Reverse crunch exercise is an exercise for lower abs. It mainly works on part of your pelvic area, which is believed to be the source of most body pains.
According to some studies people suffer from pelvis pain due to misalignment or because they have weak abdominal muscles in that area. Reverse Crunch focuses on that part of your body.
What is Reverse Crunch Exercise?
As the name suggests, this exercise is a reverse of regular crunch. A normal crunch is done by lying on the floor and bring your shoulder blades off the ground. Another way is doing it while standing or sitting position at home.
Reverse crunch exercise is a great exercise to target your lower abs. It primarily targets rectus abdominis which makes up the upper six pack muscles. This is a similar exercise as normal crunch but you are lying down on the floor with knees bent, feet anchored and hands placed behind your head or crossed over chest.
With both types of crunch exercise or crunch machine exercises it is important to remember that the primary target muscle of every ab workout should always be your lower abdominals. This way you can get each set to contract properly, and also work on a different range of muscles that makes up the rectus abdominis.
Is Reverse Crunch Exercise Good for Abs?
To burn your belly fat, you need to perform exercise that will engage all the muscles in your core area. And reverse crunch is one of those exercises which will keep your abdominal muscles engaged throughout the movement. That’s why it makes it one of the best ab exercises.
There is another benefit of this exercise that it works on your back muscle also which is usually ignored by many people who do ab exercises.
So, doing reverse runs will help you to get rid of those unnecessary back muscles fat too. It will make your waistline even slimmer than before and gives a perfect and toned look to your waistline.
How to do Reverse Crunch exercise?
Lie down on the floor and put a small pillow or rolled towel under your neck if needed for your head to be in an off-the-floor position. Keep knees bent at 90 degrees and rest both feet flat on the ground. Place hands behind your head, elbows pointing outward.
Breathing in slowly, lift your shoulder blades a few inches off the ground and hold that position for a second as you squeeze your abdominal muscles. Return to starting position very slowly while maintaining this contraction.
Reverse Crunch Exercise Variations:
You can do it with weights or bands attached to your feet. This will increase the difficulty level.
The same thing can be done in a standing position with your feet on the ground and hands clasped behind your head. Again this variation will make you work harder, as you are using other muscles to balance yourself.
What are the Benefits of Reverse Crunch Exercise?
Many people like this exercise because it’s a perfect combination of back and abdominal muscles. It gives you the chance to tone both those muscle groups if performed properly. So, here are few benefits for doing reverse crunch exercise:
a) You will be able to strengthen your core muscles.
b) It helps you a great deal in strengthening and tightening up your back muscles along with stomach muscles. Many times, people are not aware of it but this exercise is also good for strengthening arms and shoulder blades too as they will be supporting your upper body weight throughout the movement.
c) This exercise will help you to get rid of back fat and unnecessary fats from your waistline. This exercise will give you both the benefit of an ab workout as well as strengthening your lower back muscles. So, it is a great choice for filling in your latissimus dorsi that’s why it also helps to strengthen your shoulders and upper back region.
d) By doing this exercise regularly, you can control your weight along with strengthening your back muscles. You will be able to get rid of unnecessary fats on your waistline by doing the reverse crunches exercise. This is one of the best exercises for getting rid of love handles fast too because it targets the lower area of your waistline.
e) It gives you a flat-chested look from the front view and slimmer waistline but it won’t reduce your breast size or make you flat-chested. That’s why many of my female readers are very much fond of doing reverse crunches because they will get a slim waistline and flatter stomach in a very short time.
f) It is one of the best exercises for postpartum women too because it will help them to tone their lower back muscles and get stronger abdominal muscle. Unlike other ab workouts, this exercise can be performed regularly even if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. So, it’s also good for the mothers.
g) It will help you to strengthen your core muscles and give them stability because it works on both abdominal and lowers back muscles. That’s why this exercise is also good for people who do lots of other exercises like squats, bench press, etc so that they don’t have any chances of getting injured.
h) It is one of the ideal exercises for weight training beginners. Beginners should concentrate on core muscle workouts because they will get stronger their core muscles and abs fastly without any delay. And with reverse crunches, trainers and trainees can easily reach it.
i) This exercise will also help you to sculpt your lower abs quickly. If you are looking for perfect 6 or 8 pack abs then this exercise will help you to reach your goal in a short time.
Reverse Crunch Exercise Tips
Standard Reverse Crunch exercise can often put a lot of pressure on your buttock. So if you are someone who has sensitive buttocks or pain in that area, you should definitely avoid this exercise.
Don’t become overconfident and lift your hips off the ground too much. The exercise is designed to strengthen the lower part of your abdominal muscles not make it easier for someone to kick you in that area.
You don’t have to raise your shoulder blades as high as possible if it makes you uncomfortable.
Beginner Reverse Crunch Exercise
Reverse Crunch is better to be done when your abdominal muscles are already strong enough. If you still have a very weak lower part of your abs, it’s better to stick with older exercises for now and avoid this one.
Advanced Reverse Crunch Exercise
As you get better abdominal muscles with time and these muscles become stronger, you can move on to more challenging variations of this exercise. One such variation is the FINGERTIP REVERSE CRUNCH.
FINGERTIP REVERSE CRUNCH
HOW TO DO IT: Lie down on your back with your legs straight in the air. Slowly bring your knees towards the ground until they almost touch it. Hold this position for a second as you contract the abdominal muscles and after that return to starting position slowly while maintaining this contraction.
Doing Reverse Crunch exercise regularly will make you look good and feel good having strong lower abdominal muscles.
If done properly it should be very effective in relieving pain from the lower back or any other part of your pelvic area.
Tips to Avoid Back Pain
If you think that back pain is coming on because of heavy weight lifting then you must take a rest before doing any further hard or strenuous exercises.
- If your low back feels pain while working out then immediately stop the exercise and stay in a lying position for a few minutes.
Massage your lower back muscles by using the hands instead of a rolling pin.
Similar to the above massage session, you can also use a foam roller or other massaging equipment to relieve pain from your lower back region.
Restrictions And Cautions
- Consume food high in fiber 6-8 hours before doing this exercise.
- This exercise is not advisable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding their children.
- You can do reverse crunches even if you have lower back pain but don’t perform it forcefully to avoid further injury.
Do Reverse Crunches Burn Lower Belly Fat?
If you spend some time browsing through fitness magazines, online forums, or the vast ocean of available information about bodybuilding and fat loss in general, you will come across a wide array of advice, ranging from highly insightful to downright wrong.
One piece of advice that has caused quite a stir is the idea that doing “reverse crunches” will help you to lose belly fat.
Reverse crunches are basically crunched where you lie on the floor, but in a much more specific manner than what most people usually do: Arms to your side, legs outstretched, and feet up on a bench (as if you were going to do leg raises). You then curl up, and as you do so, your head goes in between your arms.
So the question is: Do they work?
But first … the basics – why even burn off belly fat if you don’t have too much of it?
Most people who are into physical fitness will be familiar with the term “abdominal obesity”, which is basically when you have an excess of fat, stored around your midsection.
But why would anyone want to lose this abdominal fat? Well, it’s not just a matter of aesthetics (which is still very important). Having too much belly fat about other kinds of body fat is associated with some serious health risks, as it is often a sign that you are insulin resistant.
And if you’re not familiar with the term, insulin resistance is a condition where your body doesn’t respond well to the hormone insulin, which is produced by your pancreas and whose main function in the body is to regulate blood sugar levels (all carbohydrates that we eat get broken down into simple sugar molecules as they make their way through the digestive tract, and insulin is responsible for transporting this sugar from your bloodstream into your cells).
So Why is Insulin Resistance a Problem?
Well, if you have high levels of blood sugar in your body for extended periods (which often happens when people eat too many refined carbohydrates and simple sugars), your pancreas works overtime trying to deal with it by producing even more insulin. This can cause serious long-term damage in many different areas of your body.
But what does all that have to do with abdominal fat? Well, if you store excess fat around your midsection, as opposed to on other parts of the body, you are more likely to be insulin resistant. It turns out that there is a strong correlation between abdominal fat and insulin resistance:
One study (1) on the subject found that, in people with type 2 diabetes, an increase of 1% body fat leads to a 45.6% chance of having abdominal obesity. So if someone has 23% body fat, they have a 90.4% chance of having abdominal obesity.
I’ll also add here that the reason why men tend to store more fat in their abdominal region, as opposed to women (who usually store it around their hips), is associated with differences in sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone (2).
As women have higher levels of these hormones, they tend to burn fat more efficiently, which means they are less likely to store it around the midsection. Of course, that doesn’t mean that men can’t lose belly fat; they just have to work a lot harder at it than women.
So where does reverse crunching fit into all this? Is there any scientific evidence that it’s an effective fat loss exercise?
Well, the answer is yes and no. Let’s start with the “no” part …
A recent study (3) on abdominal obesity looked at the long-term effects of both aerobic and resistance training. The researchers wanted to see if one was better than the other for helping with fat loss, and they found that neither was as effective as aerobic training.
In fact, there were no significant differences between the two approaches on any of their measured outcomes.
Waist circumference at the umbilicus (around the belly button)
Waist circumferences at the right suprailiac (above belly button) and the left supra iliac
Stomach volumes at the umbilicus, right suprailiac, and left suprailiac (stomach volume is basically how much air you can fit into your stomach)
Percent fat mass of overall bodyweight
As I explained to an email subscriber not too long ago, if there is one thing that you should take away from the research it’s this: Cardio burns more calories than resistance training. Period.
But does doing reverse crunches boost fat loss faster than doing no exercise at all? Well, that’s where we get to “yes” …
A study (4) on abdominal obesity found that those who did only abdominal exercises for their workouts (reverse crunches included), managed to lose more abdominal fat than the control group, even though both groups lost a significant amount of body weight.
So it appears as if reverse crunches may be one of the most effective ways to target and burn stubborn belly fat, as long as you do them correctly. Let me explain …
It’s important to know that you won’t lose fat from any one specific spot on your body unless you lower the total amount of calories that you eat in a given day, or increase the number of calories that your burn (or preferably both). If you want to lose fat from your belly, you have to do the same as someone who wants to lose fat from their arms.
So if you want to start losing fat from around your midsection, then you need to increase the amount of lean muscle tissue inside that region. This is actually a really easy thing to do … all it takes is 30-60 minutes of resistance training per day. This will help to boost your metabolism and increase the number of calories that you burn at rest, which will in turn help to accelerate fat loss from around that area.
Now I’m not going to lie: Losing belly fat is one of the most difficult things that you’ll ever have to do when it comes to fat loss. When you gain abdominal fat, it tends to stick with you for a lifetime, no matter what diet or exercise program you try. This is why many people need to lose weight all over to get rid of the stubborn belly fat (5).
But if you keep your protein intake high as I explained above and perform reverse crunches regularly, it is possible to lose belly fat. It’s definitely a tough job as you’ll need to be persistent in your efforts and consistent with your exercise program.
But keep at it, and I promise that results will come!
With all these steps and tips, you will be able to enjoy the best results of reverse crunches easily. And also it will help you to get a slimmer waistline without any delay. If you want then read this article again to boost up your knowledge about this exercise. Good luck!