This abs exercise has been done thousands of times. A common misconception is that it helps to get rid of excess fat around the waist. That’s not true, because the crunch doesn’t burn fat; rather, it is a strength and endurance exercise for the external obliques, psoas, and iliacus. In the tucked up position, the lower back muscles are strengthened, and the glutes, quadriceps, adductors, and hamstrings help stabilize the lower half of the body. The crunch does not require any special equipment, so you can do this exercise virtually anywhere – ideal for home workouts or on the go.

How to do the crunch

Lie on your back with knees and hips flexed and feet flat on the floor. Cross the arms over the chest and place the hands on the opposite shoulder, or place the hands behind the head for a slightly heavier option. Squeeze the abs to lift the head, shoulders, and shoulder blades off the floor. Slowly return to the floor.

Do it well
Keep the spine in a neutral position, with a slight curve in the lower back. Do not round or flatten the back.

Do not pull the head up behind the neck with your hands. If you have lower back pain, you should seek advice before starting the exercise.

Variations of the crunch

Use a spotter to hold your feet or hook them under a solid, immovable object such as a sofa or closet, if the abs are not strong enough to do this exercise unassisted. Tighten your abs and don’t pull yourself up with your feet or legs, as this will make the exercise less effective.

Cross the arms back over the head or hold a weight overhead to work the abs harder. The stabilizing muscles in the legs also have to work harder to keep the feet on the floor. Make sure you always use the correct technique.

Active muscles

  1. Rectus abdominis
  2. Obliquus internus abdominis (onder obliquus externen abdominis)
  3. Obliquus externus abdominis
actieve spieren van de crunch