Cross-body crunch

Fitness dumbbells

This version of the crunch is a little more challenging, as the movement is greater and a squat is added. The exercise primarily targets the inner and outer obliques and requires more of the supporting, stabilizing muscles. The cross-body crunch can be used in preparation for the bicycle crunch, because the movement is the same, but requires less of the leg muscles and stabilizing muscles in the back. This versatile exercise can be practiced virtually anywhere, as no equipment is required.

How

Lie on your back with knees and hips flexed, feet flat on the floor and hands loosely behind the head. Squeeze the abs to lift the head, shoulders, and shoulder blades while twisting to the left. Simultaneously lift the left leg so that the right elbow and left knee touch above the chest. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm and leg.

Do it well
You should feel the “squeeze” as you tighten the abdominal muscles. Do not pull yourself up with your arms or legs.

Warning
Do not pull the head up from the back of the neck. Make a controlled movement to make the exercise as safe and effective as possible.

Variations

Light
If you don’t have the strength or stamina to do the standard exercise in one smooth motion, drop the leg movement and focus on lifting and rotating the upper half of the body. This variation requires less of the abs, but more of the supporting, stabilizing muscles.

Heavy
Do the exercise on an incline bench, with the head lower than the feet. This position increases the resistance due to the extra pull of gravity. To increase the resistance even further, you can hold a weight behind the head.

Active muscles

  1. Rectus abdominis
  2. Obliquus internus abdominis (onder obliquus externen abdominis)
  3. Obliquus externus abdominis