The Right Way to Crunch, Get Your Six Pack

I often hurt myself when I see a gym partner doing abdominal crunches, also called «Crunch», and I say that I hurt myself because just looking at it hurts my neck and lower back, so I would like to review this Such a beneficial movement if we want to have a good middle zone and strong abs. So we will see below what would be its correct execution.

First of all and to begin with, we will say that this is a «shrinking» exercise, not a «bending» exercise, by which I mean that it does not require a long journey, in this exercise it is not necessary.Another issue is that although this exercise is for the entire rectus abdominis, it affects more specifically the upper part of the abdomen, so it is a good complement if we accompany it with exercises such as the lying leg lift or the hanging knee lift, which They are exercises that more specifically affect the lower abdomen. With both, we will work the entire rectus abdominis, addressing it both from the top and from the bottom. 


Lying on a flat bench or on the floor, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, with a distance between them similar to the width of your shoulders.

The hands behind the head holding it lightly with the fingers, although I prefer to put my hands on the chest, to prevent pushing the head forward.

In that position, before starting do a test. Try to contract your abdominal muscles without lifting your head, you will see that even if you don’t want to, your head rises as if it were a lever EUREKA, THAT’S THE MOVEMENT!

That is the shrinking movement, that is, with the strength of your abs try to raise the torso, concentrating on the abs, NOT PUSHING YOUR HEAD FORWARD WITH YOUR HANDS ON THE NAPE.

It is important in this exercise not to detach the lower part of the back from the bench or the floor, nor to raise the back too much, it is about shrinking ourselves.

At the beginning of the exercise, take in air and expel it by contracting the abdominals, at that point, tighten the abdomen for two or three seconds and return to the starting position.

It is enough to do between 15 and 30 repetitions per series, but they are not as effective as you think.

And lastly, doing sit-ups DOES NOT burn belly fat. What we get with them is to have them stronger, if what we want is that in addition to strengthening them we will have to follow an appropriate diet and lower body fat with cardiovascular exercises, which we will execute after our weight training session, to make it much more effective.


Diego Gallardo

Personal Trainer & Advanced Specialist Nutrition IFBB

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