How to Stretch after Doing Crunches
When you do an abs session, you work the muscle groups in a localised area. To avoid overburdening yourself and risking injury, it is really important that you stretch after exercising. It is a move that will bring you many benefits compared to a short time, maximum of 5 minutes, needed to do it. It involves 2 simple exercises that help the muscles in the abdominal area to recover after exercise. OneHowTo explains how to stretch after doing crunches.
The first exercise just involves doing the opposite move to crunches. You must lie face down on a mat. Place your toes on the ground, so that you are supported. Place the palms of your hands on the ground at chest height and use them as leverage to lift up your torso as high as you can. You need to feel your abdominal muscles stretching, but you should stop the exercise if the pain is severe. Hold this position for approximately 5 seconds and do 10 repetitions.
This second stretching exercise following crunches is designed to help the recovery of your oblique muscles and it is a very simple move. Stand with your feet slightly apart at hip width. Raise your arms up and keep your hands clasped together with your back perfectly straight. To stretch your oblique's, bend your torso and arms to the left without moving your legs. You'll notice how your abs move to the right. If you feel you are stretching your back muscles, correct your posture by slightly tilting yourself backwards. Hold this position for approximately 5 seconds and do 10 repetitions on each side.
These are the two basic exercises that should always be performed when stretching after doing crunches. As you can see, these activities exclusively focus on the recovery of muscle groups in the abdominal area. However, it is also possible for you to overburden other muscles when doing crunches, especially if you don't have a very refined technique.
If you notice that your neck and upper back feel heavy, you can do some stretches as suggested below. This involves trying to bring your chin closer to your chest, and then holding the position for about 5 seconds. It is advisable to do about 15 repetitions. As you can see, this is a very simple move, but it has the benefit of preventing neck pain later.
Poorly executed abdominal crunches can also cause the back muscles to feel overburdened. You can perform the following exercise in a preventative way by stretching after doing crunches. Place your knees together with the palms of your hands resting on the floor or on a mat. The exercise consists of arching your back and holding the position for about 5 seconds. Simply perform 5 repetitions.
By doing this series of stretching exercises after doing crunches you will be preparing your muscles to help them recover as soon as possible before your next workout and they won't take more than 5 minutes to do.
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