How to do Crunches

The basic crunch is the consummate abdominal exercise in a strength-training program. Pay special attention to your form when you do crunches, especially if you have lower-back or neck problems.


[ YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN : How to do Crunches with Leg Curl ]

Following are the steps to perform crunches:


  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.

  2. Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears.

  3. Don’t lace your fingers together.

  4. Hold your elbows out to the sides but slightly rounded in.

  5. Slightly tilt your chin, leaving a few inches of space between your chin and your chest.

  6. Gently pull your abdominal inward.

  7. Curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor.

  8. At the top, hold for a moment and then slowly lower down your body to touch the floor.

    Curl up to work on your abs. [Credit: Photograph by Sunstreak Productions, Inc.]

Keep the following tips in mind while performing this exercise:

  • Keep your abdominal pulled in so that you can feel more tension in your abs and so you don’t over arch your lower back.

  • Don’t pull on your neck with your hands or draw your elbows in.

  • Do curl as well as lift.

  • Perform crunches very slowly and with control, doing 12 reps.



Gym alternative: Ball crunch

You can use a large plastic exercise ball (sometimes called a physio ball) as an alternative to the basic crunch described above. Follow these steps:


  1. Sit on a physio ball and roll your torso down so that your back from your shoulder blades, down to the tailbone is resting on the curve of the ball and your head, neck, and shoulders are above the ball.

  2. Your knees are bent, and your feet are planted on the floor and hip-width apart.

  3. Perform the same abdominal curling movement as you do for the basic crunch.

  4. You have to move slowly and keep your abdominal muscles fully engaged to keep yourself from wiggling around on the ball or rolling off of it.


[ TO KNOW MORE ABOUT : Crunches with an Inclined Plane ]

Related Videos

How to do a perfect crunch

How to do crunches correctly


Ball Crunches

How to do Abdominal Crunches using a Ball

How to do crunches



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