine Crunch you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Decline Sit Ups
1. Set the decline bench to an angle of between 30 and 45 degrees (the more than angle, the harder the situps will be).
2. Sit on the bench with your legs resting through the pads.
3. Cross your arms across your chest and lean back until your back almost touches the bench.
4. Raise yourself back up until your upper body is vertical, then lower again.
How To Do Arms Up Crunch
1. Lie down on your back. Plant your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Bend your knees and place your arms out over your head. Contract your abs and inhale.
2. Exhale and lift your upper body, keeping your head and neck relaxed.
3. Inhale and return to the starting position.