Exercise to Build Abdominal Muscles

Bicycle crunch is an easy exercise to perform. The movements involved in this exercise are suitable for beginners and do not require any equipment. In fact, it is highly effective in sculpting a six-pack abs.

The bicycle crunch is performed by moving the legs in the air as if pedaling a bicycle. Despite its name, you don't need a bicycle to do this exercise.

Here's how to properly do the Bicycle Crunch:

  • Lie flat on a level surface with a padded exercise mat.
  • Bend your knees with both feet resting on the floor.
  • Lift your legs until your calves and thighs form a 90-degree angle.
  • Place your hands behind your head and lift your neck off the floor.
  • Bring your left knee towards your chest and simultaneously move your right elbow towards your left knee until they touch. Straighten your right leg to hip height.
  • Alternate the movements between the knees and elbows.
  • Repeat the movements 12-20 times in each set.
  • To fully benefit from the Bicycle Crunch, perform 3 sets in one workout session. However, you can gradually increase the repetitions according to your ability. So, there's no need to force yourself to do the recommended number of repetitions in the first session.

Benefits of Bicycle Crunch

The movements involved in the bicycle crunch engage the abdominal muscles. Therefore, this exercise is often performed to tone the abs and reduce waist size.

In addition to these benefits, here are some other benefits of doing the Bicycle Crunch:

1. Sculpting a six-pack abs:

The Bicycle Crunch is an effective way to sculpt six-pack abs. It activates the upper abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) which play a major role in shaping the abs into a six-pack.

Lifting the legs in bicycle crunches also helps activate the deepest abdominal muscles that are difficult to reach with other exercises. Not only that, this movement can also reduce waist circumference by burning fat in that area.

2. Tightening the thighs

Performing bicycle crunches can also tighten the thighs. This benefit is obtained from the pedaling motion in one set of exercises.

Pedaling a bicycle will engage the front and back thighs. Therefore, if done regularly, bicycle crunches can tighten your thighs.

3. Preventing lower back pain

Doing bicycle crunches can be one way to prevent lower back pain. This is because bicycle crunches can strengthen the core muscles of the body, including the hips, waist, pelvis, and abdomen. By doing so, the core muscles can support the body weight well and prevent lower back pain.

If the core muscles are weak, the body weight will be supported by ligaments or connective tissues between the bones. This is what causes the back to feel pain.

4. Maintaining spinal health

In addition to preventing lower back pain, having strong core muscles can also maintain spinal health and improve poor body posture. Strong core muscles can assist the spine in bearing weight.

Before you train your body with bicycle crunches, warm up first to prevent injuries. After completing the bicycle crunches, don't forget to cool down.

If you have back or neck problems, consult a doctor before doing bicycle crunches. This is done to ensure the safety of this movement for you and to avoid worsening the condition.

Moreover, pregnant women who are more than 12 weeks pregnant are also not recommended to perform bicycle crunches. This is because the abdominal muscle involvement in bicycle crunches may affect pregnancy.

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