October 10, 2005
Twisting moves penetrate deep into your body's core muscles and give your spine more freedom of movement. Perform a twisting crunch like this one to strengthen and shape your side abdominal muscles called the obliques. These muscles add the necessary strength to bend and rotate your spine in everyday activities and sports. To get the most out of the crunch, concentrate on a shoulder-to-hip motion instead of an elbow-to-knee. Remember to keep the entire movement smooth and controlled.
1 Lie with your back on a padded surface or a mat with your heels resting on a sturdy chair, bench or ottoman. Bend your right knee and cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Place your left hand behind your head as a support, extending your right arm on the ground with your hand below shoulder level. Breathe in.
2 On the exhale, curl up and twist to the right. Make sure you keep your hips level and press down your navel while aiming your left shoulder toward your right hip. Pause at the peak of the curl, slowly return to the start position and repeat until you have completed 15 crunches. Switch sides and repeat.