Reverse Crunch

  • Alternative Names: Lying reverse crunch, 90-degree reverse crunch, supine reverse crunch
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: None
  • Muscles Targeted: Abs, hips, back
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 2-3 with 8-12 reps each
  • Variations: Decline, bench, suspended, machine, weighted, incline, cable, one leg reverse crunch
  • Alternative: Exercise ball pull-in, flat bench leg pull-in

The reverse crunch is a simple ab-strengthening exercise performed by trainees who have lower back issues and do not want to incorporate the classic abdominal crunch into their training regimen, as it can aggravate lower back pain. Since the reverse crunch involves movement in the lower body and allows you to bring the knees close to your chest, it protects your back thereby creating a greater range of motion while placing more tension on the abs than the traditional ab crunches.


  • Develops stability and strength throughout your hips, spine, and lower back.
  • Can be done at home, as it is easy-to-perform and does not require any gym equipment.
  • Effectively works when combined with other strength-gaining exercises, like push-ups, glute bridges, and side planks.
  • Helps you burn calories and lose belly fat provided you take in lesser calories than what you expend.

How to do Reverse Crunches

Start for the exercise by lying supine on the floor, keeping your arms adjacent to your torso and legs extended fully. Bending your knees, lift your legs so that your thighs are at 90-degrees to the floor. Make sure to keep your feet together and positioned parallel to the ground. Move your legs until your knees slightly touch the chest.

Reverse Crunch

Reverse Ab Crunch Tips

  • Instead of performing the movement too quickly, focus on moving the legs in a controlled fashion.
  • Do not lift your neck while doing the exercise.
  • Avoid using your body’s momentum to bring the knees toward your torso. Tighten your hips and abs to initiate the movement.


  1. Decline Reverse Crunch: Unlike the conventional reverse crunch on the floor, it is performed by lying on a decline bench.
  2. Reverse Crunch on Bench: A seated variation of reverse crunch performed by sitting on the edge of a flat bench.
  3. Suspended Reverse Crunch: Performed by positioning yourself into a push-up plank with your feet placed into the handles of suspension straps.
  4. Reverse Crunch Machine: Performed similarly as the standard reverse crunch on the floor, except that you do it on an ab machine.
  5. Weighted Reverse Crunch: A variation done by placing a dumbbell or stability ball between your feet.
  6. Incline Reverse Crunch: Done by lying on your back on an incline bench.
  7. Cable Reverse Crunch: It is similar to the conventional reverse crunch except that a strap attachment connected to a pulley cable is wrapped around your ankle.
  8. Reverse One Leg Crunch: Performed by crossing one ankle over the top of the other knee and then lifting the legs toward your chest, maintaining the posture.

Alternative Exercises

  • Exercise Ball Pull-In
  • Flat Bench Leg Pull-In

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