Reverse Crunches: Working Your Lower Abs

reverse crunches

Reverse Crunches

Reverse Crunches, aka Lower Body Crunches, work those hard to reach lower abs. The key here is that you bring your legs off the ground. They are called Reverse Crunches because you are doing the opposite of the normal crunch, or Upper Body Crunches.

Make sure that when you do Reverse Crunches, you are squeezing your core in and out each time. Don’t cheat by letting your upper body, or body’s momentum, do the work that your core should be doing.

reverse crunches

Dumbbell Lateral Flexion Mental Cue

Celebrity fitness trainer, Harley Pasternack, likes his clients to do Dumbbell Lateral Flexions on Wednesdays, or whatever day you do your 3rd workout of the week. This allows your upper abs to recover from the workout you did on Monday, and your obliques from the yesterday.

harley pasternak celebrity trainer

There is a mental cue that Harley Pasternack wants you to have through this exercise. He says that when doing the Reverse Crunches, not only do you want to concentrate on bringing your legs toward your belly button, but also make sure to:

Bring your belly button in towards your sternum.

To perform Reverse Crunches:

  1. Lying on a mat or other flat surface, with your feet off the ground.
  2. Bring your knees up into your mid section, heels near your butt and toes pointed down.
  3. Have your palms behind your head, or at your side facing down.
  4. Keep your hamstrings flexed and knees bent.
  5. Roll your hips and thighs toward your chest.
  6. Return back to starting position.

As shown in the video below, Reverse Crunches use the transverse abdominus, the deepest muscle in your abs.

Popular Reverse Crunches Workouts

  • The Lady Gaga workout uses Reverse Crunches.
  • The Ryan Reynolds workout uses this exercise during his core circuits. He always does his ab workouts at the beginning of his routine, to clear his head, and focus on his abs.
  • The Gerard Butler workout, for 300, used this exercise to chisel his abs. His entire crew of Spartans also used this exercise.
  • The Jennifer Garner workout uses Reverse Crunches, followed by regular crunches, bicycle crunches, side planks, and forearm planks.
  • The Megan Fox workout uses Reverse Crunches
  • The Halle Berry workout uses Reverse Crunches.
  • The Katy Perry workout uses Reverse Crunches.
  • The Eva Mendez workout uses the Reverse Crunches.
  • The Marisa Miller workout uses the Reverse Crunches exercise to work her lower abs.
  • The Rock workout uses Double Crunches, Bicycle Crunches, and then Reverse Crunches to finish his abs routine.
  • Instagram sensation Jen Selter used this exercise as part of her ab routine, to become famous. She got sponsored by companies like Lululemon and Nike.

Reverse Crunches Video

This video shows how to do Reverse Crunches, with a focus on proper form:

Proper Reverse Crunches Technique:

Proper Reverse Crunch technique is important. Pull you knees in as close as you can. Hold that position, and only move a few inches back and forth. Each crunch should be a squeeze, not a rocking motion. Don’t let your upper body move, instead focusing on your lower abs. The key is that you want your core to be doing the work, not your body’s natural momentum. Breath out as you come down, and breathe in as you come back up.

Five Factor Fitness Workouts

You can learn more about Reverse Crunches by reading Five Factor Fitness by Harley Pasternack. Harley Pasternack, personal trainer to the stars, wrote this book to show you the routines he uses to get celebrities in shape:

5 factor fitness
Celebrity Trainer Harley Pasternack has his clients do Reverse Crunches

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