The bicycle crunch has been a staple in the fitness community for many years. This exercise requires not only core strength but also full-body synchronization and timing between upper and lower body.

Beginner considerations:

If you have a history of back and/or neck injuries, this exercise might not be for you. Consult your physician and physical therapist or chiropractor for clearance for this exercise.

Best practices:

  • Keep your chin out of your chest and keep your elbows back.
  • Do not pull on your neck with your hands, keeping your gaze over your knees and not toward your stomach.

Master This: Bicycle Crunch

  • Lying flat on your back, bring your hands behind your head with both legs starting straight out slightly off the ground.
  • Lift one leg up, driving your knee toward your chest as you bring in your opposite-side elbow toward that knee, lifting your upper back off the ground.
  • Move reciprocally with your opposite knee to elbow, keeping your upper back off the ground for a desired amount of time or repetitions.

Make it easier: Keep your knees bent and tap your toes to the ground instead of extending your legs.

Make it harder: Place a mini-band around your midfoot, stretching out the band as you bicycle.