Q: Where ought to I place my fingers after I’m doing crunches? I’ve at all times put them behind my head, however I’ve been experiencing neck ache just lately and I believe it is likely to be from the crunches.


Based on what you’re saying, your ache very properly could also be from the crunches. Unfortunately, many health professionals proceed to show folks to put their fingers behind their heads whereas performing this train. It’s a technique that may have detrimental penalties. Here’s why:

When the fingers are clasped behind the pinnacle throughout spinal flexion (a crunch), there's a reflexive tendency to drag on the sternocleidomastoid muscle tissue of the neck. This is particularly true as a set turns into tougher and also you’re struggling to finish the previous few reps. In addition to considerably growing the potential for a neck pressure, this additionally introduces momentum into the motion, thereby lowering its effectiveness in growing your abs.

For finest outcomes, it’s advisable to maintain your fingers folded throughout your chest or, in its place, make fists and hold them at your ears. This will be certain that the motion takes place completely at the focal point – your abs, not your neck. If you have got weak neck muscle tissue, it’s finest to make use of a tool like an ab curler or one of many many ab machines obtainable in your native gymnasium. These items present a cushioned help on your head. Regardless, supporting your neck along with your fingers will solely serve to exacerbate neck issues and impede outcomes.


Calf Training: Turn Sticks Into Diamonds

Q: I hate my calves. They are like sticks they usually make my thighs look larger than they really are. Help!


Your plight is comprehensible. For most individuals, the calves are very tough to develop. There are two main causes for this. First, the calves are used greater than some other muscle tissue within the physique. They are energetic each time you stand, to not point out stroll, run, or do any cell exercise, and subsequently are usually extra immune to train. What’s extra, the soleus muscle, one of many two main muscle tissue that make up the calves (the opposite is the gastrocnemius, or gastroc, for brief) is made up virtually solely of slow-twitch fibers. Slow-twitch fibers are endurance-based fibers which have little or no potential for development (versus fast-twitch fibers, that are strength-related and develop readily).

That stated, you may enhance the looks of your calves if you happen to’re prepared to place within the effort and apply some good previous train science. Here’s how: The calves might be selectively focused through the use of two several types of actions. Because the gastroc crosses the knee joint, it’s positioned in a completely stretched place throughout workout routines the place the legs are stored straight, thereby maximizing stimulation of the muscle. Thus, standing calf raises, donkey calf raises, and toe presses are wonderful selections for concentrating on this muscle. Since the fiber composition of the gastroc is about half fast-twitch/half slow-twitch, a rep vary of 8 to 10 per set is good for maximizing hypertrophy (muscle development).

The soleus, then again, doesn’t cross the knee joint. Therefore, it may be focused by workout routines by which the knees are bent. Any kind of seated calf motion will do the trick right here. Because of its endurance-based fiber composition, a better rep vary is usually crucial to essentially fatigue this muscle. Aim for a variety of 15 to twenty reps per set.

Three to 4 units of an train for every muscle will probably be excellent. Perform this routine a few occasions per week, taking at the very least 48 hours of relaxation between classes, and you must begin seeing these sticks flip into diamonds earlier than lengthy.

The put up Are Crunches a Pain in the Neck? first appeared on FitnessRX for Women.