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Yikes, 8 miinutes of planking is NO JOKE. You’ll do fine.
If you have to go to your knees to finish those planks – cool. Thing is, start back on your toes at the beginning of every round. Only then, should you go to your knees. Watch the stink-bugging and swag-backing.
It’s best if you do crunches with interlaced fingers (at the webbing) placed behind your head. Elbows should be flared and away from your head. Back far enough that you can’t see them. Keep them this way throughout the movement.
Placing your arms in this position will raise your center of gravity toward your head. This makes the move more difficult and places more tension on the abdominals during the crunch and adds benefit to the move. To scale, simply do the opposite. Move hands to the front and move towards navel.
Keeping the elbows back and out of sight also places more tension on the abs. Additionally, It gives you less leverage for pulling on your head and potentially straining your neck. Never pull on your head during crunches.