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 head 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 health care professionals and personal trainers 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-packs.
But in order to reap the benefits of these crunches, you must be able to perform it correctly.
Without the proper form, it can potentially do more harm than good.
In this post, I’ll cover how to do a reverse crunch, the benefits, and what muscles it works.
Benefits Of Reverse Crunches
The reverse crunch exercise brings a wide range of benefits.
From core strength to spine stabilization, this calisthenic exercise is an easy way to improve your daily functions as well as aesthetics.
Here are some of the benefits of performing this crunch variation:
Builds stomach muscles
Reverse curnch targets all your abdominal muscles including rectus abdominals, transverse abdominis, and obliques.
It also 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, working the deep abdominal muscles helps improve your daily movements and your posture.
It’ll help you perform your daily tasks around the house like gardening, which involves twisting, bending, and being on your feet.
Targets the lower belly
This core exercise reaches the hard-to-target 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 and gentler to the back.
With 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 it 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 the rectus and transverse abdominals but with the emphasis on the lower abs.
Both rectus and transverse abdominal muscles are located in 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.