How to Do the Reverse Crunch

How To Do The Reverse Crunch

So, you want to learn more about reverse crunches, huh?

Well, I'm a firm believer that it's never too early or too late to prepare for swimsuit season ... and reverse crunches are a great way to do so.

Not only can they help you get a defined core, but they'll also help with core strength over time. This can be important for other exercises, daily movements, and so much more.

After all, a strong core can improve posture and mobility in your everyday life. That goes far past just having abs on the beach during the warmer months.

So, let's talk about reverse crunches, how to do them, and how to get the abs you're looking for this year.

What is a Reverse Crunch?

A reverse crunch is a popular core exercise that puts an emphasis on the lower half of your rectus abdominis. The rectus abdominis is the muscle that makes up that coveted "six pack." So I'm sure you can imagine, it's a great exercise for building six-pack abs.

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Reverse crunches are a variation of a regular abdominal crunch. Regular crunches actually target the upper half of your rectus abdominis.

However, your rectus abdominis isn't the only muscle involved in these reverse crunches. You'll also use your obliques, hip flexors, and adductors.

Overall, it's a simple and effective addition to your core training. Reverse crunches are also a great movement for beginners!

Bonus: the reverse crunch doesn’t cause as much strain to the neck or spine. Because of this, it’s thought to be less strenuous compared to a traditional crunch or sit up.

Let's get into exactly how to do a reverse crunch. That way, you'll be an expert in no time...

How to do a Reverse Crunch

All you'll really need for this exercise is your bodyweight and a soft, flat surface. Yoga mats also work very well too.

1. Start by lying flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, with your palms on the ground.

2. Engage your abs by bracing your core and pressing your lower back into the ground.

3. Bend your legs and bring your knees up as if you’re sitting on a chair. This will be the starting position. This 90-degree angle is how you will keep your legs for the rest of the exercise.

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4. While keeping your abs tight, raise your hips off the floor in a crunching movement. Bring your knees as close to your chest as you can without lifting your mid-back off the ground.

5. From here, slowly lower your hips back down to the floor. Return to the starting position with your knees still bent at a 90-degree angle.

6. Repeat this for 10 reps. As you build up strength, you can increase the number of reps and sets!

Common Mistakes for the Reverse Crunch

Before you add these to your next core workout, make sure you avoid these common mistakes.

Using Momentum

Reverse crunches should be done slowly and with plenty of control. To help with this, try counting to 2 when you crunch up and lower back down.

Avoid the temptation to get into a rocking movement without any abdominal control. If you swing your body uncontrollably, you won't get nearly as much of a benefit for your core. Remember, we are building a strong core, not wiggling around like a roly-poly.

Crunching Too Far Upward

The goal of a reverse crunch is to keep most of your back flat on the ground and only raise your hips up off the floor. We don’t want too much spinal flexion.

Unrolling Too Far

Don't lower your knees too quickly compared to your hips. Doing so will release tension from your abs. To keep the tension, lower your hips and knees simultaneously.

If you lower your knees too quickly, it may cause rounding in your lower back as well. This can place unwanted strain on your spine.

How Else Can We Help?

Now that you have reverse crunches down ... what's next? If you're looking for other great ab exercises to look your best year-round, check out the 1st Phorm App!

Download the 1st Phorm App

Inside the app, you actually get access to a ton of workouts catered to your goals. This includes great ab routines, exercises, and instructional videos to help you master them.

On top of that, I'm sure you've heard the saying "your abs are revealed in the kitchen." Well, that's definitely the truth.

Having a game plan when it comes to your nutrition is key to seeing the six-pack abs you're after. The 1st Phorm App can help with that as well.

You can track your food, customize your macros, and work 1-on-1 with an advisor in the app to help you through it all!

Download the app today and if you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to us! We have a full team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Nutrition Coaches who are happy to help. Just shoot us an email at or give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 anytime!