Core training is one of the most essential parts of being an athlete and pike crunches are a great way of getting stronger. While it’s essential to train all directions and movement patterns of the torso, pike crunches are one of my favorites.
WHY DO PIKE CRUNCHES?
Pike crunches are incredible for building strength through trunk flexion. This occurs as the trunk bends forward or moves through flexion. The main muscles involved in core flexion are the rectus abdominis.
While these muscles are responsible for front flexion in the core, all the muscles that make up the entire trunk serve 3 purposes: static stabilization, fundamental movement, and integration. You can see more about how to train the core for athletes HERE.
Pike crunches definitely fall into the category of fundamental movement as it’s a pretty fast and powerful trunk movement, however it’s not incredibly complex. They focus on the upper abs.
How to do pike crunches?
To do pike crunches, begin by laying on your back with both feet up in the air. Reach your arms overhead as you contract through the abdominals lifting the shoulder blades off the floor, inching your fingertips up to touch your toes. Return all the way to the floor re-reaching the arms overhead to prepare for another full rep.
The most common mistake I see made while doing pike crunches is too small of a movement where you’re not really reaching. Oftentimes this results in the low back arching a bit so you aren’t being supported by the torso. Keep the low back glued to the floor and with each rep, reach so far that the shoulder blades lift off the floor.
I typically save core work until the end of the workout so you’re already warm and ready to build a bit of endurance through the torso.
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