Knee touches are a great way to exercise abdominal muscles and increase core strength. They also work your lower back and obliques.
The range of motion closely resembles sit-ups or normal crunches, but can be more challenging. Due to this, gains are also maximized allowing one to meet their targets faster.
The exercise can be performed both inside and outside the gym since they do not require any equipment apart from a mat.
Knee touches need to be coupled with other variations of crunches in order to gain maximum results. Also, to be able to see results you need to perform the exercises correctly.
HOW TO DO KNEE TOUCHES
Here is a step-by-step process of how to do the exercise;
- Sit on a mat in a slightly leaned in position. Your hands should be on the floor, behind your back, supporting you.
- Also, your knees should be bent and feet on the floor too. This is your starting position.
- Keeping your core tight and contracting your abdominal muscles hard, raise yourself using your arms and feet such that your butt is not touching the floor.
- While still maintaining tight core and contracted abs, lift your right hand and left knee off the floor and bring the two to touch.
- Now return your right hand and left knee to the floor and alternate the same movement with your left hand and right knee.
- Repeat the alternation of the movement for the desired number of sets and reps.
HOW TO DO KNEE TOUCHES WITH PERFECT FORM
- Ensure you engage your core.
- Ensure your chin is tucked throughout the movement as though you were holding an egg under your chin.
- Ensure you lift your knees towards your chest so that they are directly over your hips.
- Ensure you squeeze and maintain tension on your abs.
KNEE TOUCHES MUSCLES ENGAGED
This movement works all your abdominal muscles that is the internal/external obliques and abdominals. Building muscles in places like your abs involves damaging the same muscles.
Even though it may sound counterintuitive, damaging these muscles makes your body repair them even better in order to prepare them to exert similar efforts in future.
However, sticking to the same weight as your muscles become stronger may not damage them enough to promote extra muscle growth.
That is why you need to add extra resistance to exercise like knee touches in order to damage the muscles better in a shorter amount of time.
Adding enough nutrients to your diet and giving your muscles enough rest can also lead to faster and more ab muscle gain.
The movement also works your arm muscles as you use them to support your entire upper body during the workout. Also, hip flexors and lower back muscles are targeted.
KNEE TOUCHES BENEFITS
Most of the benefits are similar to knee crunches and regular crunches. They include:
This movement is a type of resistance training that can help strengthen your core muscles.
HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Doing this exercise requires more energy than your regular daily activities. Also, extra muscle mass assists in burning more calories.
Although not guaranteed, these two aspects may help with weight loss. However, if weight loss is your goal, keep in mind that there are better exercise choices for it.
The exercise, like other crunch exercises, promotes the release of certain hormones that boost your mood.
NO EQUIPMENT OR LOCATION IS REQUIRED
Since you only need a mat for this exercise, it saves you time and money as you do not have to invest in equipment or going to the gym to perform it.
The exercise, like other crunch exercises, can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which consequently has many essential benefits.
REDUCE OR PREVENT BACK PAIN
This core strengthening exercise can help reduce or prevent back pain. However, if you are currently suffering from back pain, be sure to talk to an expert before performing the exercise.
HELP ACHIEVE SIX-PACK ABS
The exercise primarily targets the rectus abdominis muscles. These are the main muscles responsible for the six-pack.
BUILD LOWER-BODY STRENGTH
In addition to strengthening your core, the exercise also targets and strengthens the lower back muscles, lower abs and hip flexors. This is important as it enables you perform other exercises better.
KNEE TOUCHES VARIATIONS AND PROGRESSIONS
There are variety of alternatives to knee touches available for training your ab muscles. The make a great addition to your workout routine. Some of these include:
THE CLASSIC CRUNCH
To perform the classic crunch, lie on your back, bend your knees and press your feet on the floor. Then, with your hands placed behind your head, slowly rise up towards your knees before slowly going back to the starting position.
THE REVERSE CRUNCH
For the reverse crunch, lie on your back with your hands facing the floor by both sides of your body. Bend at the knees and raise your legs while bringing your knees towards your chest. Then, return to the initial stance.
THE BICYCLE CRUNCH
To perform the bicycle crunch, lie on your back and place your hands behind your head. Then, bend at the knees and lift your left knee slowly towards your chest.
Try to touch that knee by raising your right elbow. Return to the starting position and repeat with the right knee and left elbow.
THE KNEE CRUNCH
For the knee crunch, lie flat with your hands behind your head, feet on the ground and knees bent. Then, lift your knees that they form a 90-degree angle and bring your head toward the knees by crunching your abdominal muscles. Return to the initial stance and repeat the movement.
KNEE TOUCHES MISTAKES TO AVOID
If you are weak or sensitive in body parts like your back, hips and neck, you may need to do other strengthening exercises first.
This is because the knee touches may be hard on them even with the right technique. Especially if you have back pain, you need to consult an expert before including it in your workout routine.
Pain in any body part may signal you are overdoing it. In that case, you may need some rest or a less workout schedule.
Consistency is important if you want maximum results. Ensure to couple the exercise with other crunch variations too. Also, remember to always use the correct technique.