This crunch variation is able to strengthen your core while providing great support for that V-shape and six-pack you desire most.
While we all desperately want that six-pack of ours to pop, it can be challenging to find the right exercises to get us there. With so many exercises and variations to try, each targeting different areas of your core, we continue to do our best to unveil that shredded aesthetic. But one exercise may be eluding you and it has great potential to not only enhance your core strength but also make those abs pop. The double crunch is a unique exercise to target your upper and lower abs while taking out two birds with one stone.
Crunches in general are all around great core exercises to perform during your ab routine. With no equipment needed, crunches can be done anywhere and at anytime with great potential to tone your midsection and get your ripped. They will not only strengthen your stabilizer muscles, but also provide for great support and balance when it comes to big lifts, sport specific movements, and everyday activities. The double crunch will enhance all of these benefits so you really feel like you got a great workout and a serious burn for your abs.
Let’s dive into the double crunch and explore just what makes this crunch so great. As an effective way to target your entire core, this exercise is one you will want to add to your routine to maximize the benefits of a great core workout.
What Is The Double Crunch?
The double crunch works to contract the entire length of your abs while doing just one exercise. With no equipment needed, these can be done whenever and wherever and are fairly simple to perform.
The double crunch will target your main abdominals and also your obliques, both internal and external, making sure to hit all those smaller stabilizing muscles. This a great exercise to get a shredded core without investing too much time and energy.
Benefits Of The Double Crunch
Target Your Entire Core
As an exercise to target your entire core, the double crunch works to enhance all areas of strength to maximize performance, especially when it comes to big lifts and sport specific movements. You are able to work your core faster to develop those six-pack abs by targeting your upper and lower areas more effectively, as well as your obliques which can aid in that V-shape we all know and love (1).
Alleviate Back Pain
A strong core will work to alleviate any unwanted back pain that can arise from too much exercise or a grueling workout. By strengthening the base, your lower back won’t take much of the load often associated with lifting that bodybuilders and other athletes face. Back pain is an annoyance that no one wants and working to tackle areas that can help relieve it is more than important when looking to enhance training and performance (2).
Promote Better Posture
Bad posture is a curse that too many of us deal with. It would seem that improving our posture would be a no brainer but it is easier said than done. While doing posture improving exercises can be great for overall support, the double crunch provides for a more solid core to help improve your posture. A stronger core provides for a better base and will keep you more upright and less rounded for improved performance and more confidence.
Simple & Convenient
The double crunch can be done anywhere and at anytime making this an extremely convenient exercise. It is also simple to perform with no equipment needed so the stress of learning a new exercise is taken care of. We all want an easier exercise to improve our overall health and wellness and with the double crunch, we have just that.
How To Perform The Double Crunch
Here are the steps for performing a solid double crunch:
Start on the floor and lay on a mat or whatever is comfortable for you. Your knees will be best close to your chest and your feet slightly off the ground. Keeping your legs stretched as much as possible, keep them elevated off the ground while keeping your torso in a reclined position. Contracting your abs, raise your torso while bringing your knees to your chest. This will bring you back to the starting position where you can repeat for as many reps as you desire.
Things To Look Out For With The Double Crunch
Like any exercise, there are certain things to look out for in order to have an effective lift. These tips will keep you safe and away from unwanted pain while also maximizing the effects of the workout.
- Breathing: Make sure to control your breathing. This will make sure you don’t tire yourself out too quickly while also maximizing range of motion for your muscles.
- Don’t pull your head: Make sure to not yank your head for it not only takes away the effectiveness but also may cause pain.
- Keep your hips planted: Raising your hips off the ground will disengage your core as well as cause pain in your low back since you are taking more load.
For those with low back pain, performing these exercises may make it worse. Really keeping your core tight can keep the load from attacking your low back. While this is a great exercise to strengthen your core, it can be a nuisance for those who unfortunately suffer from unwanted back pain.
The double crunch is a great exercise to target your entire core with the added benefits of enhancing strength, making that physique pop, and working to improve posture and balance for big lifts. Keeping your core tight and engaged will prove to be more effective to decrease the load on your low back and provide for optimal effectiveness with each rep of the double crunch. Try this exercise next time you do abs and really feel the burn of this ab exercise.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Olson, Michele (2013). “Core Strength: The “Anatomy” of Investigating Abdominal Exercises”. (source)
- Contreras, Bret; Schoenfeld, Brad (2011). “To Crunch or Not to Crunch: An Evidence-Based Examination of Spinal Flexion Exercises, Their Potential Risks, and Their Applicability to Program Design”. (source)