I do not incorporate crunches into my workout. Ever since reading an article about crunches being bad and my review of The New Rules of Lifting for Abs, I believe that crunches can actually do more harm for the back so I use alternate ab exercises instead. I am now into the intermediate level of Turbulence Training, and so far, there are no long sets of crunch exercises in the program. One exception may be the ab curl-up if you consider it a crunch. I have a feeling Craig Ballantyne has the no-crunch philosophy as well.
Instead of crunches, I have done two ab exercises in the program that use the stability ball and they are awesome. I don’t think my abs have ever felt so sore, even when I used to do crunches in the past. The two exercises are called:
- Stability ball rollout
- Stability ball jack knife
Here is a video demonstration of both exercises performed by Craig Ballantyne. The sound is a bit bad in the video but you’ll still understand it:
He also includes the stability ball plank which I haven’t tried yet. The beginner and intermediate levels of Turbulence Training have been using the regular plank positions on the floor. If you have a stability ball available, seriously try these ab routines. They look simple but they really do work the abs. Considering that crunches may not be the safest exercise for the back, these are nice alternatives.
Learn more about the workout I’m currently doing: Turbulence Training by Craig Ballantyne.