The Best Move To Work Your Lower Abs Is Also One of the Easiest To Do Incorrectly

When it comes to core work, crunches are often the first exercise that comes to mind. You can feel them working while you grunt through them, right? And while it's true that the classic crunch is integral to strengthening your abs, there are also numerous variations to add to your workout routine to really ensure that you're working all 360 degrees of your core. One of those is the reverse crunch, which is a great way to build strength in your lower abdomen—so long as you do the move correctly. In this episode of The Right Way, trainer Traci Copeland is going to teach you how to do the reverse crunch with the perfect form.

Experts In This Article
  • Traci Copeland, Nike Master Trainer, yoga instructor, and fitness model

To do the reverse crunch, all you have to do is lie face up your mat with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, your arms flat by your sides, and your feet flexed and lifted to be parallel to the ground. Then, contract your abs to bring your hips off the ground and your knees towards your chest, before lowering them back to your starting position in one controlled motion.

As with any exercise, proper form is important both to prevent injury and reap the benefits of the move. Today, Copeland breaks down the three most common mistakes people make when performing the reverse crunch. Then, she demos how to do the move properly and a few modifications to make the exercise a little more challenging. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know.

Common mistakes when doing a reverse crunch

1. Using momentum

Since the point of the reverse crunch is to build strength through your lower core, control is paramount. Rather than relying on momentum to propel you through the movement, it's essential to focus on tightening and engaging your abdomen and moving slowly. If you use your lower abs to lift your hips off the ground, you are really working your muscle fibers and will feel the burn in your base.

2. Having an arched back

If your back isn't flat on the mat, you can cause strain in your lower spine. Make sure to keep a neutral spine that isn't arching off the ground to prevent injury while you crunch.

3. Moving too quickly

Racing through a set of reverse crunches means that your movements aren't controlled and you're probably not exercising your full range of motion to reap the full benefits of the move. Keep your lifts controlled and slow to really feel your core activate (and maybe shake!).

Now that you've learned the biggest mistakes, watch the video above to see Copeland demo a reverse crunch with proper form.

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