Avoid These Ab-Exercise Mistakes

Looking for the best route to flat-abs success? The key isn't how many reps you do or what sort of as-seen-on-TV contraption you buy. It's about learning the proper technique and form. Abdominal muscles respond extremely well to correctly performed, controlled crunches. To make sure you're doing this "anywhere, anytime" move the right way, see our checklist of classic mistakes below.

Time wasters

Are these do-nothing techniques a little too familiar? Ban them from your routine and you'll see results sooner:

  • Using momentum: Rocking your body back and forth will lessen the workload on your abs. Crunch slowly and with control.
  • Misplaced arms: Placing your hands behind your head and pulling your head and shoulders up will lessen the load on the abs, and can damage the neck. Place your hands by your ears and use the abs to curl up.
  • Ab cradles: This is the apparatus in the gym which supports your head and arms on a metal rocking frame. The problem again is that momentum and pulling with the arms will lessen the load on the abs, so work slowly and keep your arms and hands lightly resting on the supports.
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