Reverse Crunch - How To Do Reverse Crunch Exercise [Guide w/ Video]

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

How To Do The Reverse Crunch Exercise?

Below is a video showing you how to do the reverse crunch ab exercise.

There are some example workouts including the reverse crunch further down in this article and also a step-by-step guide to the reverse crunch exercise.

Be sure to do this exercise on soft floorings, such as a padded mat or a rubber floor.

Follow the advice below to get proper reverse crunch form.

Try to keep your upper body still throughout this exercise.

While doing this exercise engage your abdominal muscles.

Things to avoid:

  • Too fast swinging of your legs.

  • Sagging of your legs.

How To Do The Reverse Crunch? [Step-by-Step]

  1. To begin; lie flat on your back, extend your legs, with your toes pointing upward and keeping your head facing the ceiling. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe.

  2. Place your arms down beside your body or under your hips, whichever feels best for you.

  3. If you're doing the standard reverse crunch, bend your knees and bring them up.

  4. Engage your abs and draw your knees towards your head, keep your upper body still while doing this.

  5. Lift your knees and hips up as they reach your upper body area.

  6. Gently lower your knees back down to the floor.

  7. Repeat this for your desired amount of reps.

  8. The standard bent knees variation of the reverse crunch is the easier version, the straight leg reverse crunch is the harder one, explained below.

the plank exercise

Alternative Reverse Crunch Variations:

There are alternatives to the standard reverse ab crunch, the most common is the straight leg reverse crunch.

The more advanced variation is the reverse crunch with leg lower.

Straight Leg Reverse Crunch:

The straight leg reverse crunch is the harder variation of the reverse crunch.

It is essentially the same exercise as the standard reverse crunch, just with straight legs.

This difference will make the exercise significantly harder to perform.

Standard Reverse Crunch With Leg Lower:

Another variation of the reverse crunch is a more advanced variation called the reverse crunch with leg lower.

Basically, you do the usual reverse crunch (with straight legs) but add in a hip extension.

Here's the step-by-step:

  1. Lie on your back face up with your legs straight up in the air, put your arms flat at your sides so body forms an “L” looking shape.

  2. Engage your abs to lift your hips straight up, then slowly lower them back down in a controlled manner.

  3. While keeping your legs straight, lower your legs until they're just a few inches off the ground.

  4. Bring your legs back up to their starting position.

  5. Repeat for your desired amount of reps.

How To Make The Reverse Crunch Easier?

If you need to make the reverse ab crunch easier, don't worry, the best way is listed below:

  • You can make the reverse crunch easier by bending your knees more, the more you bend them - the easier it gets.

making the reverse crunch exercise easier
The further out your feet are the harder it gets, bend your legs to make it easier

How To Make The Reverse Crunch Harder?

There are also multiple ways to make the reverse crunch exercise harder. The best ways are listed below:

  • Doing other variations of the reverse crunch such as the reverse crunch with leg lower (explained further up) can add difficulty to the exercise.

  • Keeping your legs straight can make it harder (straight leg reverse crunch variation).

  • Doing more reps and doing them slower can make the exercise harder also.

Reverse Crunch Muscles Worked:

The primary muscles worked from the reverse crunch exercise are as follow:

  • Rectus Abdominis (core abdominal muscles)

  • Obliques (side abdominal muscles)

  • Quadriceps (front leg muscles)

The reverse crunch also works many other smaller muscles for stability such as:

  • Various other arm muscles

  • Various other leg muscles

  • Various other upper and lower body muscles

reverse crunch muscles worked image
Areas highlighted in red are the main muscles worked

Reverse Crunch Benefits:

The benefits of the reverse ab crunch exercise.

The reverse crunch is a compound (multi-joint) exercise. This gives this exercise the benefits listed below.

It has these benefits:

  • May improve abdominal strength.

  • May increase abdominal muscle growth.

The Reverse Ab Crunch Workout Examples:

Two great examples of using the reverse crunch exercise in a workout are listed below.

Example 1:

  1. Deadbug: 2 Sets / 12 Reps / Hold for 3 seconds

  2. Plank: 2 Sets / Hold for 30 seconds

  3. Reverse Crunch: 2 Sets / 8 Reps / Hold for 3 seconds

Example 2:

  1. Plank: 2 Sets / Hold for 30 seconds

  2. Reverse Crunch: 2 Sets / 8 Reps / Hold for 2 seconds

You can make, change and adapt workouts to your style, program and experience.

Check out our other exercises in our exercise guides on

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