Primary Muscle Group: Abdominals
Secondary Muscle Group: Hip Flexors
Equipment Needed: None
The Benefits of Reverse Crunch
The Reverse Crunch is a perfect exercise if you are wanting to develop your lower abdominal muscles. This Ab exercise puts your abs under tension for a long period of time, maximising the benefits to your six pack, if done correctly. Reverse Crunches will develop the lower section of your six back because it really isolates your lower abs which is usually the hardest part for people to develop.
Many people will also use this exercise because it helps strengthen the stability of your core, spine, lower back and hips which makes it great if you are looking to improve your posture.
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The Risks of doing Reverse Crunch
If you have any sort of back or neck pain then you should avoid this exercise at all costs because it applied pressure to the back and neck region during the contraction which will be extremely uncomfortable and could lead to making the injury even worse.
How To Do Reverse Crunch
1. Lay on your back on a mat with your arms at your sides. They can be closer to your body or extended comfortably to use for balance.
2. Bend your legs at the knee and brace your abs to slowly raise your legs so the knees are directly over your hips and your lower legs are parallel to the floor (bent 90 degrees). This is the starting position.
3. Tighten the abdominal muscles and hold a neutral spine position with a slight natural curve in the lower back region yet with the back firmly against the floor.
4. Exhale as you contract the abs to curl your hips and knees toward your chest, with only your hips coming off the mat as you curl. Your knees should remain at the same angle throughout this upward phase. Your head should be kept straight and the neck and shoulders should remain relaxed and on the mat. Hold when you cannot curl without your back coming off the mat.
5. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position with your hips back on the mat and your knees over your hips, still bent 90 degrees.
For Perfect Technique
1. Avoid using momentum to help you through each rep. slow the movement down and focus on the mind and muscle connection.
2. On the downward return, be sure that you don't roll too far and the knees end up in front of the hips. If you are going slowly you should be able to stop, but if you lack the strength to go slow you might find yourself letting your body drop instead. This is a sign that you need more ab strengthening before being able to do the reverse crunch with good form.
Once you have mastered the Reverse Crunch exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Cable Side Bends
1. Firstly, set up the cable handle on a low setting and select a weight that you feel comfortable with and that is going to give you a challenging set.
2. Grab the cable handle so that your palms are facing inwards & stand with your back straight.
3. Keep your feet firmly on the floor with a shoulder width stance. Keeping your back straight and your eyes facing forwards, bend down to the right as far as you can, then back up again.
4. Without pausing at the top, bend down to the left.
5. Finally, extend your legs back down towards the floor to the starting position.
How To Do Leg Raises
1. Lie on your back with your legs straight and keep them together.
2. Keeping your legs straight, lift them all the way up in the air so that they are pointing towards the ceiling and your glutes raise slightly off the floor.
3. Slowly lower your legs back down until they're just above the floor and hold that position for a second.
4. Raise your legs back up.
The reverse Crunch targets your lower abdominal muscles and is great when combined with other exercises that target your upper ab muscles. Make sure that you combine this exercise with others that focus on your upper abdominal region.