What is the difference between isometric core exercises and crunches? First off, isometric (iso meaning same, and metric meaning distance) exercises are those in which the joint angle or muscle length do not change during the movement, or, in other words, the body is held in a non-moving or stable position to help isolate the targeted muscle group. This type of movement is great for improving muscular strength and endurance without placing too much stress on the body.
Crunches are great for core strength and endurance, as well, and isolates the abdominals extremely well, but places unnecessary stress on the neck and back. For most, this is no big deal, and the body can handle the stress, but for some with injuries or general weakness, those movement can cause pain, and even injury.
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Today, we are focusing on using correct posture throughout your workout. This is a huge topic and I feel that it can make a difference in your workouts. Correct technique and maintaining good posture keeps your body in-line, over-compensation free, and decreases your risk of injury. You might have to decrease your weights in order to do so, but it will be worth it in the long run. I have a few demonstrations below to help you picture a few exercises.
Push-Up: Notice how his body is in-line from his neck to is feet. Try not to drop your head while performing this exercise.
Crunch: Keep it simple, do a crunch not a sit-up; better on the spine. Also notice how he is not pulling on his neck. Try to keep your head back and in-line with upper spine.
Standing Tricep Extension: Notice how her feet are shoulder width apart, head is up and in-line with spine, and her back is not hunched over. You will notice one of these three struggle if you are trying to lift too much weight.