What Is A Reverse Crunch?
If you want to build six-pack abs, reverse crunch is the perfect exercise for you. It hits the particular muscles (called rectus abdominis) that make up our abs. Unlike other abs-building exercises, it is doable by beginners and professionals alike.
In the beginning, this exercise will be a little challenging. But as you get comfortable with it, you can increase the number of sets and reps in your workout.
In this article, we are going to cover everything about reverse crunch exercise. From a basic guide on how to do this exercise, variations such as dumbbell reverse crunch, precautions, and a lot more. After reading it, you will be ready to add reverse leg crunch to your daily workout at home.
Benefits of Reverse Crunches
Just like a traditional crunch, reverse crunch also comes with many benefits. In fact, one can say that it is more beneficial than a traditional crunch since it puts less pressure on your spine. Here is a list of the major benefits of reverse leg crunch:
- Strengthens your ab muscles: As we touched upon earlier, reverse crunch engages and strengthens your muscles called the rectus abdominis. The key responsibility of the rectus abdominis is to flex your spine and trunk.
- Reduces the pressure off your neck: The most common exercises that you do in the gym such as traditional crunches and sit-ups put pressure on your neck. But in the lying reverse crunch, instead of pulling your neck forward with your hands, you keep your head on the ground.
- Gives rest to your back: Not just the neck, reverse ab crunch is also less stressful for your back. As compared to traditional crunches, this exercise flexes your spine lesser. So, if you want to give a little rest to your back, you can try reverse crunch exercise in place of crutches.
- Strengthens other core muscles: Other than rectus abdominis, reverse crunch workout also engages your transverse abdominis, external obliques, and a number of other core muscles.
How To Do Reverse Crunches
Also known as lying reverse crunch, the reverse crunch is quite easy to do. Here is your step-by-step guide on how to perfectly do reverse ab crunch:
- Lie down on a mat with your arms on your side.
- Raise your legs and bend your knees making an angle of 90° with your thighs.
- Exhale and contract your abs while bringing your knees closer to your chest.
- Raise your hips, hold this position for a second and then slowly get back to the position where you started.
If you are bored of doing only the traditional reverse crunch exercise, why not try variations such as cable reverse crunch, leg exercises, and reverse crunch on bench. Here is how you can do these exercises:
- Cable Reverse Crunch (Also Called Weighted Reverse Crunch)
This exercise is great for activating your abs and oblique muscles. You are going to need a bench and a cable pulley machine to perform this exercise. Here is how to do weighted reverse crunch:
- Take an ankle strap and link it to a cable pulley machine.
- Lie down on the bench, attach the cable to your ankles, raise your legs up and make a 90-degree angle between your things and ankles by bending the knees.
- Keep the hands behind your head, try to pull your knees towards your abdominal muscles and you will feel a little tension in your abs.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and then get back to the 90-degree angle position.
Safety Tip: As a beginner, do not attack heavyweight to the pulley while doing cable reverse crunch.
- Seated Reverse Crunch
If you want to work on your shoulders along with abs, there is no exercise better than seated reverse crunch. Seated reverse crunch strengthens your abdominal muscles like the dumbbell reverse crunch, at the same time, it also improves your body flexibility.
- Sit on the mat with arms straight and palms touching the ground.
- Bend one knee while raising the other straight leg off the ground.
- Rock back onto the shoulders while engaging your abs and completely bending the knees. Press your hands into the ground and raise your legs over the head.
- Now, rock forward and get into the position with one knee bend and the other straight leg.
- Engage your abs, lift your hips off the ground using your hands, and return to the position where you started.
Safety Tip: As a beginner, do not do more than 5 reps in a row.
Precautions To Take
Here is a list of precautions that you need to keep in mind while performing reverse crunches:
- It is true that the reverse crunch workout is relatively easier to do than most abs workouts. Still, you should not perform this exercise at a fast pace. If you are a total beginner, start the exercise slowly and increase the reps as your body gets comfortable.
- When you tuck forward, the lower back and the hips should come off the ground. At the same time, the mid-back should be in touch with the ground.
- If you have had any neck or back injury in the past, it is better to avoid reverse crunch on bench. Or you should first talk to a physical therapist or a doctor to ensure that the exercise is not going to cause any side effects.
- It is okay to feel a little stress in the abdominal muscles while doing reverse crunches exercise. However, if you feel any sharp pain in the neck, back, or stomach, it is better to end the exercise and take a rest.
- Pregnant women should completely avoid this exercise as it puts a lot of pressure on the abdominal muscles.
Ask any professional gym trainer and they will tell you that it is a simple yet effective exercise to work on your core muscles. Although it is easier than other exercises, it gives you similar results. So, why not reap the benefits of this core strengthening exercise? Take out your yoga mat and get ready to engage your abs muscles.
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