Apr 19, 2008

Types of Crunches

  • The reverse crunch or dragon flag (popularized by Bruce Lee and also Sylvester Stallone in his movie Rocky 4). Begin lying horizontal on a bench. The arms are used to hold the underside of the bench to anchor the shoulders to it to prevent rolling forward. The rest of the body inferior to the scapulae is then pulled from the bench. Beginning with legs flexed, the legs can be extended slowly to increase the difficulty of the movement (and tension on the core muscles) due to moving the weight further from the levers. Throughout the movement the legs and hips are meant to remain locked while movement occurs in the abdominal region.
  • The twisting crunch is performed by lifting one shoulder at a time. More emphasis is placed on the obliques.
  • The Thai Crunch is performed by hitting the stomach after full contraction. This variation is used by Muay Thai fighters to condition the core to take hits from punches or knees.
  • The cable crunch is performed while kneeling upright by curling the body to pull down on a cable machine. The hips are kept motionless, so the bodyweight does not assist the movement.
  • The bicycle crunch is performed by bringing together alternating elbows and knees, resulting in a leg motion similar to pedaling a bicycle.

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