Double Crunches: Combining Upper and Lower Abs Exercises

double crunch

Double Crunches

Double Crunches work the upper and lower abs. The specific muscle being targeted is the rectus abdominus. This ab exercise combines Upper Body Crunches and Reverse Crunches.  Like most crunches, the double crunch requires that you squeeze your core in, during each rep. Curl your legs toward your chest, while also curling your upper body in toward your legs.

double crunch

Double Crunches Mental Cue

Celebrity fitness trainer, Harley Pasternack, likes his clients to do Double Crunches the last workout of the week. Since you are combining Upper Body Crunches and Reverse Crunches, you give your abs a rest for a day in between.

harley pasternak celebrity trainer

There is a mental cue that Harley Pasternack wants you to have when doing the Double Crunches exercise. He says that when doing Double Crunches:

Fold your body up like a clam by bringing your sternum and belly button toward each other.

To do a Double Crunch:

  1. Lie on your back with hands behind your head and knees slightly bent.
  2. Curl your upper abs, by lifting your head and shoulders toward your legs.
  3. At the same time, slowly raise and curl your knees up, toward your chest.
  4. Exhale as you curl your body parts in, and then inhale as you go return to starting position.

As shown in the video below, you should aim to have your legs six inches off the ground, at starting position, while doing Double Crunches:

Popular Double Crunches Workouts

  • The Lady Gaga workout uses Double Crunches.
  • The Megan Fox workout uses Double Crunches.
  • The Halle Berry workout uses Double Crunches.
  • The Katy Perry workout uses Double Crunches.
  • The Eva Mendez workout uses Double Crunches.
  • The Mario Lopez workout uses Double Crunches toward the end of his intense ab workouts.
  • The Jay-Z workout uses a modification of the Double Crunch, where he keeps his legs straight the entire time. This is called the Straight Leg Crunch.
  • The Beyonce workout also does the Straight Leg Crunch.
  • The Rock workout starts with Double Crunches, Bicycle Crunches, then Reverse Crunches to finish his abs routine.

Double Crunch Variation

The common way to perform Double Crunches is to bring your legs six inches off the ground in starting position. This Double Crunch variation, though, has you bring your legs into a curl position. Either way, you end up in the same, curled up, fetal position:

Another variation, which Jay-Z and Beyonce perform, is the Straight Leg Crunch.

Proper Double Crunches Technique

Proper Double Crunches Technique involves making sure you keep your head and neck in neutral position. This means that you don’t want either body part helping you during the exercise. After curling both your upper and lower body into your abs, you’re posture will resemble the fetal position.

Five Factor Fitness Workouts

You can learn more about Double Crunches by reading Five Factor Fitness by Harley Pasternack. Harley Pasternack, a celebrity fitness trainer, wrote this book to show you the routines he uses to get many celebrities in shape:

5 factor fitness
Celebrity Trainer Harley Pasternack has his clients do the Double Crunch

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