Incline Reverse Crunch


Incline Reverse Crunch Exercise Guide

In this version of the abdominal crunch, you move your legs rather than your torso. This exercise is good for the lower abs as well as the rectus femoris and the hip flexors (iliopsoas) and is appropriate for many sports as a general conditioning exercise.

The incline reverse crunch (reverse crunch on slant board; hanging reverse crunch) provides the most amount of workload amongst all abdominal exercise that use only bodyweight. As if you can probably guess, the incline reverse crunch is more difficult than the regular reverse crunch because you are working against gravity. The good thing is that progression could be possible by increasing the angle of the bench.

Incline Reverse Crunch Technique – Proper Form

Lie on your back on a slant board or decline situp bench, with your head where your feet normally go. Your head is on higher position than your legs. Your legs should be straight or you can bend your hips and knees to 90-degree angles for the start position of the incline reverse crunch. With both hands, hold on to a secure structure behind your head. If necessary, attach ankle weights or hold a dumbbell between your feet for added resistance.

Incline Reverse Crunch Exercise

Incline Reverse Crunch Exercise

Incline Reverse Crunch - Staring Position With Knees Bent

Incline Reverse Crunch – Staring Position With Knees Bent

Pull your knees into your chest and roll your hips up. Keep going until you feel your abs fully contract. Your hips and lower back should raise off the bench. Reverse the movement ending with your legs straight and heels almost touching the floor. To keep tension on the lower abs, do not lower your legs all the way down or allow your feet to touch the floor.

Exercise Key Points

  • When your hips and knees are bent to 90-degree angles, flex your spine from the bottom to lift your hips (pelvis) up off the bench and curl your knees toward your head.
  • In other words, you need to pull your hips upward and inward, as if you were emptying a bucket of water resting on your pelvis. Keep your knees at the same angle throughout the move.


  • Hold a small dumbbell between your legs for additional resistance.
  • Increase the incline by raising the bench to add more resistance.

Incline Reverse Crunch Video Demonstration

This video will show you exactly how to perform this exercise safely and effectively.

What Muscles Do Incline Reverse Crunches Work?

The incline reverse crunch is a dynamic bodyweight exercise that strengthens the hip flexors and lower abdominal region.

Primary muscles: rectus abdominis (lower portion)
Secondary muscles involved: external and internal obliques, transverse abdominal, hip flexors (iliopsoas, rectus femoris)
Antagonists: spinal erectors


For those who aren’t strong enough to do the hanging knee raise (hanging leg raises) with perfect form, the slant-board variation is the best way to cheat without cheating your abs.

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