If you’re looking for a fun, challenging, and effective exercise for your abs, look no further than crunch kicks.
This simple exercise doesn’t require any equipment, works great for beginners, and adds needed variation to your ab workout routine.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the movement, see what it is and why you should do it.
What Are Crunch Kicks?
Crunch kicks are a simple bodyweight exercise that doesn’t require any equipment apart from a comfortable exercise mat. You can do the exercise almost anywhere: at home, in the gym, or your hotel room while taking a vacation. All you need is to lie down and do a few sets a couple of times per week for a solid ab routine.
As you lie down, raise your feet off the floor and bend your knees. From there, begin to extend your knees and move them away from your body before bringing them back in. Doing so is great for core stability and lower ab development. (1)
Performing Crunch Kicks
What’s The Best Way to Use Crunch Kicks?
Crunch kicks are a fantastic movement, but a solid ab routine comes down to a balanced approach. So, it’s best to do this movement with other exercises like crunches, sit-ups, and planks. Doing so will allow you to develop the entire rectus abdominis.
Crunch kicks emphasize your lower abs, similar to flutter kicks (scissors), lying knee raises, and hanging leg lifts. In other words, your upper body is stationary, and your lower body works.
The general rule to follow when doing ab workouts:
- Upper body movement – sit-ups, crunches – work your upper abs.
- Lower body movement – leg lifts, frog kicks – work your lower abs.
It’s good to combine lower ab movements with others that emphasize your upper abs: sit-ups, crunches, and similar. In other words, activities where your lower body is stationary while your upper body works.
In any case, a proper warm-up is vital for all exercises, including those that train your abs. You can do as little as five minutes of low-intensity cardio, but some activity will improve your performance, get you in the training mindset, and reduce the risk of injuries.
A Few Words On Six-Pack Abs
Many people look for the right combination of ab and oblique exercises to melt belly fat and achieve a shredded core. While exercises are beneficial for strengthening and developing the muscles, they cannot burn fat and help us get lean. In other words, you can do all the crunches in the world, but you won’t lose the fat from your stomach if you ignore your nutrition.
As the old saying goes, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.” Exercises are beneficial for many things, but spot-reducing body fat is impossible, so don’t do activities to shed fat from a specific body part.
Getting lean – losing fat from all over your body – is the key to seeing your abs. To showcase their abs, men need to be at 10 to 12 percent body fat, and women have to be at 20 to 22 percent. (2)
To achieve this, you need to maintain a small to moderate calorie deficit, consume enough protein, do some resistance training (and ab-specific work), and sleep at least seven hours per night. Be consistent, track your progress, show patience, and you will rock an impressive six-pack eventually.
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- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020). Why your core muscles matter. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/core-exercises/art-20044751.
- Russo, V. (2021). The 6 principles of Getting Lean. Bodybuilding.com. https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/the-6-principles-of-getting-lean.html.