Including crunches in your workout routine might be the best exercise for toning up your abdominal muscles. Well, it’s not the only exercise that you’ll need to do in order to ensure you get a set of great abs. There are many different ways to perform crunches. Some are easy and some are more difficult to execute. A reverse decline crunch is one of the most challenging abdominal exercises that targets the lower abs extremely well. Its main focus is to build strength in the core area of the abs. To perform this exercise all you need is a decline bench. This is a great exercise for people who have been doing other abdominal exercises for a while and are looking for a more challenging workout.
Exercise Instructions: Using a decline bench, lie on your back with your head at the top of the bench, near where your feet usually go. Next, hold the top of the bench with both hands. Hold your legs straight out together in the air, parallel to the floor using your abs to hold them there. Slowly bring your pelvis up and in towards your chest, having your abs control the movement. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position while keeping constant tension on your abdominal muscles.
Muscles Targeted: Reverse decline crunches help to keep your core stronger since it targets the most important muscles of the midsection. It works the rectus abdominis with a primary focus on the lower abdominal muscles. It extends from the chest area to the pelvis. Traditional crunches target mainly the middle and upper portion of abs. By performing reverse decline crunches, you are able to isolate the lower abs very well.
Why This Exercise is Important: Some people shy away from this exercise because it’s difficult to perform. However, those who work on this exercise definitely notice the difference. This is the harder variation of floor reverse crunches which also focus on the lower abs but are much easier to do. The reason is because it uses a lot of strength to pull the lower body up while maintaining constant tension on the abdominal muscles. Strengthening your rectus abdominis helps in making your core stronger. You also strengthen your lower back. This exercise combined with regular cardiovascular exercise will serve as the best workout regimen to burn extra calories to lose fat. Along with a healthy diet, you can achieve excellent results in removing excess body fat from around your stomach.
Things To Avoid: Once you are ready to start doing reverse decline crunches, the first thing you need to make sure of is that your decline bench is at the right angle and in the right position. Adjust the bench to find the right angle for your fitness level. Make sure you are comfortable with the tilt of the bench while doing this exercise. Avoid using body momentum to swing yourself up. Focus all of your tension on your abs to pull your lower body up. This will work on your lower abs and will help you get the maximum benefits from this exercise. Do not let your body slide down the bench while getting into the starting position or during the movement. Make sure to maintain full control of your breathing during the exercise.
Reps and Sets: For beginners, try to do 8-12 reps per set. The total number of sets can be 2-3. For more advanced athletes, do 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps.
Other Exercises To Use: Some other great ab exercises to use in your workout include decline abdominal crunches, exercise ball AB pull ins and flat bench leg pulls. You can decrease the resistance of this exercise by removing the decline bench and performing reverse crunches on the floor. For those looking to advance to a more difficult level, you can perform hanging knee raises which is another amazing exercise for the lower abs. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the abs.