If you absolutely must crunch…do this version.

Hi Gang,

This is a follow up to the post I wrote a few weeks ago about banning crunches from your hockey training.  I think I got your attention because quite a few of you took the time to write me and tell me how much you like the way crunches make your abs burn and they make them sore…and you like it!  That is fine, I am not trying to burst your bubble or anything.  And if burning sore abs is an indicator of hockey success, then I will be happy to recant.

If you absolutely must crunch then do this version – it is the one Dr. Stu McGill promotes as putting less strain on your spine.

core - crunch - mcgill

core - crunch - mcgill 1

Look at the photo closely and notice that one knee is bent and the other is straight.  So you will have to do equal reps on both sides.  Then note that the finger tips are tucked just under the lower back.  Now for the subtle difference – when you do this crunch think of lifting from the centre of your chest.  Lift straight up to the ceiling.  This will be a very small movement – it should be if you are doing it properly.  If you are getting more than your shoulder blades off the floor, you are likely still curling up or sitting up.

Enjoy this safer version of your beloved crunch.

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Maria Mountain

Maria Mountain is a Fitness Coach and the owner of Revolution Conditioning in London, Ontario. She helps hockey players from AAA to professionals compete at their highest level while reducing their risk of injury. Dedicated to athletes who want to work hard, but train smart.

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