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Crunch (exercise)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Performing the crunch

The crunch is an abdominal exercise that works the rectus abdominis muscle.[1] It enables both building "six-pack" abs and tightening the belly. Crunches use the exerciser's own body weight to tone muscle and are recommended by some experts[like whom?], despite negative research results[citation needed], as a low-cost exercise that can be performed at home.[2] Crunches are less effective than other exercises such as planks and carry risk of back injury.[3]


In a crunch, the lower back does not lift off the floor

The biomechanics professor Stuart McGill was quoted in The New York Times Health blog as stating:

An approved crunch begins with you lying down, one knee bent, and hands positioned beneath your lower back for support. "Do not hollow your stomach or press your back against the floor", McGill says. Gently lift your head and shoulders, hold briefly and relax back down.[4]

Research has shown that both sit-ups and crunches are mediocre strength-building exercises and have injured many people.[3]

In a crunch, unlike a sit-up, the lower back stays on the floor. This is said to eliminate any involvement by the hip flexors, and make the crunch an effective isolation exercise for the abdominals.[5]

World records[edit]

Sirous Ahmadi has the record of doing over 20000 crunches in under 5 hours on May 11, 2024.[6][7]

In 2018, John Peterson from the US did 6,774 crunches in an hour and in 2021, he did a total of 13,994 crunches in two hours.[8][9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Core Anatomy: Muscles of the Core". www.acefitness.org. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  2. ^ "Exercising on a budget". MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b Mull, Amanda (2022-05-28). "The Sit-Up Is Over". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on Mar 14, 2023. [McGill's] findings showed that sit-ups and crunches weren't just mediocre strength-building moves; they were actually hurting lots of people."
    "In the past decade, every branch of the U.S. military has begun to phase out sit-ups and crunches from their required testing and training regimens, or else they have made them optional, alongside more orthopedically sound maneuvers such as the plank. Spokespeople for the Army and the Marines confirmed [...] that these decisions in their branches were made in part to avoid the high rates of lower-back injury found among troops training for speed sit-up and crunch tests."
    "If you hadn't yet noticed crunches disappearing around you—or if you have a trainer who still puts you through your sit-up paces—McCall said he wouldn't exactly be shocked. Like many other American industries, the fitness business is consolidating, but it still contains tons of independent instructors and small businesses. Sit-ups and crunches have been discouraged by educators within the industry for years, but there are no licensing or continuing-education requirements for teaching exercise, and if trainers don't seek out new information and techniques, it can take a while for good information and new ideas to get through to them.
  4. ^ Reynolds, Gretchen (17 June 2009). "Is Your Ab Workout Hurting Your Back?". Well. The New York Times. Archived from the original on Nov 9, 2020.
  5. ^ Baker, Cameron (June 15, 2016). "Are Sit Ups Bad for You? The U.S. Military Seems to Think So…". International Sports Sciences Association. Archived from the original on 17 October 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Australian-Iranian Sports Medicine Expert Shatters Record with Over 20,000 Crunches in Under 5 Hours". www.iranartsjournal.com. Retrieved 28 May 2024.
  7. ^ "Most Crunch Exercises Completed In A Single Five-Hour Session". RecordSetter. May 11, 2024. Retrieved 28 May 2024.
  8. ^ Strillacci, Elisabeth (16 August 2022). "Raising the stakes, John Peterson keeps challenging himself, and records". Salisbury Post.
  9. ^ "John Peterson Crunches It!". Shane K. Smith Photography. 11 December 2021. Retrieved 28 May 2024.
  10. ^ Whisenant, David (9 December 2021). "64-year-old does 13,944 abdominal crunches in two hours". www.wbtv.com. Retrieved 28 May 2024.

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