How To Do Knee Crunches Properly

The knee crunches exercise helps you build core strength. It mainly targets your abdominal muscles and helps in burning belly fat.

They are very similar to sits ups and basic crunches but are more advanced in that, they add a challenging twist to the range of motion.

Categorized as a bodyweight exercise used to build lower body strength in addition to targeting your core and is known to build the desired six-pack.

Steps on how to go about it:

Required equipment: none (a mat is optional).

  • Lie faceup on the floor (or exercise mat if any) with your knees bent at ninety degrees and your feet on the floor.
  • Place both of your hands on the back of your head without interlocking your fingers for this may put a strain on your neck. Tuck your pelvis slightly and touch the back of your ribs to the floor.
  • Begin the upward movement by engaging your core, keeping your chin tucked throughout the movement.
  • Curl your shoulders off the floor while squeezing your abs moving your head towards your knees. Pause at the top of the movement.
  • Slowly lower your back onto the ground while maintaining tension in your abs to the start point.
  • Repeat this for the number of reps you can do comfortably before your core begins to get a burning sensation, then repeat the same number of reps for two other sets.

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

Make sure to emphasize proper technique which is essential, more than the number of reps to ensure the effectiveness of the exercise and to avoid injury.

Always warm up your body properly with other heavy cardiovascular exercises before beginning the knee crunch for maximum effect.

WHAT MUSCLES DO KNEE CRUNCHES WORK?

Knee crunches are an upper body exercise that primarily targets your rectus abdominis (your packs) and core as the primary muscles.

Your hip flexors, obliques and lower back are also worked as secondary muscles.

BENEFITS OF DOING KNEE CRUNCHES

BUILDS LOWER BODY POWER AND STRENGTH

Knee crunches mainly target your mid-section, which helps you in developing your core strength and also your abs.

Also, working your hip flexors and lower back increases your vertical jump, acceleration, and the weight you can lift with your lower body over time.

BURNS BELLY FAT

The exercise puts a huge amount of pressure and tension on your waist and core region.

Since this causes you to build muscle in this area, fat is broken down to provide energy for muscle function and growth in this area. Thus, fat is replaced by muscle.

REDUCES LOWER BACK PAIN

Knee crunches are known to reduce your lower back pain and how much your back strains when lifting items on your back. Since the exercise works your core and lower back, strengthening them reduces lower back pain with time

During the exercise your lower back is also stretched during its flexion, providing good therapy for minor lower back injuries.

THE EXERCISE IS SUPER CONVENIENT

It does not require you to have a membership at the gym or any sort of trainer. Knee crunches are also super friendly to beginners, no advanced equipment is needed and is very space convenient as well in case you do not have a lot of space to work out.

ALTERNATIVES TO KNEE CRUNCHES

RUSSIAN TWIST

This exercise mainly focuses on working your abdominal muscles as does knee crunches. It involves twisting your body from side to side in a sit-up position.

It builds explosiveness in your upper torso and strength in your core.

Steps:

  • Sit down with your hands clasped at your mid-section.
  • Bend your knees at ninety degrees and lift your heels slightly off the ground.
  • Twist your upper body from left to right touching your hands to the ground each time.
  • Make sure to have your glutes s your pivot point having both your upper and lower body off the ground, having your core activated throughout the exercise.

If you wish to increase the intensity you could add a weighted ball, which you will swing side to side with your hands.

BURPEES

It is a dynamic movement that combines both strength and cardio working most of your major muscle groups in rapid succession. Works both arm strength and lower body strength.

Steps:

  • Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, crouch down having your hands beside your hips.
  • Place your weight into your hands and shoulders and use the momentum gained to jump up, as high as you can your feet out behind you to straighten your legs.
  • As your land back down, remember to keeps your legs extended to soften and reduce the impact.
  • Go back down into a squat position, bending your elbows and throwing your feet back to land in a push-up position. Chest in between your hands.
  • This acts as the bottom point of your movement.
  • From that position, press your upper body back up from the floor jerking your feet back forward under your chest, going back into the squat position.
  • As you stand up shift your weight back onto your hands and jump up hands outstretched towards the sky.
  • Repeat this motion for ten to fifteen reps for about three sets.

It is important to have your core muscles braced when jumping as well as when you are lowering your chest to the floor.

KNEE CRUNCHES MISTAKES TO AVOID

STRAINING YOUR NECK

Make sure not to lead the motion with your neck muscles or strain them by pushing your fingers against the base of your neck. Your neck should always be in line with your body.

USING SHOULDER MUSCLES TO DO THE CURL

Do not perform knee crunches with arm muscles or shoulder movement to try and generate momentum to raise yourself. Instead, use only your mid-section muscles

ARCHING YOUR BACK

During the crunches, your lower back should stay in contact with the ground and not arch at all. This is to avoid injury and to get maximum results

NOT WARMING UP PROPERLY FIRST

Quite a common mistake made by a lot of people. This can lead to injury due to your muscles straining while not fully activated. Make sure to properly warm-up before attempting to do knee crunches.

CONCLUSION

Knee crunches are a convenient and very effective exercise to burn belly fat, build and strengthen your core muscles. It is a very easy exercise to incorporate into your workout routine.