How To Do a Perfect Abdominal Crunch

How to do the perfect abdominal crunch
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You may not know this, but many people do not use good form when doing an ab crunch. Not only can this cause back problems, it will also make your ab workout less effective. Learn to do it right!



Time Required:

3 to 5 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Lie down on the floor on your back and bend your knees, placing your hands behind your head or across your chest.
  2. Pull your belly button towards your spine, and flatten your lower back against the floor.
  1. Slowly contract your abdominals, bringing your shoulder blades about one or two inches off the floor.
  2. Exhale as you come up and keep your neck straight, chin up.
  3. Hold at the top of the movement for a few seconds, breathing continuously.
  4. Slowly lower back down, but don't relax all the way.
  5. Repeat for 15 to 20 repetitions with perfect form for each rep.
  6. To add variation, bring your knees in at the same time you lift your upper body off the floor (full body crunch)
  7. To make it more difficult, balance on an exercise ball.


  1. To keep your neck in proper alignment, place your fist under your chin to keep your head from moving.
  2. Keep your back flat against the floor throughout the entire movement.
  3. If your back arches, prop your feet on a step or platform to make it easier.

What You Need:

  • A carpeted floor or mat.
  • Abdominals
  • Exercise Ball (Optional)

Alternatives to Crunches

While crunches are fine, there are plenty of other ways to work the abs without doing a single crunch.

  In fact, crunches aren't even the most effective ab exercise.  And, some of the best exercises for your core are done using your entire body, not just your abs.

Great Ab Exercises

So, if you're over crunches, what are some new, different exercises you can do for a more functional core workout?  I've got a list of my favorites:

More Standing Core Exercises

What About Flat Abs?

What if you want flatter abs or a six-pack?  Is that something crunches can do for you?

Unfortunately, no.  Spot reduction just doesn't work - It isn't possible to do an exercise for a specific body part in the hopes of burning fat from that one area.  When you exercise, your body draws energy from the entire body, not just the part you're working.

So, what can you do?  You can learn more about belly fat and the kind of exercise you need to do to reduce overall body fat. We don't have control where we lose the fat -  It's kind of like you exercise and cross your fingers that the fat comes off your abs.

I know.  Not fair.

More About Flat Abs

Here's where a little education comes in to teach you more about your abs and what's going on with all the fat we tend to store there.

The truth is, it's very hard to get rid of belly fat, but it's still very important to work your core.  A strong back and strong abs are the foundation of all your daily movement, so no matter how they look, they need to be strong.

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