How to do the bicycle crunch – the photographic guide

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.

About Katie

Katie has transformed her body from a flabby 186lbs, to a fit & toned 124 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. Katie joined the Lean Curves team in 2007 and has posted hundreds of articles on fitness, fat loss and healthy eating.


  1. Elaine says:

    I just added these to my routine the other day! Good to see them on RWF. They’re great.

    The first set I wasn’t thinking straight, though, and kept my legs at 90 degrees the entire time. Doesn’t do much. Straight leg is much better.

  2. weight loss says:

    I believe the bicycle crunch is one of the absolute best workouts for your abs. It got me a flat stomach and can get you.

  3. Lauren says:

    I think the bicycle crunch is amazing! it got me from flabby to fabby!

  4. Lea says:

    I thought id have a go at this , but its hurting my kneck ?
    what am i doing wrong ?

  5. Barnaby Thunder says:

    if your neck hurts then that means you’re leaning forward too much. you shouldn’t have your chin touch your chest, try looking straight up and focus on your abs doing the work rather than your neck

  6. Tosh says:

    Your legs look like they were sculpted out of marble.

  7. Nancy says:

    This is by far my favorite exercise. This along with the Russian Twist. These two exercises just seem to burn my entire stomach.

  8. duwi says:

    Hi tried de bicycle crunch but I canot lift my shoulders of the floor. My neck is lifting of the floor and that is not allowing me to feel the crunch in my stomach. How do I it correctly. PLZ help wil b mush appreciated thank you

  9. Gla says:

    Omigosh duwi!!! First things first!!! Buy a dictionary and work on your grammar!!! You put your hands behind your head to support your neck! It’s a basic oblique crunch with the legs added in to work the lower abs! Let your stomach so the work!

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