How To Do Knee To Elbow Crunches Properly

The knee to elbow crunches is a bodyweight workout that targets the ab muscles, obliques, and rectus abdominus famously known as the “six-pack” in particular.

When done correctly, and with proper form will make your abdominal muscles stronger and in turn, make you more explosive.    Enabling you to jump higher, leap further and sprint faster.

Steps on how to do knee to elbow crunches:

Required equipment: none (A mat for back comfort is optional)

  • Lie flat on the floor with your back and shoulder blades pressed against the ground.
  • Clasp your hands behind your head, remembering not to use this as a point of support to lift your upper body off the ground. For it will lead to you getting injured.
  • Bend your right knee at ninety degrees and cross your left leg across your left knee. This will be your starting position.
  • Flex your spine and simultaneously rotate your torso to bring your right elbow as close to your left knee as possible being careful not to strain yourself.
  • Return to the starting position but now do the motion with your left elbow touching your right knee.
  • Repeat the exercise for ten reps five on each side for three sets.

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

To prevent neck strain and injury, avoid touching the back of your head lightly or trying to pull on your head to keep your body up.

instead, make sure to engage your core to keep your shoulders and upper back slightly levitated off the ground

WHAT MUSCLES DO ELB TO KNEE CRUNCHES WORK?

Knee to elbow crunches mainly works your abdominals, strengthening them and toning them aesthetically. Slowly Your obliques are also worked as a secondary muscle.

BENEFITS OF DOING KNEE TO ELBOW CRUNCHES

STRONGER MUSCLES

Knee to elbow crunches is a type of resistance training that can help you strengthen your obliques and core muscles, over time with consistency.

  HELPS WITH LOSING WEIGHT

Exercise requires much more energy than your regular daily activities. Building new muscle mass also burns more calories, causing stored fat to be broken down to produce energy, in turn helping you lose weight.

REDUCES LOWER BACK PAIN

Core Strengthening exercises like elbow knee crunches alleviate lower back pain by reducing the weight being exerted on your lower back, reducing strain and the pain brought by it.

NO EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

Since the exercise is a bodyweight workout you do not have to invest in equipment or be in a specific location, making it a very convenient exercise to incorporate.

ALTERNATIVES TO KNEE TO ELBOW CRUNCHES

AB CRUNCH MACHINE

The ab crunch machine is a machine-based exercise targeting the abdominal muscles. Crunch machines usually use extra resistance in the form of weight loading.

Steps on how to do it:

Required equipment:(a proper functioning ab crunch machine)

  • First select a resistance that is light or that challenges you slightly but does not injure you and load it onto the machine.
  • Sit down on the ab machine placing your feet under the pad provided and tightly grabbing the top handles.
  • Your arms should be bent at a ninety-degree angle as you rest your triceps on the pads provided. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin to lift your legs as you simultaneously crunch your upper torso, pulling with your hands to try and make a folding gesture.
  • As you perform the crunching movement it is advisable to breathe out.
  • Pause at this position for a second then slowly to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat the movement for ten reps in two sets.

Tips for beginners, make sure to perform the exercise in a slow controlled motion and concentrate on using your abs to try and move the weight while relaxing your legs and feet.

Always select a weight that you can easily handle to avoid injury.

TOE TOUCHERS

Toe touchers is a bodyweight movement the rectus abdominis muscles in particular

Steps on how to do toe touchers:

Required equipment: none (A mat is optional)

Begin by lying down on the floor with your back pressed against it. Your arms should lie across your sides with your palms facing down.

Make sure your legs are touching each other. Slowly lift your legs in the air until they are as close to being perpendicular to the floor as you can make them, with only a slight bend at the knees.

Move your arms up so that they are extended at a forty-five-degree angle from the floor. This is the starting position.

While ensuring to keep your lower back pressed against the floor, slowly lift your torso and use your hands to try and touch your toes, remembering to exhale as you perform this part of the exercise.

In a controlled motion, lower your torso and arms back down to the starting position while inhaling. Remember to keep your arms straight out pointing towards your toes.

Repeat this for about ten reps of three sets.

ELBOW TO KNEE CRUNCHES MISTAKES TO AVOID

LIFTING YOUR LOWER BACK OFF THE FLOOR

A very frequently occurring mistake caused by not fully engaging your core and pelvis control. This may give rise to hip and lower back pain if the mistake becomes a habit.

This is due to the extra strain placed on your back and hips during the workout.

LOWERING YOUR BACK TOO QUICKLY

The lowering part of the exercise needs to be controlled and slow. But often people end up releasing the tension in the core, letting their bodies roll or fall back onto the ground.

FORGETTING TO BREATHE

It may seem like something obvious to you but forgetting to breathe or breathing incorrectly during an exercise, especially crunches is a very common mistake.

It may feel easier for you to engage your abdominal muscles as you hold your breath but it is not a smart solution.

Holding your breath for too long can lead to very serious complications and can put your muscles at risk.

CONCLUSION

While doing knee to elbow crunches your abs go through a longer range of motion than other crunches, this will generally result in a greater ab muscle gain.

For other fitness goals, there are many better exercise options, but if you wish to grow and strengthen both your ab muscles and obliques, this is the exercise for you.