How To Do Decline Crunches Properly

Decline crunches mainly target your abdominal muscles. To perform this exercise effectively, you will require a decline bench.

How to perform the decline crunch:

  • Start by setting the bench to a decline position.
  • Lie with your back facing the bench. Ensure that your head is on the lower part of the bench.
  • Secure your legs on the ankle and feet pads that are on the top part of the bench.
  • Position your hands on the sides of your head. Do not lock your fingers.
  • Begin the crunch by engaging and using your abs to lift your upper body towards your thighs. Your chest should almost touch your knees while at the top position.
  • While at the top position, pause for a few seconds then slowly return to your starting position. The entire movement should be slow and controlled.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times for 3 sets.

You can also perform the decline crunch while carrying weights.

WHAT MUSCLES DO DECLINE CRUNCHES WORK?

RECTUS ABDOMINIS

Decline crunches mainly work your rectus abdominis, popularly known as the six pack muscles. The rectus abdominis runs below your rib cage.

The exercise stretches, tones, and strengthens your rectus abdominis, resulting in increased core power. A strong core promotes body balance and flexibility. Additionally, it reduces back pain.

OBLIQUES

Decline crunches tones and strengthens your oblique muscles. Besides, the workout burns calories around the oblique muscles, hence defining your waistline.

The action of raising your upper body towards your chest engages your abdominal muscles. Your obliques work together with your rectus abdominis to stabilize your spine during the exercise.  

RECTUS FEMORIS

Decline crunches engage your rectus femoris. The muscle is located around your hip and thigh area.

The exercise strengthens and enables your rectus femoris to flex your hips and extend your knees. Therefore, you are able to perform the exercise and its alternatives with minimal strain.

DECLINE CRUNCHES BENEFITS

IMPROVES CORE STRENGTH

The decline crunch mainly focuses on your abdominal muscles. This plays a significant role in boosting your core strength. A strong core boosts your limbs power, hence improving your athletic capabilities. Additionally, you are able to perform other variations of abdominal exercises with ease.

PROMOTES BODY STABILITY

The workout plays a vital role in stabilizing your body, particularly your lower back. Your lower back becomes healthier and stronger, hence reducing the risk of back pain. Your body coordination also improves.  

PROMOTES FLEXIBILITY

The technique works on your abdominal and hip muscles. This stretches and opens up your muscles. As a result, your body flexibility improves and you experience a greater range of motion.

IMPROVES POSTURE AND BRAIN STRENGTH

The decline crunch promotes good posture since it builds your abdominal muscles, which are connected to your back muscles. Good posture boosts your confidence and prevents back pain.

Therefore, you are able to experience a happy and healthy lifestyle, due to minimal back complications. Performing the decline crunch stimulates the cerebellum in your brain, resulting in improved balance and coordination.

PREVENTS INJURIES

The correct and consistent performance of this technique builds your core muscles. As your core muscles grow, they extend to your back and act as a buffer, hence protecting your back from injuries.

DEFINES YOUR WAIST

The exercises works muscles and burn fat in your abdominal area. This is essential in defining your waistline.

Besides, the workout promotes the development of six-packs, which improves the appearance of your abdominal area. You will feel more confident as your rock your crop top or walk shirtless (if you are a man).

ALTERNATIVES TO DECLINE CRUNCHES

PLANK

Plank is a great exercise for strengthening your abdominal muscles. You will need a yoga mat to perform this exercise if you do not want direct contact with the floor.

How to do planks:

  • Start by lying flat on the mat.
  • Bend your elbows and position your forearms on the floor so that they support your upper body. Lift your heels and use your toes to support your lower body.
  • Ensure that the space between your hands is shoulder width and tighten your abs. Your entire body from head to toe should be straight.
  • Suspend your body from the ground using your toes and forearms. Maintain this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

LEG RAISE

The leg raise is also a great alternative since it strengthens your core. You will also need a yoga mat to perform this exercise. However, it is optional.

How to do leg raise:

  • Start by lying on your back. Ensure that your body is straight from head to toe. Your legs should be close together.
  • In a slow and controlled motion, raise both legs towards the ceiling. Lift your butt slightly when your legs are up.
  • Pause for a few seconds then lower your feet to the starting position.
  • Perform 10 to 15 reps for 3 sets.

DECLINE CRUNCHES MISTAKES TO AVOID

USING YOUR HANDS TO PULL YOUR NECK

Using your hands to pull your neck distorts the purpose of the exercises. You fail to engage your core muscles; hence you will not experience good results.

Moreover, using your hands to lift your neck might cause injuries to your neck.

RESTING AFTER EACH REP

When the exercise becomes too intense, some individuals find less painful techniques to perform the workout.

This might be helpful to you but in the end, you experience no gains in your abdominal area. Avoid lying down on the bench to rest after performing each rep.

This prevents you from maintaining tension on your target muscles. The movement should be slow, controlled, and continuous. Rest in between sets but not reps.

CONCLUSION

The decline crunches is an amazing exercise for developing an attractive midsection and strengthening your core.

There are several variations of this exercise giving you the liberty of choosing the technique that is the most convenient to you.

The workout has several benefits that enhance your physique and improve your health. The exercise is beginner-friendly so do not be reluctant in including it in your workout routine.

Consistency, discipline, and accuracy of the exercise will perform wonders to your belly.