Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Abs Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Ab Crunch Overview

The abdominal crunch, or ab crunch, is a flexion based abdominal exercise. It is a very common movement that even the newest of beginner lifters have probably tried before.

Most ab workouts include the ab crunch as it is thought to be one of the best core building exercises. However, instead of performing marathon sets of ab crunches, it is best to pair it with other ab movements such as the plank and hanging leg raise to get a complete ab workout.

The ab crunch replaced the sit up as the corner stone ab exercise. This is because people believed the sit up involved too much flexion which lends itself to lower back pain. Thus, it was replaced by the ab crunch, which accomplished the same movement pattern without overextending the spine.

Some may still experience low back pain performing the ab crunch. If this is the case, it is best to stick with ab exercises that focus more on stability and less on flexion such as the plank.

Ab Crunch Instructions

  1. Lay supine in a relaxed position with your knees up and hands across your chest.
  2. Exhale and squeeze your abs as you curl your upper body off the floor.
  3. Once your abs are fully contracted and your upper back is off the floor, slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
  4. Complete for the assigned number of repetitions.

Ab Crunch Tips

  1. Exhale hard like you’re blowing out candles on a cake and hold the contraction for a second in order to improve mind muscle connection.
  2. If your lower back bothers you during this exercise, choose more anti extension and anti rotation based movements.
  3. Avoid putting the hands behind the head as this can lead to excess strain upon the neck.
1 Comment
Posted on: Sun, 11/24/2019 - 20:35

Good stuff here; I’ve been wanting to increase abs focus and this looks like a good template. A few comments/questions:
• The pic at the top of the page seems to show what might be called a flutter movement, but the link to the video is to something that I would have to call an alternate lying leg raise. No “flutter” there!
• No reference material provided for three of the day 2 exercises: Reverse, Oblique & Decline crunches.
• Video for Decline Bench Leg Raise looks like an Incline position. (Decline bench press, for example would have the head in the down position . . . Jus’ sayin’)
• Video for Ab Crunch shows hands behind head, but voiceover and printed instructions warn against this position and says to place arms across chest!!!