A Crunch is a conditioning exercise for the abdominal muscles.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.