4 Reverse Crunch Variations To Fire Your Core!

If you thought there was only one way to do this exercise, think again.


Danielle Zickl |

If you thought there was only one way to reverse the classic crunch, think again. There are several variations of this move that will help you build a stronger core, which translates to more success on the bike. Whether you’re just going for a casual ride with friends or you’re training for the top step of the podium, a strong and stable core helps you maintain your position in the saddle for long periods of time.

The key to getting a strong core is working all the major muscles that support your spine, not just the rectus abdominis (known as the “six-pack” abs). You already know that moves like crunches, planks, and hollow holds can get the job done, but reverse crunches utilise your lower body as resistance to challenge your lower abdominal muscles even more.

Amber Rees, Barry’s Bootcamp instructor and cofounder of Brave Body Project, put together a circuit that incorporates four different variations of reverse crunches that you can add to your strength-training sessions or as a finisher after an easy ride.

How to do it: Perform each movement in the video below for 50 seconds with 10 seconds recovery before moving onto the next exercise. Repeat the circuit 2 to 3 times.

Standard Reverse Crunch

Lie face up on a mat with legs straight up in the air, arms flat at your sides so body forms an “L” shape. Engage your lower abs to lift your hips straight up, then slowly lower them back down in a controlled manner. Try not to let your legs swing toward you; think about stamping the soles of your feet to the ceiling. Repeat.

Standard Reverse Crunch With Leg Lower

Lie face up on a mat with legs straight up in the air, arms flat at your sides so body forms an “L” shape. Engage your lower abs to lift your hips straight up, then slowly lower them back down in a controlled manner. Keeping legs straight, lower feet until they hover a few inches off the ground. Bring legs back up to starting position, then repeat.

Alternating Corkscrew Reverse Crunch With Leg Lower

Lie face up on a mat with legs straight up in the air, arms flat at your sides so body forms an “L” shape. Engage your lower abs to lift your hips straight up, then twist hips to the right. Return back to starting position, then keeping legs straight, lower feet to hover above the ground. Bring legs back up to starting position, then repeat, this time twisting your hips to the left. Continue to alternate.

Knees-to-Nose With Press Out

Lie face up, with hips and knees bent at 90-degree angles so shins are parallel to floor and hands are by your sides with palms down. Keep your head and shoulders on the mat the entire time. Engage your core to “curl” your knees up to nose. Reverse to roll back down with control, then press feet out in front of you. Return back to starting position, then repeat.

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