How to Do a Reverse Crunch With Proper Form

abdominal exercise

The reverse crunch is one of my favorite exercises I like to include in ab workouts. It’s very simple to do, yet very effective at targeting and isolating the lower abdomen.

And unlike other crunch variations, the reverse crunch is also very forgiving to the lower back and neck. Both your next and lower back remain on the ground as you perform the exercise with your abs and legs curling inwards towards the chest. This avoids the over usage and strains of your back and neck, making it a gentler exercise to perform. Though, before starting, be sure to always consult with your health care professional or personal trainer to see if this exercise is right for you.

This abs crunch variation is a great exercise for anyone looking to develop their core muscles and carve out a washboard six-pack.

But in order to rip the benefits of these crunches, you must be able to perform it correctly, otherwise, it can become harmful rather than adding benefits. 

In this post, I’ll cover how to do a reverse crunch, the benefits, and what muscles it works. 

Benefits Of Reverse Crunches

Benefits of abdominal training

The reverse crunch variations exercise brings a wide range of benefits. From core strength to spine stabilization, this calisthenic exercise is an easy way to improve your bodily functions and aesthetics. 

Here are some of the benefits that stand out: 

  • Builds stomach muscles – targets all your abdominal muscles including rectus abdominals, transverse abdominis, and obliques. 
  • Develops core strength – activates a wide range of muscles in the trunk, leading to a better, stronger body. 
  • Improves daily functions – from balance to stability, by working the deep abdominal muscles helps improve your daily movements and even your posture. It’ll help you perform your daily tasks around the house like gardening, which involves twisting, bending, and being on your foot. 
  • Targets the lower belly – reaches the hard to target area like your lower stomach pooch. It’s instrumental in flattening your stomach and getting rid of your belly fat including your lower stomach. 
  • Less pressure on the back and spine – compared to the traditional crunches, this crunch variation is much more suitable on the body. With the traditional crunches, it’s easy to put unnecessary pressure on your spine and lower back. Often, those with neck discomfort find the reverse crunch exercise easier to perform and prefer over the regular crunch. If that’s you, consider this reverse crunch an alternative to your classic crunch.

It’s one move that strengthens all your abdominal muscles without straining other muscles. It’s an effective ab workout that benefits your daily functions by improving your balance, flexibility, and movements. 

What muscles does the reverse crunch work?

The reverse crunch works all of the muscles in your abdomen including rectus and transverse abdominals but with the emphasis on the lower abs. 

Both rectus and transverse abdominal muscles are located the central part of your abdomen stretching from your lower abs and pelvis to just below your rib cage. 

As a secondary target muscle, these modified crunches work the obliques, the muscles that run on both sides of your torso. 

How to Do a Reverse Crunch

There are several ways to performing crunches in a reversal, but it’s important to master the standard form of an exercise before moving on to more difficult variations.

To Perform The Basic Reverse Crunch:

  1. Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent. Keep your arms straight and place your hands next to your hips with palms facing down. Lift up your knees off the floor. They should remain bent at a 90-degree angle. 
  2. Bring your knees towards your head by lifting your hips off the floor. Engage the abdominals to curl up, and you should feel the tension in the front and middle of your abs. Control your movement and momentum throughout. 
  3. Once at the top, lower your legs down to return to the starting position. Stop before your feet hit the ground. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. 

Tips: try not to arch your back to perform this safely as it can strain your muscles and can lead to unnecessary injury. 

If you are performing this at the gym, you may use a decline bench. It provides additional support on your lower back and helps keep your chest flat. 

Last Word

This calisthenic workout offers an effective way to challenge your abdominals and all adjacent muscles without needing equipment. When added to your regular ab routine, the reverse crunch can help tone your abs, build six-packs, and even flatten your lower abs. 

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