Description: Lie supine with knees bent, engage
the transversus abdominis with an abdominal
compression, and perform
a curl up and a
pelvic tilt bringing the
rib cage and pelvis toward each other. Place your hands behind
your head and perform the following movements simultaneously:
1. Pull your hips from the floor using your lower
2. Raise your shoulders and back from the floor using
your upper abdominal muscles.
3. Move your shoulders toward your hips.
Hold the contracted position for 1 to 3 seconds.
To increase the
effectiveness of the crunch,
lifted and push your lower back flat toward the floor. Avoid
collapsing at the chest as you curl up.
Analysis: The crunch is an efficient exercise
that combines the muscle action from an abdominal
compression, curl up, and
pelvic tilt. It works all of the muscles
of the abdominal area with a combined movement that is safe and
Variations: This exercise can also be done
with your legs placed over a flat exercise bench.
Some clients may need to put their legs up to better support
and protect the low back.
You can increase the difficulty of the exercise in several ways.
Examples include: extending your hands out behind your head,
using an incline board, or holding a weight.
Incline Board Crunch, With
Medicine Ball on chest, With
medicine ball in outstretched arms, Medicine
ball crunch reach
Performing the exercise too quickly. Slowly curl your body
up, focusing and contracting your abdominal muscles, and slowly
lower your body.
Pulling on the neck. Keep the back of the neck long, chin
tucked, and keep the elbows pressed back.
Holding your breath. Breathe naturally! Some people prefer
to exhale when lifting the torso and inhale when lowering the
Using momentum to assist the crunch. Avoid jerking your head
and elbows forward while lifting.
Overflexing. Lift 30-40 degrees to the point where your abdominal
muscles become tight, and hold for a brief second.
Forgetting to engage the transversus abdominis muscles before
lifting the torso.
You always want to initiate a crunch with an abdominal