Our abdominal muscles get worked throughout the day and function whenever our midsection is engaged. Think sitting, standing, walking, running…it all activates our abs. So, not only do we like strong abs for how they make us look in our clothes, strong abdominal muscles help our posture and prevent back problems.
The reverse crunch is a great exercise for working the abs. Some would argue it’s one of the more effective ab exercises out there. Why, you ask? Well, when doing the reverse crunch, the only muscle that you engage is your abs. Not your hips, which are often improperly activated during regular crunches, nor your neck or back. You’re just engaging the target muscle, and that’s a good thing. Also, by keeping your back flat on the ground you are keeping your spine in better alignment while focusing on the lower abdominals, so you’re protecting your spine while working the muscles that help support the lower back.
Here’s how to do a reverse crunch:
- Lie on your back and either extend your arms out to the side or keep your hands along your body.
- Raise your knees and feet so they create a 90-degree angle, or straighten your legs so the soles of your feet point toward the ceiling.
- Contract your abdominals and exhale as you lift your hips off the floor with control.
- The movement will bring your knees toward your head or bring your feet up toward the ceiling.
- Think about lifting and lowering your lower body off the ground, controlling both the way up and the way down.