"Effectivity of the Abdominal Crunch Exercise" is a good example of a paper on fitness and exercise. Pilate’ s principles applied by the exercise The abdominal crunch is the exercise that utilizes the fitness stability ball. The exercise applies most of the Pilates principles of exercises, which are the underpinnings of fitness. Breath is one of the principles that the exercise applies. The exercise requires proper inhalation and exhalation to coordinate the movement of muscles. Abdominal crunch also utilizes the principle of precision. The exercise requires placement of the body in a way that ensures body balance.
The spine must be straight regardless of the position of other body parts. Concentration is the other principle that the exercise uses. The exercise demands proper follow up of each movement and step in achieving the desired goal of strengthening and flattening the abs. Abdominal crunch engages the Rectus Abdominus (abs), Transverse Abdominus and the Obliques muscles and also helps in preventing pain in the lower back. Steps of the abdominal crunch The first step involves sitting on the stability ball and spreading the legs on the floor such that the legs are shoulder-width apart.
The hands should support the weight of the head with the elbows pointing to the sides. This posture should be maintained throughout the exercise. Inhale and raise the chest upwards to bring the rib cage and the pelvis together using the abdominal muscles after maintaining the desired posture. Match the movement of the head with that of the chest. Curl the torsi towards the thighs and make sure that the upper back is not in contact with the ball (figure 1 and picture B).
Maintain balance using the legs. Figure 1 Exhale/release the breadth and let the head, and the chest resume their original position (picture A). Inhaling and holding the breath helps in contracting the abs. While inhaling, uncurl gently making sure that the lower back and the ball maintain contact. Spreading the legs apart helps in maintaining additional stability when it becomes a challenge (Spalding and Linda 104). Challenge your ability by repeating the exercise several times using a lesser stability area. Safety and stability measures of the exercise The exercise requires the observance of some basic safety measures.
The most basic safety measure is to understand the muscles that the exercise targets. It helps in maintaining a proper posture that does not strain other muscles. Place the ball in a central location that is devoid of any obstructions that may affect the exercise. The ball should also be the height of the hips. The legs are the only agents of stability in the exercise. The legs should be extremely firm on the floor to maintain the posture and perform the movements that the exercise requires. If the exercise requires additional stability, increase the area between the legs.
Stability is vital in the exercise to prevent straining muscles or causing bodily harm. Contraindications and difficulties experienced in the exercise Abdominal crunch contributes towards stable spinal health by strengthening the core. Therefore, the exercise has no contraindications but is sometimes difficult. For instance, maintaining balance and contact between the lower back and the ball is a challenging experience. It is also difficult to raise the chest while holding a deep breath to contract the abs. The exercise becomes extremely difficult when using a lesser area of support.
It becomes difficult to do the movements while maintaining stability or balance at the same time. The exercise fatigues the abdominal muscles making it difficult to repeat it several times. However, the exercise is successful in strengthening the abs and in its contribution towards good spinal health.
ReferencesSpalding, Anne, and Linda E. Kelly. Fitness on the Ball: A Core Program for Brain and Body. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2010. Print.