How Do You Do Wall Crunches?

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A crunch allows you to isolate your front abdominal wall, or rectus abdominis, for a workout. You can use a wall to keep your lower trunk, hips and legs properly positioned and immobile during the curling movement of your upper body. By doing so, you can focus on blasting your upper abdominals and using correct form. If you add a stability ball, you also use your core muscles to stabilize your body on the ball, which boosts the intensity of the exercise. Use slow and controlled motion to perform crunches, avoiding the use of momentum to complete reps.

Things You'll Need

  • Exercise ball

Wall Crunch

  • Lie on your back and position your buttocks touching a wall.

  • Bend your knees, drawing the soles of your feet together. Form your legs into a diamond shape so they resemble frog’s legs. Allow your legs to rest against the wall. If this position is uncomfortable, extend your legs up to the ceiling so they form a 90-degree angle to your body.

  • Place your hands by your ears with your elbows flared to the sides.

  • Exhale and curl your upper torso toward the wall, lifting your head and shoulders. Imagine pulling your nose toward your toes.

  • Inhale and return to starting position, using controlled and fluid motion.

  • Perform 10 reps for five sets.

Wall Crunch with Instability

  • Place an exercise ball about two feet away from a wall.

  • Lie on your lower back on the ball’s center.

  • Bend your knees at 90-degree angles and put your feet flat on the wall. Your lower legs should be parallel to the ground.

  • Put your hands by your ears, allowing your elbows to flare out to your sides.

  • Exhale and curl your head, shoulders and chest up and toward your toes.

  • Inhale and return to starting position. Perform 10 reps.

Side Crunch With Instability

  • Position a stability ball about two feet away from a wall.

  • Lie on your left side with your buttocks on the middle of the ball and legs fully extended toward the wall.

  • Scissor your legs, putting your left leg in front and right leg behind. Your feet should be about three feet apart with your toes pointing to your left.

  • Put your hands by your ears with your elbows pointing out to the sides.

  • Exhale and curl your upper body up toward the ceiling while simultaneously rotating your trunk to the center.

  • Inhale and return to starting position.

  • Perform 15 reps, keeping your lower body still throughout the exercise. Switch sides and repeat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Another way to target your obliques is to assume the standard crunch position on the exercise ball with knees bent and feet flat on the wall. When you curl up, rotate your upper body to the right or left side. To increase the difficulty, you can hold a medicine ball next to your chest.
  • While performing crunches, keep your hands by your ears or cross your hands in front of your chest to avoid straining your neck. If you cradle your head with your hands, the tendency is to pull your upper body up with your arms.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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