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Exercise 101: Crunches

Name of Exercise —Crunch
Type of Exercise —Multi-joint
Muscles used —Abdominal muscles

Starting Position:

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Upward Movement:

Downward Movement:

Trainer Tip:

As a beginner, it is important to perform a posterior pelvic tilt prior to performing the crunch. To do this, press your lower back into the floor while curling your pelvis slightly upward. This will help you engage the right muscles.

Stop when you feel tired. Build your resistance slowly.

Modifications:

There are a few modifications that can make the exercise more challenging:

Warnings:

Avoid pulling up or jerking on your head with your hands. This could cause injury to the neck. Keep your hands light on your head and concentrate on using your abdominal muscles to do the crunch. Make sure to maintain correct technique even as you fatigue.

RESOURCES:

National Association for Health and Fitness
http://www.physicalfitness.org

President's Council on Fitness, Sport & Nutrition
http://www.fitness.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
http://www.csep.ca

Health Canada Physical Activity
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Bent-knee sit-up/crunches. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness_programs_exercise_library_details.aspx?exerciseid=52. Accessed August 8, 2016.

When pigs crunch: A commonsense approach to abdominal training. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: http://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/1884/when-pigs-crunch-a-commonsense-approach-to. Accessed August 8, 2016.

Last reviewed August 2016 by Michael Woods, MD  Last Updated: 8/8/2016