Standing Cross Crunches, also known as standing knee-elbow crunch, is a great ab workout that will develop a strong and chiseled midsection.
This workout is great if you’re looking to build your obliques and tone your abs. Standing cross crunches challenges body balance and coordination.
Likewise, this workout trains the synergist muscles engaged in the motion and improves the body posture. It is performed by moving one shoulder towards the opposite hip.
Standing cross crunches are relatively easy to perform since gravity aids your movement throughout the workout and is ideal for all fitness levels.
Also known as: Knee Elbow Crunches, Standing Knee Elbow Crunch
Targeted Muscles: Abs/ Obliques
Secondary Muscles Targeted: Quadriceps, Hamstrings
Required Equipment: No Equipment
Exercise Type: Body Building
Exercise Mechanics: Compound
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
- Assume a hip-width stance with your hands beside your head and elbows flared out.
- Move one shoulder in the direction of the opposite hip in a slow and controlled motion as far as comfortable. As you do this, lift the knee opposite the moving shoulder such that your knee and elbow nearly touch.
- Resume the starting position in a slow and controlled manner.
- Repeat the same sets of reps on the opposite knee.
- Ensure your motion is slow and controlled to engage your abs and obliques more and emphasize the correct technique as you perform. Squeeze your abs to work them to their utmost potential.
- Avoid the urge to twist your neck. Keep your arms aligned with your upper body.
- Hold on to something for balance if need be. The most crucial phase of the workout is that you crunch your shoulder in the direction of the opposite hip.
- Avoid returning the raised leg to the floor to challenge your balance.
- If you wish, you can keep your free arm on your hip.
- The raised leg is back on the floor.
- If you wish, you can keep your free arm on your hip.
- You can use dumbbells and ankle weights to increase resistance.
MUSCLES WORKED BY STANDING CROSS CRUNCHES
Standing cross crunches primarily target the abs and obliques by isolating them. Your hip flexors act as synergists to help raise the legs. The glutes and quadriceps are worked to a lesser degree to keep your legs neutral.
They train the ab and oblique muscles in your midsection responsible for strength and body stability.
Likewise, they train the core muscles. Your core consists of stabilizer muscles located in the neck, back, shoulders and abdomen. This drill engages all the stabilizer muscles.
BENEFITS OF STANDING CROSS CRUNCHES
Performing standing cross crunches provides many notable health and wellness benefits, including:
MINIMAL IMPACT ON THE CORE
Standing cross crunches puts less strain on the lower back and neck than other core workouts. Likewise, individuals with limited mobility can perform it much more ease than the regular crunch variation.
REDUCE/ PREVENT BACK PAIN
Many core strengthening workouts reduce or completely alleviate lower back pain. If you have issues with your back, consider consulting a certified physician before you perform this exercise.
STRONGER MUSCLES, BALANCE AND COORDINATION
Fitness skills like coordination and balance are only trained by challenging them. Standing cross crunches can guarantee balance and coordination improvement. Standing cross crunches have hypertrophy benefits to your core muscles as a resistance workout.
IMPROVED CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Standing cross crunches guarantee a cardio workout without you having to go for a run. This exercise will have your blood pumping, elevate your heart rate, and provide an excellent cardio workout.
ALTERNATIVES TO STANDING CROSS CRUNCHES
The oblique crunch is an excellent bodyweight workout that targets the abs and obliques. However, this workout does not mimic the standing cross crunches technique.
Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps on both sides, and choose the number of reps and sets depending on your fitness level and ability to maintain the proper procedure throughout the session.
- Place a mat on the floor and lie on it on your right side. Ensure your legs are straight, your feet are off the ground and put your left arm behind your head.
- Bend your knees, lift your torso and contract your abs. Try touching your knee and elbow.
- Stretch both legs and lower your torso to resume the initial position. Repeat the movement and switch to the opposite side.
Remember to brace your core, keep your back straight and ensure you begin each rep with your shoulders on the ground.
Once you have mastered the technique and are comfortable with your form, you can level up the exercise to engage the muscles to their full potential and gain the most out of this workout.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING STANDING CROSS CRUNCHES
RUSHING THE MOTION
One common mistake with standing cross crunches is rushing the motion. Performing the exercise in a rush builds momentum.
This will engage other muscles and shift tension off the targeted muscle, reducing the effectiveness of the workout.
Correct this mistake by executing the workout slowly and controlling and making every rep deliberate. Crunches don’t have to be fast. Aim for slow and targeted reps.
PERFORMING TOO MANY REPS
With core workouts, you don’t necessarily have to do many reps.
Too many reps do not guarantee results if performed with the wrong technique- especially if your technique targets other muscles that aren’t in question.
Check your form and focus on performing the exercise with the proper technique. This way, you will attain the most benefits instead of performing too many reps using the wrong technique and lapse as you start getting tired.
If you are a beginner in entire core training workouts, you can build some muscle with this exercise. However, consider other variations and alternatives if you have other workout goals.
Like any other core workout, standing cross crunches can be hard on your core muscles, even with the correct technique. If your fitness level cannot accommodate this workout, start with strengthening exercises first.
Consistency is key for this workout plan. If you choose to add this exercise to your routine, ensure you nourish your body with enough nutrients and have enough rest to aid muscle repair and growth.
Get active, get sweaty!