Standard Crunch: An Ab Killing Exercise You Should Continue To Do

Are you tired of doing the standard crunch and not getting the results you want? You’re not alone. Many people struggle to see progress with this basic exercise. As a personal trainer, I understand your frustration. The truth is, the standard crunch alone won’t get you the six-pack you’re dreaming of. But don’t worry, there are simple solutions to this problem! In this blog post, I’ll share with you some tips and tricks to take your core training to the next level and achieve the results you deserve.

Standard Crunch Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Rectus Abdominis
  • Secondary Muscles: Obliques
  • Equipment: Body Weight
  • Mechanics Type: Isolated
  • Force: Pull
  • Utility: Auxiliary
Graphic image of a fit woman performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Standard Crunch Instructions

  • Setup by laying back down on a mat with your legs bent and feet planted flat on the ground.
  • Place your hands behind your neck or head. Flex your core to raise your upper torso from the mat.
  • Keep your lower back on the mat and raise your shoulder blades as high as possible.
  • Then, lower your shoulders back in contact with the mat.
  • Continue the Standard Crunch for 10-30 repetitions.

Video Tutorial

How to Do Crunches

Standard Crunch Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the standard crunch exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Standard Crunch

The Standard Crunch is a great exercise for targeting the Rectus Abdominis muscle. This exercise helps to strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles and can be easily modified to increase or decrease intensity as needed. It also helps to improve core strength and stability, allowing for more efficient movements during other exercises. Additionally, performing the Standard Crunch can help reduce lower back pain by strengthening and toning the muscles in the area. All in all, the Standard Crunch is an effective exercise for targeting the Rectus Abdominis muscle and improving overall core strength and stability.

Tips for Performing Standard Crunch

Your at the right place if you’re motivated to enhance your standard crunch execution. Using these suggestions will allow you to take full advantage of this beautiful workout. In addition to toning your abs muscles, increasing movability, and also a reduced chance of injury can all be accomplished with this exercise. Let’s start now and discover what these suggestions may accomplish for you.

  • Start by lying flat on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your hands behind your head. This position will ensure proper form and prevent injury.
  • Keep your abs tight as you raise your torso up toward the ceiling, forming a crunch. This will help you focus on engaging the abdominal muscles to get the most out of the exercise.
  • Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position, using your core to control the movement. This will help you maximize the effectiveness of the exercise and build strength in your core muscles.

Benefits and Tips Video

PT TIPS: How to perform an Abdominal Crunch

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

Staying away from errors can mean the difference between a productive workout and an injury when executing standard crunch. From bad form to not keeping your core engaged, these errors can reduce the productiveness of the exercise and can even raise your risk for injury. But relax, it’s not as challenging as it might seem. By knowing the errors to avoid and taking the appropriate actions, you can execute the exercise safely and successfully. So it is time for you to maximize your results from this exercise and enjoy the benefits of a successful workout.

  • Not engaging their core muscles – Not engaging your core muscles during a standard crunch exercise is a mistake because it defeats the purpose of the exercise; to strengthen and tone your abdominals.
  • Not maintaining proper form – Not maintaining proper form while doing a standard crunch can lead to injury and prevent you from getting the most out of the exercise. It’s important to keep your neck and spine aligned so that you can get the most benefit from the exercise.
  • Moving too quickly – Moving too quickly through a standard crunch exercise can result in poor form, which can also lead to injury. It’s important to move slowly and with control so that you can ensure that you are engaging your core muscles correctly and avoiding any potential injury.

Find More Bodyweight Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

If the Standard Crunch is not challenging enough for you, there are several variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that you can do to target the same muscles.

Scissor Crunch

Graphic image of Scissor Crunch.

Scissor crunch is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the standard crunch. It works the same core muscles as the crunch but with a different approach. Scissor crunch involves lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your hands behind your head. From this position, you lift your shoulders and upper back off the ground while bringing one knee towards your chest and the opposite elbow towards the knee. This motion creates a scissor-like motion, hence the name of the exercise. Scissor crunch is a great way to add variety to your ab routine and give your core muscles a new challenge.

Roll Ups

Graphic image of Roll Ups.

Roll Ups are an excellent alternative or complementary exercise to the standard crunch. This exercise utilizes a rolling motion to engage the abdominal muscles in an entirely new way. It requires the abdominal muscles to contract in order to curl the body up and down in a rolling motion. This move is great for strengthening the core, as well as improving balance and coordination. It also helps to increase flexibility, as well as improving overall posture. Roll Ups are a great way to mix up your abdominal workout routine and help you reach your fitness goals.

Roll Up Crunch

Graphic image of Roll Up Crunch.

Roll Up Crunch is an exercise which is a great complement or alternative to the standard crunch. It is a great way to work the abdominal muscles without putting any strain on the neck or back. It involves lying on the floor with the arms stretched out above the head and legs outstretched. Then, the person must raise their arms and legs simultaneously, bringing the elbows and knees together before slowly lowering them back to the starting position. This exercise helps to work the lower abdominal muscles, as well as strengthening and toning the core area. It is an effective way to get the same benefits of a standard crunch without putting strain on the neck and back.

Check Out These Top Bodyweight Exercises

Reverse Crunch

Graphic image of Reverse Crunch.

Reverse Crunch is a great alternative to the standard crunch exercise. It involves lying on the floor with your feet up and your knees bent. Instead of bringing your torso up towards your knees, you bring your knees up towards your torso. This exercise specifically targets the lower abdominal muscles, making it a great complement to the standard crunch which primarily targets the upper abdominal muscles. Reverse Crunch also helps to strengthen the lower back, improving core stability and balance.

Plank Hip Lift

Graphic image of Plank Hip Lift.

The Plank Hip Lift is an excellent alternative or complementary exercise to the Standard Crunch. It is a core exercise that works the abdominals and obliques, as well as engaging the lower body muscles. It can be done from a standing or kneeling position, and involves lifting the hips up and down while maintaining a plank position. The Plank Hip Lift is a great exercise for strengthening the core and improving balance, as well as increasing muscular endurance. It is also beneficial for people who may have difficulty performing the Standard Crunch due to back issues or other physical limitations.


Graphic image of Plank.

The Plank is a great exercise that can be used as a complementary or alternative exercise to the Standard Crunch. This exercise works to strengthen the core muscles, while also engaging the arms, shoulders, legs, and glutes. The Plank helps to keep the body in a straight line and works to engage multiple muscles at once, making it an excellent full-body workout. Unlike the Standard Crunch, which primarily focuses on the abdominal muscles, the Plank allows for a greater range of motion and can help to improve posture and balance. Additionally, the Plank can be done with little or no equipment, making it an accessible exercise for anyone.

Find More Abs Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

To supplement the Standard Crunch, you can also incorporate exercises that target opposing muscle groups. This can be an effective way to create balance in your workout and provide additional strength to the surrounding muscles. Here are a few exercises you can include:

45 Degree Twisting Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree Twisting Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree Twisting Hyperextension is a great complementary exercise to the Standard Crunch as it targets the opposite muscle group. This exercise strengthens and tones the lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles, while the Standard Crunch focuses more on the abdominal muscles. The 45 Degree Twisting Hyperextension also helps to improve balance and posture, and it can be modified with additional weight if desired. In addition, this exercise can help to increase flexibility and reduce the risk of lower back injuries. This makes it a great addition to any core workout routine.

45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension is an excellent exercise to include in your core workout routine as it works the opposite muscles to the Standard Crunch. This exercise focuses on strengthening and toning the lower back muscles and hamstrings, while the Standard Crunch works the abdominal muscles. To perform this exercise, you’ll need a hyperextension bench and some weight. You’ll then lay on the bench with your feet secured to the footpads and hold a weight plate in your hands. Slowly bend forward at the waist, keeping your back straight and head up. As you lower, bring one leg up behind you at a 45 degree angle and then slowly return to the start position. By doing this exercise along with the Standard Crunch, you will be able to strengthen both the lower back and abdominal muscles for a balanced core workout.

45 Degree Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree Hyperextension is a great complementary exercise to the Standard Crunch, as it works the opposing muscle group. This exercise focuses on the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, while the Standard Crunch focuses on the abdominals. The 45 Degree Hyperextension helps to strengthen and stretch the lower back muscles, improving posture and balance. It also works the glutes and hamstrings, helping to create a more balanced physique. By doing both the Standard Crunch and the 45 Degree Hyperextension, one can target both the abdominal and lower back muscles for a more complete workout.

Get Crunching: The Standard Move For A Strong Core

When it comes to building a stronger core, the standard crunch is a classic exercise that should not be overlooked. This move primarily targets the rectus abdominis, commonly known as the “six-pack” muscles. By contracting these muscles while performing the crunch, you can not only increase their strength but also enhance their definition. Additionally, a stronger core can improve posture, stability, and overall functional movement, making everyday tasks easier and reducing the risk of injury. When performing the standard crunch, remember to engage your core and avoid pulling your neck or shoulders forward with your hands.

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Abs Bodyweight Exercises

Pin image for standard crunch post. With an image of a woman performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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