Exercise Breakdown: The Bicycle Crunch

Posted by Skinny Jane on 6th Jul 2016

The bicycle crunch is a favorite move for everyone in the fitness field. Not only is it an ab-torching crunch but you are also using the legs, twisting, and strengthening the whole body. You can visit almost any excercise class and at some point, this move will be incorporated into classes! Today we break down this crunch step-by-step so you have the most effective workout possible. 

Lie on the floor. Stretch your legs out straight and hold your arms outstretched at your sides. Bend you knees and exhale so your back becomes flat on the floor or a mat. This first step is important because it is the move that will protect your low back and give you the most effective workout. 

Place your hands behind your head. You can interlock your fingers if you desire. Barely tuck the neck - as if you are holding an orange between your chin and chest. Let the elbows go wide. If at any point your neck begins to hurt rest and move hands to the base of your skull. 

Raise your legs. Lift your legs so the thighs are perpendicular to the ground, and your the calves are parallel to the ground. Keep your feet together in this table top position.

Touch your right elbow to your left knee. Lift your head up and twist, touching your right elbow to the left knee while pulling your left knee up towards your head. At the same time, straighten your right leg, make sure to keep it several inches off of the floor - now you see where the name bicycle crunch comes in!

  • As you lift your head, strengthen your abs. Use all of your abdominal muscles to crunch your body forward so that your elbow can reach your knee.
  • At the same time, tense your leg muscles and be sure to keep them bent or straightened correctly. Don't rest your feet on the ground.
  • Be sure to keep your elbows back, rather than bringing them forward toward your chest. If you get tired, instead of straining the neck. 

Now touch your left elbow to your right knee. Repeat this motion on the opposite side.Crunching up and straightening your left leg, keeping it off of the floor. You've now completed one bicycle crunch or one "rep".

Complete three sets of 10-20 repetitions 

Deepen the crunch. As you become more controlled in this movement begin to take opposite