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Reverse Crunches

What Are Reverse Crunches?

How to do Reverse Crunches

Reverse crunches are a core exercise that trains the core through spinal flexion. Aptly named, the reverse crunch follows the same movement pattern as the ab crunch, but in reverse. The pelvis is brought towards the sternum by lifting the knees, rather than the sternum brought towards the pelvis by lifting the upper body.

Reverse crunches work the rectus abdominis and obliques, with the hip flexors also helping to drive the movement. It is less taxing on the upper back and neck than the traditional crunch, making it a more suitable choice for those prone to back or neck pain.

Check out some of our other ab exercises: Ab wheel rollouts, Planks, Sit ups, Russian twistsV sit ups

Most Commonly Asked Questions About Reverse Crunches

What Do Reverse Crunches Work?

The reverse crunch primarily works the rectus abdominis through spinal flexion. The obliques and hip flexors are also worked. This exercise helps to improve core strength and stability and can build ab muscle.

How Many Reverse Crunches Should I Do?

There is no set number of reps to aim for when doing reverse crunches. For hypertrophy, 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps are generally recommended. However, it’s important to only do as many reps as you can with good form.

Are Reverse Crunches Bad For Your Back?

Reverse crunches are not inherently bad for your back, in fact they can be easier on the upper back than traditional crunches. It is important to keep the core engaged to ensure the lower back does not arch when performing reverse crunches, as this can put strain on the lower back. Think about pulling the sternum towards the bellybutton and bracing the core.

Do Reverse Crunches Burn Belly Fat?

Reverse crunches do not burn belly fat, and they are unlikely to burn a significant number of calories. The only way to lose fat is through a calorie deficit, however you cannot choose whether the fat goes from the belly or elsewhere.

Tips for Reverse Crunches

It can be tempting to use momentum to lift the legs, however reverse crunches should be performed with control to ensure the movement comes from the abs. Focus on bracing the core to drive the legs up, and squeeze the abs to slow the descent back to the floor.

How To Do Reverse Crunches

  1. Lie on your back with your arms at your side and place the soles of your feet on the floor, toes pointing out, with knees bent.

  2. Brace your core by pushing the bellybutton to the spine, then curl your glutes and lower back off the floor to bring your knees towards your chest.

  3. Take a short pause before slowly lowering your legs, glutes, and lower back as you return to the starting position.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.