The crunch is one of the most common abdominal exercises. It primarily works the rectus abdominis.


Start lying face up on the floor with your knees bent. The movement begins by curling your shoulders towards your pelvis. Your hands can be behind or beside your neck or crossed over the chest.

Do not push against your head or neck with your hands. This can cause injury. Your head can rest against your hands though.


Crunch exercises may be performed on exercise balls. Weights may be used, typically held under the chin, to increase resistance. Increasing the distance will also increase the load on the abdominals due to leverage.

The curl-up, as taught by spine biomechanics professor Dr. Stuart McGill. Stuart McGill considers the curl-up to be a safer alternative to the crunch, which differs from the sit-up. Dr. Stuart McGill has done extensive research on the effects of crunch exercises on the back, which can be especially harmful for those rehabilitating their backs from an injury.

If anybody is looking to develop the muscles that create a "six pack" this is one of the best known ways.

Differences between a crunch and a sit-up

Unlike the sit-up, when performing a crunch the lower back should not leave the floor. This is said to eliminate any involvement by the hip flexors, and make the crunch an effective isolation exercise for the abdominals. The difficulty of the crunch can be increased by lying on a declined bench and/or holding a weight on the chest or behind the head.


With material from Wikipedia, released under Creative Commons License
Pole Acrobatics Info is sponsor of: Pole Expo Logo POLE EXPO 2013 Pole For A Purpose Logo POLE FOR A PURPOSE 2013