A Crunch is a conditioning exercise for the abdominal muscles.
- Lie face-up on the floor with the knees bent. Hold the arms over the chest. Placing them behind the head can lead to a neck injury if they are used to pull the head forward.
- Without lifting the lower back off the floor (this would be a sit-up), contract the abdominals so that the upper back and shoulders are lifted off the ground. Exhale as you lift.
- Inhale as you come back down.
- Reverse crunch The upper back stays on the floor and the hips are lifted off the ground.
- Twisting crunch A crunch performed by only lifting one shoulder at a time to work the obliques.
- Focus on contracting the abdominal muscles. Do not try to reach forward with the head; this places strain on the neck.