Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Abdominals
Secondary Muscle(s) None
Equipment Bodyweight
Emphasis Isolation
Type Pull

Crunches Instructions

  • Lie back on the floor with your legs extended
  • Arms are passively at your sides. 
  • Take a breath out then "curl" your abdominals up.
    • Imagine curling the bottom of your sternum towards your hips.
    • Your abs should feel as if they are being sucked inward.
  • Arms can elevate as if your hands are holding a small plate or dumbbell.
    • At the top, your upper back is off the floor
  • Uncurl from the top back to the starting position slowly. 
  • Breathe out at the top and as you descend, again, feel your abs being sucked inward. 


  • Keep your legs passive throughout the movement. Using your lower half with activate your hip flexors which will negate your abdominal musculature. 
  • At first, your legs will want to elevate or "spray" out. Through practice and greater core stability, you will be able to execute the crunch without much hip flexor involvement. 
  • You are "curling" your body using your abdominals to complete the exercise.
Previous article Chin-up