Contrary to popular belief, crunches are not bad exercises. They are just the hardest exercise to master. As such, I decided to educate people on how to do crunches properly.

Form when doing crunches

Proper form and technique is often preached by a fitness coach, and they are absolutely right. Without proper form, exercise routines, are rendered useless.

What most people don’t know is that the muscles that should be activated during crunches are more of back muscles than the abdominal muscles themselves.

You see, the back muscles are connected to the abdominal muscles. Like a woman’s dress, if the zipper is zipped up, the dress automatically tightens. In the same vein, when back muscles are tightened during crunches, the front abdominal muscles automatically tighten.

But this is not the case since many people cannot correlate, the relationship between the back muscles and the abs. As such, they keep doing thousands of crunches, which doesn’t bring substantial results to their bodies.

Steps to do crunches properly

Before performing crunches, remember that crunches are more of a back muscle exercise than abdominal muscle exercise themselves,

Like I said earlier, crunches are more of a back exercise than an abdominal exercise:

  1. Lay down flat on the floor.
  2. Use your hands to hold up your head. Make sure your head is slightly above the ground.
  3. Without sucking in your belly, or engaging your abs, raise the upper half of your upper body, towards your legs. As you raise your body, you will be alternating from left to right. Since crunches are a back and oblique exercise. Make sure you are not engaging your abs muscles, but only your oblique.
  4. Return back to your former position.
  5. Repeat the process all over again, as much as you like.


The range of motion might not be grasped on the first try. So it might take a while to master.

Also, you should note that, since crunches are one of the most difficult exercises to master the proper form, it is better you do easier but more demanding exercises like the leg raise.

Furthermore, it should be noted that, without proper form, crunches can disrupt your body functions. For example, it causes the following:

  1. It can injure your spine and cause severe back pain, due to the short, and difficult through and fro movement.
  2. It can open up space, between your abdominal muscles, and cause diastasis recti, if not done properly.