Doing basic crunches can get boring, so let's hit some of those obliques!
The Bicycle Crunch can be difficult at first, but once you learn the steps correctly, you're on your way to showing off that beautiful tummy all year long!
1. Start lying on your back and bring your legs into a table top position, with bent knees over your hips. Place your hands lightly on the side of your head, with your elbows wide away from your body.
2. Keep your chin away from your chest, this allows your airway to stay open.
3. Curl your body up and in, lifting your shoulder blades off the ground to engage the core muscles.
4. Extend your right leg, lowering it to the ground, pressing through your heel. Simultaneously, twisting your torso to bring your right shoulder towards your bent left knee.
5. Switch legs, pressing the left leg out straight through the heel, lowering it to the ground and twisting the torso to bring the left shoulder to the bent right knee.
A few key notes to consider when you are working on these wonderful bicycle crunches:
* Keep the chin away from the chest, this helps you keep the airway open.
* Keep the elbows wide away from the body, this helps you focus on using your core muscles instead of your neck.
* Keep the legs low to the ground when switching, pressing through the heel. Don't make big circles with the legs, your not really on a bike! ;)
* Speed is not the key to mastering this exercise. Start slow and focus on your form and breathing. If you notice you haven't been breathing for at least 5 repetitions, your form is slacking or your neck is in pain, take a quick break.
Let the muscles relax and then come back for some more.
* The elbows do not need to touch your knees, the main focus is twisting the torso and bringing the opposite shoulder blade off the ground, focusing on the opposite shoulder moving towards the bent knee.