The crunch exercise, which is a popular abdominal workout. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Video Instructions on How to Do Crunches

Crunch Exercise:

Muscles Targeted:

  • Primary: Rectus abdominis (the six-pack muscles)
  • Secondary: Obliques (side muscles) to some extent


  1. Starting Position:
    • Lie down on your back on a mat or a comfortable surface.
    • Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the ground.
    • Place your hands behind your head, lightly supporting your neck. Avoid pulling your head forward with your hands.
  2. Body Alignment:
    • Keep your back in a neutral position, meaning it should be neither arched nor pressed flat against the floor.
  3. Execution:
    • Inhale and engage your core muscles.
    • Exhale as you lift your upper body off the floor, aiming to bring your shoulder blades a few inches off the ground.
    • Focus on using your abdominal muscles to lift, rather than straining your neck or using momentum.
  4. Contraction:
    • Hold the contracted position for a moment, squeezing your abdominal muscles.
  5. Lowering Phase:
    • Inhale and slowly lower your upper body back to the starting position, controlling the descent to work the muscles throughout the entire range of motion.
  6. Repetition:
    • Perform the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions. Start with a manageable number and gradually increase as your strength improves.


  • Maintain a steady and controlled pace throughout the exercise.
  • Avoid pulling on your neck or using your hands to lift your head. Your hands are there for support, not to assist in the movement.
  • Focus on the quality of the movement rather than the quantity of repetitions.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Jerking your neck or using your hands to pull your head forward.
  • Lifting your entire back off the ground, which can strain the lower back.
  • Holding your breath—remember to breathe throughout the exercise.


  • There are many crunch variations, such as reverse crunches, bicycle crunches, and oblique crunches, which target different areas of the abdominal muscles.


  • Consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or concerns.

Remember to listen to your body, and if you experience pain (other than the normal muscle fatigue), it’s advisable to stop and consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider.