The Bicycle Crunch Exercise
The bicycle crunch is one of the most effective exercises for toning your abdominal muscles and helping you get those six-pack abs you’ve been looking for.
Though the bicycle crunch is nothing new – people have been doing it for years; it’s definitely an exercise you want to add to your routine.
What is the Bicycle Crunch?
The bicycle crunch requires doing simple crunches with the upper part of your body, while moving your legs the way you would move them to ride a bicycle.
So, as you pull your shoulders off the floor for the crunch, you move your elbow toward the opposing knee on the diagonal, alternating with each rep.
Muscles Used Performing the Bicycle Crunch
The bicycle crunch uses the rectus abdominus muscle group. In fact, it has been ranked as the number one exercise for working this major muscle group.
The primary muscles worked during the bicycle crunch are the obliques, which are the abdominal muscles that run along the sides of your stomach, where many of us tend to develop “love handles”.
Working the obliques is critical to getting abdominal muscles that appear toned and tight all across the abdominal region.
How to Perform the Bicycle Crunch
Though the bicycle crunch is one of the best exercises you can perform for your abdominal muscles, it’s not at all difficult.
Anyone can perform the bicycle crunch, though you’ll want to increase the number of reps you perform as you get stronger so that the exercise continues to be a challenge.
- Lie on your back
- Bend your knees to 90 degrees and lift shoulders slightly off the floor
- Crunch your upper body and lower body together, reaching your right elbow toward your left knee and then going back to starting position
- Repeat the movement, this time moving your left elbow toward your right knee
- At the top of each crunch, pause for a second before returning to the bottom
- Repeat for 20 reps on each side, to start.
Tips to Remember When Performing the Bicycle Crunch:
- This exercise should be performed in a controlled manner. Don’t use momentum or you’ll lessen the work that your muscles must do.
- You can put your hands against the side of your head for light support if you like. But, don’t pull on your head or neck during the bicycle crunch. You can easily strain neck muscles and cause pain by pulling on your head during the bicycle crunch.
- Exhale as you come up, inhale as you go down
- Do not let your shoulders touch the floor
- For best results, take one day off between abdominal workouts. Let your muscles rest.
If you’ve never performed the bicycle crunch, you’ll probably be amazed at how simple it is. You may be sore the next day, but this is an exercise everyone can do. And, to make it even better; this is one of the most effective exercises you can do.
So, if you’re ready to prepare for swimsuit season, this is one of the exercises you must put on your weekly workout list.