The abdominal crunch is the fundamental abs exercise that works your entire abdominal section.
It is a great exercise because it isolates the abs fully without engaging any other muscle group.
The main emphasis of this exercise targets the middle and upper sections of your abs, and to a lesser extent your lower abs.
Other Muscles Used: None
- Place a mat or towel onto the floor and lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart and knees bent at approx 90 degrees.
- Place your hands at the side of your head, touching your temple with your elbows sticking out. Or you can cross your arms over your chest, so that your right arm rests on your left chest and your left arm rests on your right chest.
- Don’t arch or flatten your back. Keep your head upright and do not allow it to press into your chest. A good method is to imagine you’re holding an orange between your chest and your chin. This is about the right distance you should maintain. This is your starting position.
- Gently pull your abdominals inwards and lift your shoulder blades off the floor and curl as you lift. Breathe out as you do so.
- Pause slightly at the top of the movement and squeeze your abs.
- Slowly return to the starting position, breathing in as you do so. Ensure the movement is controlled at all times without allowing for momentum on the upward or downward motion. That counts as one rep.
Variations: There are several variations of the classic crunch.
- You can hold a weight across your chest.
- You can use a decline bench.
- You can perform the exercise lying on top of a stability ball which will involve more core muscles.
- You can use an abdominal crunch machine.
Do’s and Do Not’s
DO keep your abs pulled in throughout the movement.
DO curl as well as lifting your shoulders. This will target the entire abdominal section.
DO NOT place your hands behind your head or interlock your fingers. Lift from your abs not from your neck or you could injure your neck.
DO NOT move your elbows to help you gain momentum .
If you have any comments, questions or tips for the abdominal crunch, please drop them below.