How To Do Incline Crunch Properly

The incline crunch is an effective routine to develop your core power. The exercise also plays an important role in strengthening your back reducing back pain.

To perform this exercise, you will need a bench.

How to do the incline crunch:

  • Start by setting up the bench to an incline position. Incline it to about 30 to 45 degrees.
  • Sit on the bench and rest your back on the inclined pad. Place your legs on the footrest pads that are attached to the bench. In the absence of the footrest, place your legs against the wall or any other high position. Fold your hands and place them on your chest. Alternatively, you can place them on the sides of your ears.
  • While exhaling, gently raise your chest, head, and shoulders from the bench. They should move as one unit. Ensure that you do not bend your back.
  • Once you reach peak contraction on your abdominals, pause briefly, lower your upper body on the bench. Do this while inhaling.
  • Perform 12 to 15 reps for three sets.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE INCLINE CRUNCH WORK?

RECTUS ABDOMINIS

The incline crunch mainly targets your rectus abdominis. While performing the exercise, you lift your upper body until you feel the maximum contraction on your abdominals.

This plays a vital role in toning and strengthening your core. Through consistency, you develop six-packs.

OBLIQUES

The exercise also engages your internal and external obliques. These muscles are located on the sides of your abdomen. The incline crunch strengthens and stabilizes your obliques.

Therefore, you can bend and twist your trunk with ease.

LOWER BACK

The technique stabilizes your lower back. This plays a key role in promoting a healthy posture.

INCLINE CRUNCH BENEFITS

IMPROVES YOUR APPEARANCE

Performing the incline crunch correctly and consistently improves the appearance of your abdominal region. Since the exercise engages your obliques, you develop a defined waistline. Moreover, the workout helps you to develop six-packs.

Therefore, you feel more confident as you wear your bikinis or walk shirtless, depending on your gender. The technique also gives you a youthful touch.

STRENGTHS CORE POWER

The incline crunch strengthens your core. Strong core power is important since it promotes body balance and stability. Therefore, you can perform daily activities with ease.

Additionally, a strong core protects your internal organs, which are located beneath your abdominal muscle. These organs include the kidney, spleen, and liver.

Strong core power also enhances strength training. This means that you can endure heavier weights.

PROMOTES GOOD POSTURE

The incline crunch plays a vital role in promoting good posture. The technique mainly engages your core, which is attached to the spine.

 As a result, your spine becomes stronger and more stable, promoting good posture. A healthy posture helps in reducing back pain and muscle fatigue.

BURNS SOME CALORIES

The exercise helps in burning calories in your abdominal area. However, this is not fully guaranteed.

The burning of calories in the abdominal region through exercise depends on several factors. They include your muscle mass, fitness level, and age.

The duration in which you have been performing the technique also matters.

ALTERNATIVES TO INCLINE CRUNCH

SIDE PLANK

The side plank also engages your abdominal muscles. Furthermore, the technique promotes stability and core strength. You do not need any machine to perform this workout.

You can use a yoga mat if you do not want to contact the ground directly.

How to do a side plank:

  • Start by aligning yourself in a plank position. Then proceed to rotate your body to balance it on your right side. Your right leg and arm should support your body. Fully stretch your right hand to decline the rest of your body. Maintain a straight and stable spine throughout the entire exercise.
  • Maintain a tight core and keep your knees and hips from the ground. Hold this position for about 60 seconds. Ensure that you develop a normal breathing pattern.
  • Perform your desired sets on the exercise.

TWISTING MOUNTAIN CLIMBER

The mountain climber is a great alternative since it strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles. All you need for this technique is a yoga mat.

How to do the twisting mountain climber:

  • Commence the technique by aligning yourself in a plank position. Place your hands on the mat, ensuring that they are shoulder-width apart.
  • Your wrists should be directly above your shoulders. Use your toes to support your body. This is your starting position.
  • While exhaling, twist your hips, then direct your left knee to your right elbow. Pause briefly, then return your left leg to the starting position.
  • Repeat the same technique on your opposite leg.
  • Perform 10 to 15 reps for three sets.

INCLINE CRUNCH MISTAKES TO AVOID

SLIDING OFF THE BENCH

Sliding off the bench is a common mistake while performing the incline crunch. This is dangerous since you can cause injuries to your body.

Moreover, it prevents the workout from achieving its purpose since your lower back loses its support. To avoid this, position yourself on proper form on the incline bench.

MOVING TOO FAST

Moving too fast does not guarantee you great results. Instead, you become fatigued. Moreover, the fast speed causes you to perform the incorrect technique. Always ensure that your movement is slow and controlled.

ARCHING YOUR BACK

Avoid arching your back while performing the incline crunch. This causes tension in your lower back. Instead, keep your back straight on the inclined pad.

BENDING YOUR NECK TOWARDS YOUR CHEST

Bending your neck down to your chest is very dangerous. It might result in neck pain or injuries. Always maintain a straight upper body throughout the entire exercise.

CONCLUSION 

The incline crunch is a great exercise to tone and sculpt your abdominal region. The technique defines your waistline and gives your six-packs.

This significantly boosts your self-image and confidence. Furthermore, you develop strong core power, promoting good posture and enhancing balance.

Always consult your fitness trainer for further guidance on the exercise.