What Are Workout Crunches and How Do They Work?

Workout crunches are a type of strength training exercise that help to tone the abdominal muscles. They are a popular choice for many people looking to get fit and improve their overall health.


Workout crunches are a form of abdominal exercise involving the performance of ‘sitting’ and ‘curling’ movements. They target various parts of the abdominal muscles and greatly improve core strength, stability and balance. The crunch movement involves contracting the abdomen, which creates tension in those muscles, allowing them to work harder for longer periods of time.

The best way to understand how workout crunches work is to watch people performing them correctly. Each repetition will involve inhaling through your nose as you lift your upper body slightly off the floor; exhaling through your mouth as you draw or curl yourself further up into a 2 – 3 second pause; squeezing your abdominals as if doing a front plank; then slowly lower yourself back down to either start position. Improper form can do more harm than good so it’s important to remember proper positioning throughout each exercise – chest lifted with shoulders drawn away from ears and gaze lifted slightly towards the ceiling – while focusing on drawing in your stomach towards your spine.

Crunches are great addition to any full body workout routine that can help to increase core strength and stability while contributing significantly towards perfect posture and daily movement mechanics.

What Are Crunches?

Crunches are one of the most popular exercises for targeting and strengthening the abdominal muscles. They involve lying on the floor with your back on the ground and lifting your upper body off the ground in order to create a “crunch” motion. Crunches can be used to target the lower, middle, and upper abdominals, as well as the obliques. They can be performed in a variety of ways and are simple to do at home. Let’s explore the different types of crunches and how to perform them correctly.

Benefits of Crunches

Crunches are an effective abdominal exercise that targets the muscles of your core. They are a form of bodyweight exercise, meaning that you do not need any special equipment to do them.

Benefits of performing crunches regularly include improved stability, strength, and balance in the core muscles, which in turn helps you with everyday activities. Additionally, building up and toning abdominal muscles aides in better posture and can reduce back pain caused by tight core muscles.

Performing crunches also helps to burn calories and build muscle mass in the midsection. When combined with cardio and a healthy diet, regular crunches can help to create a more sculpted body composition. And finally, because of their simple nature, they are convenient exercises to include as part of your regular workout routine; they require no gym membership or additional equipment!

How to Do Crunches

Crunches are a form of exercise that target the abdominal muscles to strengthen and tone them. This is a great way to improve your core strength and work your lower back and obliques. To do crunches, you start by lying flat on the floor with your feet flat on the ground, your knees bent, and your arms crossed over your chest. Keep your lower back pressed against the floor as you lift your head and shoulders up towards your knees. This exercise can be done with a variety of variations. Let’s look at some of the different types of crunches you can do.

Types of Crunches

Crunches are an ab exercise used to strengthen and tone the abdominal area. There are many variations of crunches that target different areas of the core, such as the obliques, transverse abdominus and rectus abdominus.

Basic Crunch: This is the most common type of crunch and focuses on your rectus abdominus. When doing this exercise, keep your back flat against the floor while bringing your chest up towards your knees in a curling motion.

Reverse Crunch: This type of crunch works both your lower abs and obliques. To perform a reverse crunch, raise both your legs off the ground and curl them towards your chest while balancing on your butt with your legs raised in the air.

Crossed-Arm Crunch: This variation focuses more on your oblique muscles. Here, you begin the same way as a basic crunch but with one leg bent at a 90-degree angle crossed over the other leg and pressing down against it for added stability. From there, perform a basic crunch motion while focusing on contracting those side muscles at the same time.

Unilateral Crunch: If you need to work one specific side or want an extra challenge to increase core strength balance, try doing unilateral crunches as they focus mainly on one side or half of your core at a time. Start with both legs up straight into a tabletop position and slowly lower one leg downward while keeping it close to you body while simultaneously performing normal upper body crunch motion with that same side of torso rotation towards that same knee when it gets close to grounding out.

Tips for Doing Crunches

Crunches are one of the most common and effective abdominal exercises. When done correctly, they help build strength and tone your abdominal muscles. Doing crunches regularly can help you reach your fitness goals and achieve a toned and sculpted abdomen. This section will provide tips on how to do crunches properly and get the most out of your workout.

Proper Form

Correct form during crunches is critical in order to maximize the benefits of the exercise and reduce the risk of potential injury. It’s important to keep your posture correct in order to work your abdominal muscles properly, but also maintain control over how far you crunch down.

When doing a crunch, you should start from a lying position on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your hands lightly behind or next to your ears and keep your elbows pointed straight back throughout the entire motion. Contract your abdominal muscles as you lift your shoulders up off the floor and pause for two seconds at the top before slowly returning to the starting position. During this motion, only lift about 1/3 of the way up, making sure that tension stays in the abdominal area at all times.

It’s also important not to use momentum when completing a crunch; do not swing or jerk quickly into an upright position as this will use other muscles — such as those within your hips — instead of working solely your abs. To ensure you are using proper form during crunches, focus on using slow fluid movements with minimal rest time between each repetition.


For maximum effectiveness when doing crunches, it is important to focus on executing the exercise with a controlled, slow motion. Repeating too quickly can cause injury in your neck and back area, so be sure to take it slow and use proper form during each repetition. Generally speaking, 10-15 repetitions is enough to leave you feeling a burn. For best results, roll up into a ball and slowly roll back down after each rep. Increase your resistance by using additional weight or adding difficulty by performing the exercise with one leg held off of the ground to build abdominal strength and promote proper muscle development.


Breathing is an important component of crunches that should not be overlooked. Many people make the mistake of holding their breath when performing crunches, which can lead to discomfort and even injury. During a crunch, always inhale as you lift your upper body off the ground and exhale as you slowly return to the floor. Doing so allows your lungs to fill up with oxygen during the lift and expel carbon dioxide as you lower back down. This also helps to keep your core engaged while working against gravity, which increases the effectiveness of the exercise. Proper breathing can also help you determine if you are engaging the right muscles — if breathing becomes difficult or strained during a set of crunches then you’re likely engaging too many secondary muscles instead of those specifically used for crunches (namely, your abdominal muscles).


In conclusion, crunches are an effective full-body exercise that targets the abs, obliques, lower back, and hip flexors. They can be done with a variety of equipment and can be modified to suit any fitness level. Crunches also help to build strength in all of the abdominal muscles, while stabilizing your core and improving posture. With regular practice, crunches are a great way to help strengthen your core and improve your overall fitness level. So get started today!

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