A reverse crunch is a floor exercise intended to work your abdominal muscles. This exercise is a popular choice for those hoping to tone their lower abs.
The lower abdominal muscles are a common problem area for both men and women. Even after losing significant amounts of weight, many people still have flab in this area. Reverse crunches, when combined with diet and fat-burning exercise, provide a reliable way to work the lower abdominal muscles and achieve a tighter, flatter abdomen. When performed properly, this exercise can actually work the whole belly, though it is most effective for the lower abdomen.
Toning Your Lower Abs
When you perform a reverse crunch, you lie flat on your back on a carpet-covered floor or on an exercise mat. You can hold onto a stationary object behind your head or place your hands at your sides. Starting with your knees bent and your legs flat on the ground, you raise your legs up, keeping your feet together until your thighs form a 90-degree angle with the surface on which you’re lying. This is your starting position.
Pushing your lower back to the ground and with your face toward the ceiling, you then tighten your abs and move your knees back towards your chest. With this movement, you lift your lower back and buttocks off the mat or carpet, contracting your abs as you stop moving your kneecaps in and towards your chest. After staying in this position for a couple of seconds, you move your legs back into starting position, with your thighs at a 90-degree angle with the mat or floor once more. Aim for doing three sets of reverse crunches, with 25 repetitions in each set.
Why Reverse Crunches Work
The reverse crunch works well as a toning, strengthening exercise because you isolate the abdominal muscles. As you lift your lower body off the ground and draw your knees in towards your chest, you don’t swing your body or use your hips to execute the motion. Instead, you keep your head, neck and arms stationary while using your abs to move your legs in a controlled, gradual manner. Focusing on tightening your abs and clenching them before returning to the starting position helps to ensure that your abs get the expected workout.
Diet and Other Exercise
Combining a weight loss diet with fat-burning exercise can help you to show off the toned abdominal muscles you achieve with the reverse crunch. Many people expect reverse crunches and other abdominal exercises to flatten their bellies, but they soon realize that exercising the abs isn’t enough. Basically, you’ll need to burn off the layer of fat over the abdominal muscles. After the fat is gone, your stronger, tighter abs will be visible. If you do not incorporate diet and fat-burning exercises, such as aerobics, you probably won’t see major results from ab crunches.
In order to achieve a more sculpted lower-ab section, you’ll have to burn more fat than you consume for the day and burn the fat you had when you started.