Cross-Over Crunch

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Cross-Over Crunch Exercise Guide

Cross-over crunch is also known as “figure-4 crunch” or “twisting crunch”. Cross-over crunch is fairly advanced abdominal exercise that targets your rectus abdominis, external and internal oblique muscles. It is also a good general conditioning exercise useful for multiple sports. The technique is the same as the basic exercise, but with one leg crossed over the other (as a guide) and the same arm held out straight to stabilize the body.

Exercise Instructions

Lie faceup on an exercise mat with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head or over your ears and flare your elbows out to your sides. Cross one leg over the other, keeping one foot on the floor. The knee which is crossed should be in the same plane as the shoulder on that side (not wider). You can extend one arm on the floor to stabilize the body (as shown on the video).

Cross-Over Crunch Abdominal Exercise

Cross-Over Crunch Abdominal Exercise

Try to bring your elbow up to the opposite knee (i.e., of the leg that is crossed over) in a movement that combines flexing and rotating. In other words, curl up, but twist Immediately at the waist as you near the top of the movement, moving one elbow toward the opposite knee (so that your right shoulder or elbow points toward your left leg, and so that your left shoulder or elbow points toward your right leg). Do all the reps for the left side and then repeat on the right.

Cross-Over Crunch Video Demonstration

This video is designed to show you exactly how to perform cross-over crunches using perfect technique so you can get the most from this great abdominal exercise.

Additional Tips, Key Points, and Common Mistakes

  • Slow, precise movement is the key. If you move too quickly, you won’t work the abs.
  • Simultaneously bring your left (right) elbow across your body toward your right (left) knee.
  • Your opposite arm always remains in contact with the ground.
  • Look for your neck to remain long and your chin to remain away from your chest.
  • Look for your both hips to remain stable on the ground.
  • Avoid pulling with your hands, bringing your chin towards your chest or collarbone, arching your back, or elevating your foot.
  • Avoid moving the elbow on the active arm faster than your shoulder.

Muscles Involved in Cross-Over Crunch

Best for: rectus abdominis, external oblique (obliquus externus), internal oblique (obliquus internus).

It is the rectus abdominis that does most of the work, as you will feel from the burn if you do enough repetitions, although the internal oblique works on the side twisted and the external oblique on the opposite side.

Cross-Over Crunch Variation

  • Swiss-Ball Cross-Over Crunch

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