Many people believe the abdominal crunch is nonfunctional, even potentially hazardous. The trouble with crunches, experts say, is that they repeatedly put the spine in flexion, or a forward bent position. This- combined with poor mechanics can cause pain in the neck and lower back. The crunch is not the bad guy it’s made out to be. With proper form, functional modifications, fewer repetitions, and realistic expectations, it has its place as an advanced move.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Find your neutral spine position by tilting your pelvis as far forward and then as far back as possible before “locking” it in a comfortable position halfway in between. This activates the transversus abdominis.
Place your hands behind your head, or rest your arms and hands at your sides, across your chest,extended above your chest, or tucked under your hips. Inhale.
As you exhale, engage your abs and lift your head and shoulder blades off the floor. Pause for one or two seconds. Relax your head and shoulders to the floor, then repeat the movement. Move slowly and with control, and limit reps to what you can perform with good form.
Fazeli fard, Maggie. “The Crunch.” Experience Life, Mar. 2020, p. 31.