Crunch with a Twist

The Abdominal Crunch with a Twist works all your abdominal muscles with an emphasis on your obliques. Pay special attention to form if you have a history of lower back or neck discomfort.

Getting Set (A)

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor. Place your left hand behind your head so that your thumb is behind your ear. Place your right arm along the floor beside you. Bring your elbow out to the side and round it slightly inward. Tilt your chin so that your chin and your chest are a few inches apart. Pull your abdominals in.

The Exercise (B)

As you curl your head, neck and shoulder blades off the floor, twist your torso to the right, bringing your left shoulder toward your right knee. (Your elbow will not actually touch your knee.) Lower backdown. Do all of the repetitions on one side and then switch to the other side.

Do’s & Dont’s

• DO concentrate on rotating from your middle rather than simply moving your elbows toward your knees.

Other Options

Legs-up Crunch with a Twist (Harder): Lift your bent knees off the floor and cross one ankle over the other.

Straight-arm Crunch with a Twist (Harder): Reach for your opposite knee with your arm straight rather than your elbow bent. Reach past the outside edge of your knee.