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Physical therapists offer tips on proper crunching

The Perfect Crunch

• Start with a manageable number of repetitions; don’t go for the maximum range right away.

• Place fingertips on top of head or alongside your ears; DO NOT lace fingers.

• Keep the elbows out, beyond the range of peripheral vision

• Point the chin toward the ceiling.

• Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps; be sure to maintain perfect form and rest between sets.

• Remember that quality is always more important than quantity.

The Perfect Plank

• Lie flat, face down.

• Place hands at either side of the chest as if ready to perform a pushup.

• Tuck elbows in at the sides.

• Keeping the back perfectly flat, push up onto toes and elbows so that the body is off of the floor, with the elbows and toes acting as support.

• Keep the abdominals pulled in by visualizing your navel pressing up into your spine.

• Aim to maintain a normal breathing pattern and hold this position for 10 to 60 seconds.

• Rest, lie flat, then repeat twice.

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