The reverse crunch is an excellent way to tone your abdominal muscles. All you need to perform this exercise is the floor and something to hold onto.
If you want to target your lower abdominal muscles, try reverse crunches. These exercises involve using the lower abs to lift your legs and lower back off the floor. When performed correctly they can lead to tighter more toned lower abs in no time. Here’s how you can do a reverse crunch:
1. Pick a Place to Start
You need to have an immovable piece of furniture or structure right behind your head. You’ll need to hold onto this as you do your reverse crunches.
2. Lie on Your Exercise Surface
Lie on the floor and reach back over your head to grip the object behind you. Make sure your arms are raised straight up from the sides of your body rather than crossed or bent over your head.
3. Get Into Starting Position
Position your feet so that they are kept together or crossed at the ankle, keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. This is your starting position for the reverse crunch.
4. Begin the Reverse Crunch
Curl your hip upward and off the floor, pushing your legs towards the ceiling. Your feet should remain touching, or crossed, throughout this movement. It is critical that you contract your abdominal muscles as you move your hips off the floor. To work your lower abdominal muscles effectively, you have to make sure that your abs are providing the lift rather than your hips or legs. Additionally, keeping the abs contracted provides good support for your back. When you move your legs up, you should focus on a rocking motion and make sure that your lower back comes up off the ground.
5. End the Reverse Crunch
Lower your legs back to the floor until your feet are touching the ground. Keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, however, and do not straighten them back out again. If you straighten them out completely and begin from that position, your hips will perform most of the work that you want your abs to do. Start the next crunch from this position.
Tips for Proper Form and Variations
When you work on reverse crunches, it’s important to take some time to learn how to perform them correctly. If you go too fast, without taking the time to ensure that you have proper form, you could injure yourself. At the very least, ignoring proper form will leave you performing an exercise that doesn’t actually do much for your abs. Take your time by making each movement slow and gradual as you concentrate on the abdominal muscle contraction that is so important for this exercise.
There are slight variations you can make to reverse crunches once you get used to them. For example, you can perform them without holding onto an object. Instead, you can simply keep your arms at your sides.