Crunches vs. Planks
Most of us are constantly on a quest to shrink our middles. Often we want to ignore the obvious solutions of cardio and diet so we find ourselves asking which core exercise is better, the plank or crunches? A plank engages roughly 20 different muscles groups while the crunch works about 7. Planks are isomeric contractions that are great for toning, stabilizing our spines, which our spine health is vital to our overall health, and strengthening our core. However, if we are not strong enough to hold a plank correctly or have joint limitations we will compromise the effectiveness of the plank.
Crunches are friendly for everyone and can be modified for all. Crunches make our muscles shorten and lengthen, think up and down, over and over which produces more muscle definition. However, crunches do not engage our opposing muscles in our back like planks do. So if we are crunching we should also be rowing, another of my favorites! Crunches are a great progressive exercise to planks and then the two exercises actually work well to compliment the other.