Ab Exercise – The Sideways Crunch

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 30,738
    Personal trainer Margie Weiss demonstrates how to do the sideways crunch ab exercise.

    Margie Weiss

    Margie Weiss has been in the fitness industry all of her life, having been a national gymnast as a child, and mother/trainer to three international athletes. Owner-coach of MG Gymnastics, her team produced international stars for 15 years. Former owner of 2 Gold's Gym franchises, Margie is also a certified personal trainer, specializing in youth sports conditioning. She has trained international athletes, including her children. Her son, Michael, is a 2-time US Olympic figure skater and 3-time US National Champion. Currently, she is GGX (Group exercise director & instructor) for 3 Gold's Gyms, where one of her programs boasts 500 classes per month; she supervises 175 instructors. Having published many articles in the fitness field, she enjoys seeing progress in each of her participants. But the things that makes her most proud of the lives she has affected are her 5 grandchildren, all of whom live very close. Seeing their smiles makes every day worth smiling about!

    Margie Weiss: My name is Margie. This is Simply Abs. We are going to work sideways in this segment. So, we are going to take Jeremy, we are going turn her knees to the side and we are going to turn her shoulders to the side. Her back is perpendicular to the floor. In this segment, her knees are going to be together. Pretend like you got a credit card between your knees, you dont want to let go. So, you are going to squeeze tight. You are going to squeeze your ankles together tight. You also are going to squeeze your glute muscles tight because the bottom half of your body is going to stabilize you. With one arm out in front and the other arm to the ear, keeping the back perpendicular, what Jeremy is going to do is take this elbow and as she lifts, its going to go towards the hip. She can use the bottom arm to push down some on the floor. Not a problem, its going to make it a little bit easier, as you get stronger, the less pressure down on that arm, will force the work more into the core and less into the shoulder.

    Head again is neutral. There is still space in here, as your elbow goes up; it is not actually going to go to the hip, its just kind of rising towards it. Where she is going to feel it? If you put your hand right through here, the intercostals muscles of her body, the transverse muscles that go all the way around her body and also the obliques are working. Pretend like you have got an orange right here and you are trying to squeeze it. She is doing singles, which is up and down. Thats your basic lift. She is squeezing her knees together really tightly and she is not only controlling the up, but she is controlling the down, because there is a lot of work done on the return, especially if you stabilize through here.

    Once you have done maybe 8, 16, 32 going up to the side singles, you may want to slow it down because your muscles are little bit more warmed up you are going up one count, two counts, one count down. Elbow still going up, dont forget to breathe in. You are breathing out as your rise, you are breathing in on the way back down, squeezing your bellybutton to your backbone the whole time. You want to be as skinny as you can get. The idea behind this is, we are trying to define the core rather than build bulk. So, you dont want to stick your belly out. You want to contract it in towards your backbone.

    Make it tougher here go 3, 2, 1 and drop, 3, 2, 1 and drop. Tendency on this exercise is to start to roll so that your chest is to the ceiling, try to resist that, keep your shoulder forwards so you are definitely going side-to-side. Can you take it to the top and hold it there, this is an isometric contraction. You are squeezing, you are holding, you are breathing and you let it back down. One more time, take it to the top and squeeze, hold it there, belly in and then relax it down. This portion should take maybe three minutes to do between the different activities for this one muscle group, then you can move on to another. If you want to stretch it out, you are going to take this front leg put in front a little farther, look back and take breath. As you exhale allow the relaxation to go through to your hips. As she is down here, you want to remembering that when you a workout to one side, the right side, you are also going to want to do it to the left side, so we just did three minutes on the right. You are going to want to flip over and do the other side as well. That way you keep the body nice and balanced.