How to perform a reverse crunch correctly?
The reverse crunch is a variation of the abdominal crunch exercise.
It’s an intermediate-level workout that targets the entire rectus abdominis muscles, i.e. the six-pack muscles, and also works a lot of other muscles in your lower body, including the hip flexors.
A reverse crunch is an effective bodyweight exercise that can be easily added to any core or abdominal workout or used as a sequence for a total body workout.
How to do a reverse crunch? Correct form and technique
Follow the following steps to perform the exercise in the correct form:
- Lay straight on a mat, with your face up and arms at your sides. You can put your arms either close to your body, or extend them for balance.
- Bend your legs at your knee, and tighten your abs to raise your legs. Lift your legs till your knees are over your hips, and your lower legs are fully parallel to the ground.
- Make sure to engage your abdominal muscles, and keep a neutral spine with a natural curve in your lumbar region (lower back).
- Contract your abs as you curl your knees and hips towards your chest, with your knees at the same angle throughout the upward movement.
- Your shoulders and neck should remain relaxed, and your head should be straight.
- Hold the top position for a few seconds, and?slowly lower your legs to return to the initial position.
- Try at least ten to 15 reps for three sets.
Important tips to make this exercise easier
Here are some tips to make the exercise easier:
- If you don’t have enough abs strength to curl up without using momentum, go for a shorter range of motion.
- When at the top position, rotate only as far as you can with full control. If you are a beginner, take just a tiny motion, and don’t bring your tailbone fully off the floor.
- To build strength, you can also use toe taps when doing a reverse crunch. From the initial position, lower a leg with your toe pointed till it taps the floor.
- Take that leg back to its starting position, and repeat the same move with your other leg.
- Make sure to keep your hips, tailbone and lower back on the floor throughout the exercise.
Mistakes to avoid
Avoid these common mistakes to get the most out of the reverse crunch while avoiding pain and any possible injury.
Curling up your body too far
When rolling up your body in the upward phase, only your hips and tailbone should be lifted off the mat. You have to stop the rolling movement when you start to lose balance and when you can’t support your back.
Moving too fast
Another very common mistake people make when doing this exercise is using momentum and performing the moves very fast.
Though it’s quite tempting to do this exercise fast and use momentum to roll up your body, remember that this is an abs exercise, and you need to engage your abs. So, to use your abs and avoid momentum, do each move slowly and with full control.
Benefits of doing reverse crunch
If you find the neck position uncomfortable in a basic crunch or sit-up exercise, a reverse crunch might be the best option for you.
This exercise targets the major abdominal muscles along with your obliques and is also useful for building chiselled stomach muscles and strong abs.
Strengthened abdominal muscles are very important for enhancing your overall sports performance and also for promoting good posture.
A strong core not only prepares you for other exercises and athletic performances but will also assist you in carrying out everyday chores at home easily.
So it’s important to include a reverse crunch and a variety of other abs exercises in your workout regimen so that your abdominal and core muscles are challenged in every possible way.
If you have any neck or back conditions, consult your doctor before attempting a reverse crunch to determine whether this exercise is safe for you.
Do not perform this exercise if you’ve recently had surgery, or if you are pregnant. During this exercise, you can expect to feel a burning sensation in your abs, but not any severe pain. If you feel any sharp pain in your back, neck or stomach, stop the exercise immediately, and come to a comfortable position.
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