Learn the bicycle crunch with this step by step photo guide
The bicycle crunch has been shown to work the abs more than a regular crunch. Much scientific research has actually gone into establishing which abs exercises get the best tension in the abs and the bicycle crunch was on of top few.
Why is the bicycle crunch so good?
The bicycle crunch is one of the better abs exercises because it uses both the lower and the upper abs in conjunction with a twist. These are all the elements needed for a complete abs workout so in theory the bicycle crunch can do it all.
It is also an excellent exercise becaue it gets your heart rate up more than other abs exercises.
Here is how to do a bicycle crunch in order to maximize results in the abs.
1. Start by laying on a gym mat or carpet and place your hands on the side of your head.
2. Lift your right leg off the ground about three hand lengths.
3. Bend your left lleg up and bring it towards your chest like a reverse crunch.
4. Tense your abs and crunch upwards and bring your right elbow up towards your bent left knee.
The picture below shows how you should begin the bicycle crunch.
1. From the above position and keeping your abs tensed alternate your legs position as if your were riding a bike so that the opposite leg comes up towards your chest.
2. As this is happening, twist your upper body using the tension in your abs so that your left elbow is now heading towards your right knee.
This is how your body should be positioned as you change from the pre crunch position.
Repeat this process slowly making sure your legs go out nice and far and you get a good stretch in your abs.
Some people like to punch the bike crunch out as fast as they can. This does work the abs but I have found that results come much faster when a slow, tight and controlled movement is used.
Do not worry if you cannot touch your elbow to your knee, it is the fluid motion of twisting and crunching that provides the benefit. You should stay in a crunched up position throughout the whole exercise.