Home Men's Health Bicycle Crunches the Right Way

Bicycle Crunches the Right Way

by Mark Griffin
bicycle crunch

The bicycle crunch is one of the most popular variations of the crunches, and this is mostly because of its benefits, which include targeting your entire core. It is a normal occurrence for people to isolate the different muscle groups in the core and then work them separately with different exercises. This would most often result in muscle imbalances. All three of your major core muscle groups are engaged when you do the bicycle crunch, which is why it is known to be an effective movement. When you train these muscles together and not in isolation, you will notice that you have a stronger core.

The rectus abdominis (the muscle group targeted when you do crunches) is engaged when you lift your head and shoulder blades during this exercise. The transverse abdominis (the toughest muscle group to target because of how deep they are) are engaged when making the bicycling motion with your legs. Finally, your external obliques (sometimes called the side abs) are engaged while twisting your upper body.

There is more room for error when doing the bicycle crunch because of all the movements involved, and if you don’t perform it properly, you will not reap all the benefits of the exercise.

Common mistakes when doing bicycle crunches

These are some of the common mistakes people make when doing the bicycle crunch that makes you not get the full benefits of the exercise. Ensure that you do not make any of these mistakes so that you can experience better results;

  •         Relying on momentum

Instead of utilizing the strength of the abs to swing the arms to the feet, you might find yourself using the latissimus dorsi located in the upper body to use that momentum to crunch your body up. It is easy to fix this mistake as all you have to do is slow down.

  •         Tugging on your neck

You need to back off if you notice that you are tugging on your neck to get your elbow and knee closer to each other. To fix this mistake, start by unlacing your fingers and then resting them on the back of your head. This would ensure that you are not tempted to push too far with them.

  •         Allowing your hip flexors to take over

When you try to do too many crunches or go too fast, the hip flexors would be forced to take over, giving the abs a break. So, the key to fixing this mistake is slowing down and not going over your limit.

  •         Sprinting through your crunches

This is probably the most common mistake made when doing the bicycle crunch. Your abdominal muscles are small and postural stabilizing muscles. So, when you speed through this exercise, the larger muscles would take over, and the body will be moved with that momentum. This would result in the inefficiency of this exercise, which is why it is recommended that you do the bicycle crunch with a slow and controlled movement.

Benefits of doing the bicycle crunches

By doing bicycle crunches, you can gain a lot of benefits ranging from psychological to mental and physical benefits. These are the major benefits of doing bicycle crunches;

Abdominal definition

The bicycle crunch is an excellent exercise that provides you with amazing muscular definition. So, if you are determined to gain an awesome abdominal definition, this is an exercise that has to be included in your workout program.

The bicycle crunch will help you achieve incredible six-packs that would be very visible and noticeable anywhere you go. This is achieved through this exercise by defining all the major muscle groups around your abdomen and by burning fat around your abdomen area.

Toned and Flattened Stomach

The bicycle crunch involves movements that help to remove the unnecessary layers of fat that give you that flabby look so that you can have a toned and flattened stomach. You can burn calories in larger numbers by doing this exercise because it burns the surrounding fat in your stomach and waist area, which would leave you with that delightful stomach. This exercise can give you that sexy body you want, especially if you are planning to go shirtless on a beach or somewhere else.

Stronger core muscles

Your body possesses core muscles that are vital and needed to make youhard rock absr body stronger, which would ensure that you can perform proper movements without any hassle. By doing the bicycle crunch, you are actively developing a stronger core. This is essential as it would make you less susceptible to experiencing aches, pain, and accidental injuries that happen due to poor muscle condition because they don’t have the ability to prevent injuries. A huge step to take when looking to get ideal health and body fitness is to build a stronger core successfully.

Muscle building

Another essential benefit that the bicycle crunch provides you with is muscle gain, power, energy, and strength. When doing the bicycle crunch, you engage various types of muscles. You will surely see that your abdominal muscles have been strengthened and tones after a few weeks of doing bicycle crunches regularly.

You build the muscles in your body by doing these movements regularly, and it is achieved by your body as it consumes more calories than usual. So, the regular efforts will lead to muscle building, strengthening and toning of abs, excessive weight loss, and high calories burned. All these would make your body have a great weight balance and prevent you from getting a flabby stomach. If you want more intensity and better results, you can try performing the bicycle crunch with weights.

Weight lossweightloss

Weight loss is one of the significant physical benefits that the bicycle crunch provides. However, the bicycle crunch is not a high-intensity exercise. Still, if you perform it regularly and add a combination of proper diet and other cardio workouts, you would notice significant weight loss. Increasing the intensity of this workout would ensure that you burn more calories each time you perform it.

How to bicycle crunches the right way

These are the steps to do the bicycle crunches correctly to avoid mistakes and reap the full benefits;

  •         Get down on the ground with your back and then extend your heels forward while bending your knees to an angle of 90 degrees (this ensures that the heels are not near the glutes). This position allows you to engage your transverse abdominis and quads properly.
  •         Keep your elbows wide and rest your fingers behind your head gently. You will reduce the range of motion while doing the twisting movement if you close your elbows, which means that your obliques would not be engaged properly. It also makes you more likely to pull your neck. Do not interlace your fingers if you notice that you are pulling your neck.
  •         Make sure that your shoulder blades are barely touching the floor by lifting your chest. Your upper abs won’t be engaged as much if you do not lift high enough. Keep your gaze forward slightly and your chin away from your chest as you can strain your neck if you drop your head too far back.
  •         This is where you carry out the twisting movement. Breathe in, and as you breathe out, stretch your right leg and then rotate your right underarm toward your left knee by twisting your torso. Imagine that you want to touch your shoulder to your knee. Also, ensure that your right shoulder blade is off the ground completely, and your left shoulder is floating. This ensures that your abs are the ones working and not your arms.
  •         Retract your right leg as you extend your left leg, and then twist to the other side.
  •         That is one rep. You should aim to do about three sets of 20 reps before you call it a day.

Modifications to the bicycle crunch

If the exercise seems too challenging or you are finding it difficult completing the required number of reps, you can make it easier by following these steps;

  •         Get on the ground with your back, and then keep your arms straight up while bending your knees and keeping your feet flat.
  •         Extend your right arm and left leg slowly while keeping your back flat on the ground. Ensure that your low back is kept on the floor and brace your core throughout the movement.
  •         With a controlled movement, revert to the initial position, and then repeat the movement on your other side. That is one rep.

If you feel like the exercise is too easy or you don’t feel any burn in your muscles after completing the required number of reps, you can make it harder by following these steps;

  •         Maintain a constant hollow body position in between reps, instead of returning your shoulders and feet to the floor.
  •         Tighten your abs, your shoulder blades barely above the floor, your feet up about 6 inches, and your low back flat on the floor.
  •         Then bring your knee to the opposite elbow and return to the center. Keep alternating slowly between these movements.


related posts

Leave a Comment