Why Are V Crunches Important?
Because a strong core is required for other compound routines such as pull-ups, barbell rows and squats. Furthermore, a strong core is visible with low body fat in the form of a six-pack or, at a minimum, definition in the area of the abdominal muscles.
There is no need to waste time on dozens and dozens of V crunches when this classic isolation exercise can be varied so that only 8 reps are super intense.
1. Don’t Hold Onto The Bench
This is the first step in driving up the intensity of this single-joint exercise.
Fold arms in an X across the chest; press forearms to chest without folding them; or extend arms out in the air either in front of yourself or out to the sides.
Holding onto the bench is a crutch that takes challenge off the abs and lower back. For best results, the core needs to do as much work as possible.
2. Bring Knees As Close To The Chest As Possible
Many people execute incomplete range of motion by bringing the knees only 75 percent of the way in.
Thighs should, at a minimum, come very close to connecting with the chest.
In fact, imagine that there is a gob of paint on the top of each thigh, and you must transfer some of that paint to your chest.
You’d have to fight pretty hard to make the thighs touch the chest.
It’s very difficult to make actual contact, and attempts to do so will immediately be felt in the abdominal muscles. And this is if the knees are not together.
3. Keep Knees Together
Now try to transfer the imaginary paint. Keeping the knees together takes the difficulty level up a notch or two.
The struggle to get the thighs as close as possible to the chest will force the abdominals to work pretty hard, and the trainee will feel this.
4. Hold The Crunch For Two Or More Seconds
When you reach the maximum crunch angle (thighs as close to chest as possible), hold this position—don’t let it slide—for two seconds or more before releasing.
Make just these changes alone, and your usual 50 crunches of incomplete range of motion with hands on bench, and knees spread apart, will be pretty challenging—and outright difficult for some trainees—for just 8 reps.
To get killer abs with V crunch intensity techniques, one must begin with these changes, but then advance even further. This is only the foundation.
5. Hold Leg Extension For Two Seconds
This will strengthen the lower back even more.
6. Add A Medicine Ball
Place a 2-pound ball between the calves and execute the crunches.
The closer the ball is to the feet, the more difficult the exercise, because this makes the resistance arm further away from the force arm and fulcrum, which are the trainee’s trunk and lower back, respectively.
If at this point, you can exceed 8 reps without too much difficulty, increase intensity by:
- Using a heavier medicine ball
- Straining even more to touch thighs to chest
- Holding the crunch position for 10 seconds
Increasing intensity doesn’t stop here, however.
The following changes will make this most classic of stomach crunch exercises even harder:
• Wedge a small dumbbell between the feet so that the end portion of it pokes through the opening between the inner feet.
• Perform the crunches on the round side of a BOSU board. A BOSU board is the dark blue half-ball that most gyms now have, in which the round side is soft, and the underside is flat.
• Perform the crunches on the flat side of a BOSU board.
All of these possible changes provide plenty of opportunity to create an 8 rep-max for an abdominal crunch.
A few of these techniques can be transferred to a V crunch machine:
- Fold inward as much as possible
- Hold the crunching position for several seconds
- Keep knees as close together as possible
- Better yet, don’t even use the hand bars
- Keep arms straight above you for every repetition
The machine, however, is not an ideal abdominal tool because it tempts users to pile on weight, and the trainee ends up jerking into a crunch position by pulling the handles hard.
A muscle substitution pattern in which the muscles of the arms and shoulders take work away from the core.
Frequency And Sets
Two to three times a week, two to three sets of 8 reps, are all that one needs to do. Crunches are just one element to getting a six-pack.
Low body fat percentage is the other part of the equation, and only with an overall strength training and cardio training program can one achieve a gorgeous six-pack and sizzling physique.
This information is in No-Nonsense Muscle Building Program by Vince DelMonte, which anyone seeking a lean chiseled physique will find very helpful.
DelMonte also explains which weight routines build the most muscle and burn the most fat, and which foods to eat and avoid to get major results as quickly as possible.