Anyone familiar with ab exercises knows that crunches are one of the best and most recommended exercises that help burn the core. Not all exercises are loved and give you results the way bicycle crunches do. Go to any gym, and your trainer will ask you to incorporate this ab exercise to tone your core. However, relying on quick reels to ace a bicycle crunch is not something that can help you get the desired results.
Bicycle crunches work on your mid and lower abs as well as on the obliques. While it may seem like an easy exercise, people tend to make mistakes while performing it. Have you been doing them right? Let’s find out.
Common mistakes people make while doing bicycle crunches
Here are the 5 common mistakes you might be while performing bicycle crunches doing without realising it.
1. Not putting pressure on the heels
This is an easy one that a lot of people miss out on! Yes, bicycle crunches target your abs but that doesn’t mean you don’t engage other parts of the body. Try to put pressure on your feet or heel, but not on your toes.
2. Tugging on your neck
This is another common mistake that you should avoid! If at any point your neck starts hurting, this means that you are straining your neck. The focus should be on using your abs to make them work, not your neck.
3. Lifting the lower back
When you perform bicycle crunches, avoid raising your lower back off the mat. Doing this can put extra strain on your body and cause back pain. Make sure you tuck in your belly button and press your back into the ground, to maintain posture.
4. Speeding it up!
One thing people forget is that ab exercises are all about slow and controlled movement. So, do not rush through the exercise and let the core engage and not take the tension off them. A deliberate and controlled pace with the right movement is the key to acing this exercise.
5. Holding your breath
Do not hold your breath while performing bicycle crunches. It will restrict the oxygen flow to the muscles and lead to cramps. It can also cause injury or pain. Inhale and exhale to let the oxygen flow properly through the body.
How to perform bicycle crunches properly?
Bicycle crunches are fairly simple to perform. Begin by lying on your back on the mat, with your feet flat on the floor. Now, interlace the fingers behind your head and cradle your head in your hands. Bend your knees as you lift your legs up. Now, lift your upper body. Exhale and twist your upper body to the right, moving your left elbow and right knee closer. Now, straighten the leg and pause. Inhale and return to the initial position. Now, exhale and repeat on the other side. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions, and increase the number gradually.
Now that you know how to perform bicycle crunches the right way, let’s aim at that flat belly you always wanted!