Crunch

Exercise / Abs

How to perform the exercise

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip width apart
  2. Place your hands slightly either side of your head, do not lock your fingers or pull the head up
  3. Push the small of your back into the floor to engage the abdominals
  4. Tilt your chin slightly, leaving a few inches space between chin and chest
  5. Begin to roll your shoulders off the floor
  6. Your shoulders should leave the floor by about 4 inches and your lower back should always remain on the floor
  7. Hold for a moment at the top then slowly move back down

CAUTION: If you suffer from any back pain it may be advisable to perform the crunch on a gym ball.

Exercise Tips

  • Don’t hold your breath when doing ab work. The abdominals play an important role in breathing. By limiting breathing, you will be limiting the work on your abs. The best way to breathe is to exhale on the way up and inhale on the way down.
  • Keep your head and neck in line with the spine. The best way to remember this is to not let your chin touch your chest. This error takes the focus off the abs and can strain your neck.
  • Most people forget the negative or lowering part of the crunch. Fight gravity on the way down from the top of the crunch to really get a burn.

Gym Ball Variation

  1. Sit on the ball and roll your torso down so that you are lay on your back, your shoulder blades down to your tailbone should be on the curve of the ball while your head, neck and shoulders are above the ball.
  2. Knees are bent and feet flat on the floor at hip width apart
  3. Perform the same abdominal curling movement as instructed above
  4. Move slowly and keep the core muscles engaged so that you feel grounded on the gym ball and do not roll off it