How to Do the Reverse Crunch for Strong, Well-Developed Abs

Some other people utterly shy clear of direct ab workouts, both out of boredom or as a result of they consider the large compound workouts like squats and overhead presses paintings their abs sufficient. However a variety of different lifters make ab coaching a concern, be it to enhance efficiency or their body. In the case of a handsome set … Learn extra
The publish How one can Do the Opposite Crunch for Robust, Neatly-Evolved Abs gave the impression first on Breaking Muscle.

Some other people utterly shy clear of direct ab workouts, both out of boredom or as a result of they consider the large compound workouts like squats and overhead presses paintings their abs sufficient. However a variety of different lifters make ab training a concern, be it to enhance efficiency or their body.

In the case of a handsome set of abs, decrease ab building is particularly coveted. Workouts that contain leg motion, reminiscent of more than a few leg lifts or the straightforward opposite crunch, are often used to focus on this house. Is it a sound technique? Possibly, as you’ll quickly be told.

shirtless muscular person looking out window
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After all, the opposite crunch is an easy and efficient workout to construct and give a boost to your abs, enhance backbone stabilization, and grow to be a healthier, extra muscular human being. For lots of, it’s the primary “leg elevating” workout realized, so it’s time you know the way to do it correctly and reap its advantages.

How one can Do the Opposite Crunch

Although it’s a beginner-friendly workout, it’s a must to make sure that right kind shape if you wish to have maximal potency whilst fending off ache. The opposite crunch is relatively extra complicated than a standard crunch as it comes to leg motion, torso flexion, in addition to spinal regulate. Right here’s methods to do it proper.

Step 1 — Lie Down in Place

person on floor performing ab crunch
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No use for apparatus — except for for a gymnasium mat if you wish to have some convenience. Merely lie down at the flooring. Stay your higher physique utterly flat, squeeze your glutes, and tilt your pelvis backwards to push your decrease again into the bottom. This may save you your decrease again from arching at any level all the way through the elevate.

Position your hands at the flooring by way of your facet, hands down, and use them for steadiness. Bend your legs and set your ft flat at the floor.

Shape tip: When you have hassle holding your decrease again flat, elevate your shoulder blades relatively off the bottom. This may allow you to create extra stress for your abs and supply extra regulate over your backbone and hips. Having an arched again reduces your skill to contract your abs.

Step 2 — Convey Your Knees Towards Your Head

person on floor performing reverse crunch exercise
Credit score: Philip Date / Shutterstock

Take a breath into your stomach and brace your abs. Tuck your legs in opposition to your face till your hips and decrease again elevate from the bottom. As your legs transfer, take care of a more or less 90-degree perspective at your knees.

No different motion will have to happen for your physique: stay your legs on the similar perspective, brace up to you’ll, and pressure your palms into the bottom to stabilize your self. Pass sluggish in order that you don’t possibility dropping posture. Within the best place, your hips will have to be off the bottom for max ab recruitment.

Shape tip: If you wish to make the workout tougher, straighten your legs as you start the motion or after you’ve reached the highest place. This creates an extended lever arm and will increase the problem for your core muscle mass.

Step 3 — Decrease Your Legs With Keep an eye on

person in gym doing crunch on floor
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Decrease your legs slowly till your ft contact the bottom and also you’ve returned to the beginning place. Shifting at a slightly slower velocity is helping you’re feeling your abs running and gets rid of momentum.

To stay stress for your core, don’t permit your decrease again to arch as you deliver your legs down. Stay your pelvis tilted backwards and your decrease again driven into the bottom right through all of the repetition.

Shape tip: In case your again starts to arch as your legs transfer, bend your legs extra. Shortening the variety of movement too can assist. Till you’ve gotten sufficient total-core regulate, most effective decrease your legs till you’re feeling your again beginning to arch, after which opposite the motion.

Opposite Crunch Errors to Steer clear of

Ab workouts that incorporate leg motion are susceptible to dangerous shape as a result of many of us lose center of attention. Although the opposite crunch is almost certainly the most straightforward leg raise-type of workout, errors are nonetheless common.

Arching Your Decrease Again

This can be a common mistake with rookies, as a result of many new lifters lack spinal regulate and core power. Arching your decrease again will lower ab involvement and shift extra of the workload in opposition to the hip flexors.

person on floor doing leg raise exercise
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Is it a foul factor? Neatly, if you wish to have better-looking abs, it gained’t be as environment friendly. Extra importantly, it will motive pressure at the decrease again area. If you wish to keep away from ache and possible accidents, goal to attenuate decrease again arching and hip flexor involvement. (1)

Steer clear of it: Be sure your core is all the time braced and beneath stress. While you’re no longer flexing your trunk, ensure your decrease again is firmly in touch with the bottom. Do the workout slowly and with regulate. Somewhat raise your shoulder blades from the ground to additional interact your core, if wanted. 

The use of Momentum

It may be tempting to permit momentum to take over as it makes the workout more straightforward, however it is going to very much diminish muscle activation. When you get started swinging your legs round, you’ll finally end up the use of most commonly your hip flexors in lieu of your abs, and also you possibility arching your decrease again all the way through the eccentric (descent).

person on floor doing leg raise exercise
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When you’re aiming for muscle expansion, that is inefficient as it is going to additionally cut back time beneath stress and also you’ll have to accomplish many extra repetitions, and spend extra time and general effort, simply to have the similar stimulus as a strict motion. (2) It will additionally put extra pressure for your hip joints and decrease again, perhaps leading to ache or accidents.

Steer clear of it: There’s a sure execution velocity at which your physique will lose muscle stress and optimum bracing. You will have to by no means succeed in that velocity however, sadly, you most effective comprehend it when you succeed in it. When you’re no longer positive, merely use a sluggish pace — two to a few seconds at the concentric (lifting) and two to a few seconds for the eccentric (reducing).

Advantages of the Opposite Crunch

The most straightforward workouts are ceaselessly the best, and the opposite crunch isn’t any exception. Learn the way this elevate can enhance your health and supply advantages that different ab workouts lack.

Stomach Muscle Enlargement

They are saying that “abs are made within the kitchen,” however they’re in truth made within the gymnasium. A balanced nutrition and a healthy body fat will most effective divulge them, however if you wish to show an excellent set of abs, it’s a must to educate them like another muscle.

A correctly performed opposite crunch will be offering important time beneath stress and supply a special stimulus than what your abs are used to when you’ve most effective been doing same old crunches or sit-ups. Incorporating the motion for selection may also assist construct extra muscle. (3)

Core Energy

This workout will enhance ab power and spice up your core and bracing skills. The opposite crunch teaches you methods to switch power out of your your core to different limbs (your legs, in particular). You additionally learn to brace correctly for max potency and power.

person on floor doing medicine ball ab exercise
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The overall theory is very similar to squatting, the place your core is helping you switch the power out of your legs thru your core and into the barbell. The opposite crunch allow you to recover at compound workouts which require core balance, making you a more potent and extra whole lifter.

Spinal Keep an eye on

The onerous a part of the workout is in truth to exert right kind ab stress whilst bracing sufficient to forestall your decrease again from arching. Keeping up this sturdy place will train you methods to stabilize your backbone and successfully brace your core. Progressed spinal balance and regulate can cut back your possibility of decrease again ache and accidents, and enhance your total-body power. (4)(5)

Muscle tissues Labored by way of the Opposite Crunch

The opposite crunch is a trunk flexion workout, which means that that it is going to basically goal the rectus abdominis, however many of the core will in truth give a contribution. Ab workouts which incorporate leg motion are mentioned to emphasise lower-ab building. Let’s see if that’s true and what muscle mass it trains.

Rectus Abdominis

That is the well-known “six pack.” It’s essentially the most visual ab muscle and is going from the pelvis to the sternum. The primary serve as of the rectus abdominis is to flex the trunk by way of bringing the ribs and the pelvis nearer in combination.

muscular person doing reverse crunch
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Now, right here’s the tough phase: It’s ceaselessly claimed that you’ll “goal” the higher or decrease sections of the muscle. Most often, ab workouts which deliver the ribs nearer to the pelvis are thought to be “higher ab workouts.” Actions which deliver the pelvis nearer to the ribs, just like the opposite crunch, are regarded as “decrease ab workouts.”

On the other hand, the rectus abdominis continues to be one unmarried muscle (with more than one tendons working throughout it) so it’s all the time absolutely gotten smaller. Is it actually imaginable to emphasise the decrease cut loose the higher? Let’s have a look at the analysis.

One learn about didn’t discover a important distinction between workouts in the case of higher or decrease ab recruitment. (6) However the workouts had been carried out with the lifters’ palms beneath their decrease again, which would possibly have brought about much less decrease abs involvement by way of expanding the again arch.

Relatively, some research have discovered a distinction in activation. (7) If the hips are flexed in opposition to the ribs whilst the higher physique stays desk bound, the decrease abs had been proven to do extra paintings.

So it sort of feels that recruiting the decrease abs is extremely associated with workout variety. You can’t “isolate” the higher or the decrease abs — the rectus abdominis will all the time paintings as a complete — however some actions can pressure both segment relatively extra. Correctly carried out workouts that contract the abdominals by way of rotating your pelvis nearer for your (desk bound) ribcage might emphasize the decrease abs greater than the higher. (8)


The interior and exterior obliques are the “facet abs” going out of your hip bones up in opposition to your ribs. They’re considerably recruited when twisting from the waist or bending sideways.

The obliques also are relatively interested by flexing the trunk, they usually paintings closely to forestall the physique from bending or twisting. They’re recruited, specifically within the best portion of the opposite crunch, to stabilize your decrease physique because it raises relatively into the air.

Hip Flexors

The hip flexors are a chain of muscle mass answerable for bringing the leg up in opposition to the physique. Those slightly small however robust muscle mass are concerned within the opposite crunch on account of the leg motion. They’re specifically activated as your legs are diminished to the bottom and raised from it.

When you fail to boost your pelvis in opposition to your torso within the best a part of every repetition, the hip flexors (and no longer the abdominals) would be the number one muscle mass labored all the way through the opposite crunch.

Who Must Do the Opposite Crunch

Ab workouts can also be helpful to nearly any individual, so that you will have to most likely come with some direct ab workouts for your coaching. Right here’s when the opposite crunch, in particular, is maximum advisable.

Folks Who Wish to Glance Just right

If you wish to recreation a cultured body, then you wish to have to do a little direct ab paintings. One psychology learn about even printed that well-developed abdominals are essentially the most fascinating physique phase for males, and within the best 3 for ladies. (9)

If you wish to have your higher physique to be satisfying to the attention, then together with opposite crunches as a part of your coaching will pass a ways, particularly when paired with a particular fats loss nutrition and an general well-muscled body.

Energy Athletes

Many power lifts reminiscent of squats, deadlifts, or presses require a robust core to beef up shifting the heaviest weights imaginable. The opposite crunch can assist by way of growing the muscle mass answerable for expanding intra-abdominal drive, making improvements to spinal regulate and balance, and lengthening bracing skills. A more potent core is proven to help in making you more potent as a complete. (10)

Sports activities Athletes

In the similar model, core power will allow you to broaden extra velocity and tool when you’re a basic sports activities athlete. (11) We hardly ever call to mind it, however working, leaping, and throwing all require core power and total-body coordination. Additionally, the opposite crunch strengthens the hip flexors, which is able to are closely interested by working, leaping, and agility.

Folks with Again Problems

When you’ve skilled again ache, or wish to save you it, strengthening your abs is simply as vital as strengthening your decrease again. The physique wishes steadiness as a way to carry out optimally. Sadly, fashionable lifestyles ceaselessly results in muscular imbalances, deficient posture, and a loss of basic bodily situation. The opposite crunch allow you to struggle those possible decrease again problems by way of making improvements to core power. (12)

How one can Program the Opposite Crunch

As a fundamental bodyweight exercise, the opposite crunch is relatively easy to program. You’ll be able to additionally upload some resistance to spice issues up slightly. Undertake those repetition schemes if you wish to have maximal get advantages, as a substitute of doing numerous low-effort reps.

Unweighted, Reasonable to Top Reps

This can be a not unusual vary for ab workouts. 3 to 4 units of 10 to twenty repetitions with 30 to 60 seconds of leisure will do the trick, supplied you employ highest shape. If you’ll bang out an ultra-high selection of reps, it’s a hallmark that you just’re the use of incorrect shape otherwise you’re a beast that should upload some resistance.

Weighted, Reasonable Reps

You’ll be able to both protected a small weight plate for your ankles and shins or hang a dumbbell or medication ball between your ft. A load that’s tough for 3 to 4 units of six to twelve repetitions will supply an greater problem to construct power or stimulate new expansion. It’s crucial to stay your shape the similar or it is going to defeat the aim of the workout.

Opposite Crunch Diversifications

In all probability you’ve had sufficient of mendacity at the floor or you wish to have to stimulate your abs and hip flexors in a brand new model. Listed below are some kickass permutations that may percentage the similar advantages because the opposite crunch and concentrate on your decrease abs.

Putting Leg Lift

Grasp from a pull-up bar, putting knee increase station, or Roman chair. To actually recruit your abs and no longer center of attention for your hip flexors, make sure you curl your pelvis up towards your chest on the best of the motion.

This is a good motion as a result of it might simply be scaled down, by way of bending the legs, or scaled up by way of aiming to the touch your ft to the bar over your head. Additionally, the putting model may also “decompress” your backbone, offering at ease reduction after an intense pulling exercise or leg day.


This can be a slightly complex body weight workout, however when you’ve mastered the opposite crunch, this is a development as a substitute of including resistance. The v-up is without doubt one of the maximum robust actions to enhance core bracing as it calls for a excessive degree of belly stress mixed with leg and arm motion.

The workout will train you to switch power successfully between your limbs, in addition to supply a major exercise for the abs, hip flexors, or even the serratus — a key muscle for shoulder balance and function.

Mendacity Leg Lift

That is the opposite crunch’s almost-identical dual brother. It sounds as if an identical, however delicate variations be offering distinctive advantages. The mendacity leg increase most effective comes to leg motion with out elevating the pelvis or hips, so it is going to center of attention extra on recruiting the hip flexors.

On the other hand, so long as you save you any decrease again arching, your abs gets a major exercise as effectively. The full methodology is easier, making it’s slightly more practical than the opposite crunch.

Opposite Crunch Choices

What if you wish to educate your abs whilst emphasizing the higher phase? Don’t concern, you’re lined with those choices.


The direct reverse of the opposite crunch. The nice ol’ crunch is ceaselessly butchered for the reason that vary of movement is so quick, but if executed appropriately, it may be an incredible ab workout.

As it most effective comes to higher trunk flexion, this workout will torch your higher abs. The elemental crunch is perhaps one of the crucial easy and efficient techniques to coach the abs.

Cable Crunch

This workout is preferred for its simplicity and for the way handy it’s so as to add doubtlessly heavy resistance. The cable crunch is the bread and butter for any lifter who desires to construct an impressive core.

The cable crunch is without doubt one of the easiest techniques to broaden more potent, larger abs thru revolutionary overload. A correctly executed cable crunch will lead to awesome higher abs recruitment with little to no hip flexor involvement.

Take a seat-up

The sit-up is the quintessential ab workout present in {many professional} and athletic bodily health assessments. It’s extremely environment friendly for development, and assessing, whole core power and building.

Like every crunch permutations, you’ll simply upload exterior resistance with a weight plate or weighted vest, however many lifters to find the correctly carried out sit-up to be slightly difficult because of the lengthy vary of movement.


Must I do the opposite crunch initially or on the finish of a exercise?

Each can also be legitimate ways. Coaching abs on the finish of a exercise is the standard strategy to pass, and for nice reason why. By means of completing with ab paintings, your core gained’t be as fatigued all the way through the consultation when you wish to have to be recent for heavier workouts, like squats.

However when you’re somebody that loathes coaching abs, doing them first will make certain that you don’t skip them since you’re “too drained” after an onerous exercise. You almost certainly gained’t be as sturdy all the way through the primary few  periods, however you’ll most likely adapt and get advantages within the long-run.

Will the opposite crunch shred my abs?

Sadly, no. This workout will give a boost to your abs and stimulate muscle expansion, so they are able to glance higher, however you’ve gotten as a way to see them first. The one factor that may divulge your abs is to succeed in a low sufficient physique fats share.

For that, you wish to have to test your power expenditure and be in a caloric deficit lengthy sufficient in order that you soften your stomach and divulge your six-pack. You’ll be able to devour much less energy, and/or burn more calories thru bodily actions or cardio.

Opposite Engineer Your Method to a Nice Set of Abs

Incorporating the opposite crunch for your coaching routine doesn’t simply ship a greater searching six-pack. It’s an lost sight of strategy to construct a more potent and fitter core. It’s time to prevent fending off ab paintings, get at the flooring, and get the ones knees up.


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  2. Burd NA, Andrews RJ, West DW, Little JP, Cochran AJ, Hector AJ, Cashaback JG, Gibala MJ, Potvin JR, Baker SK, Phillips SM. Muscle time beneath stress all the way through resistance workout stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional artificial responses in males. J Physiol. 2012 Jan 15;590(2):351-62. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.221200. Epub 2011 Nov 21. PMID: 22106173; PMCID: PMC3285070.
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The publish How to Do the Reverse Crunch for Strong, Well-Developed Abs gave the impression first on Breaking Muscle.

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