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Cross Crunch 101 Video Tutorial

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Cross Crunch
Cross Crunch

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



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Required Equipment

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The Cross Crunch is a core-strengthening exercise that targets the abdominal muscles, particularly the obliques, with the added benefit of engaging the lower back muscles as secondary targets. It involves lying on your back, knees bent, and hands behind your head. From this position, you perform a twisting motion by bringing one elbow towards the opposite knee while simultaneously lifting the shoulder off the ground. This movement effectively engages the obliques, helping to sculpt and strengthen the sides of the abdomen. The Cross Crunch is a bodyweight exercise, requiring no additional equipment, making it accessible for a wide range of fitness levels and environments.

How to Perform

  1. Begin by lying on a mat with your knees bent, feet straight, and hands positioned lightly behind your head, avoiding pulling on your neck for support.

  2. Activate your core muscles to gently lift your elbows and upper back off the floor, initiating a controlled twist in your torso towards the left side, aiming to bring your left elbow closer to your right knee.

  3. Maintain this contracted position momentarily, ensuring a brief pause to maximize muscle engagement and effective targeting of the abs and obliques.

  4. Gradually lower your upper body back down to the starting position, focusing on controlled movement and utilizing your core strength to resist gravity's pull, effectively engaging not only your abs but also recruiting the lower back muscles as secondary stabilizers.

  5. Throughout the exercise, maintain proper breathing, exhaling as you contract your muscles and inhaling as you return to the starting position, facilitating oxygen flow to the muscles and enhancing endurance.

  6. Remember, the Cross Crunch is a bodyweight exercise, emphasizing the importance of proper form and technique over the use of additional equipment. Focus on quality repetitions rather than speed, ensuring each movement is deliberate and controlled to maximize muscle activation and minimize the risk of injury.


  1. Start by lying on a mat with knees bent, feet flat, and hands lightly supporting your head.

  2. Engage your core muscles to lift your upper back and shoulders off the floor.

  3. Rotate your torso to one side, bringing the elbow of that side towards the opposite knee.

  4. Focus on contracting the oblique muscles as you perform the twisting motion.

  5. Keep your movements controlled and avoid using momentum to lift your upper body.

  6. Maintain a steady pace, ensuring each repetition is performed with proper form.

  7. Hold the contraction for a brief moment at the top of the movement to maximize muscle engagement.

  8. Slowly lower your upper body back to the starting position, resisting gravity with your core.

  9. Breathe steadily throughout the exercise, exhaling as you contract your muscles and inhaling as you return to the starting position.

  10. Aim for a full range of motion while keeping tension on the abs and avoiding strain on the neck and lower back.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid pulling on your neck with your hands: Instead, keep your hands lightly supporting your head to prevent strain on the neck muscles.

  2. Don't use momentum to lift your upper body: Focus on engaging your core muscles to initiate the movement rather than relying on swinging or jerking motions.

  3. Avoid lifting your shoulders too high: Aim for a controlled lift, focusing on bringing your shoulder blades off the floor without excessive elevation.

  4. Don't twist too forcefully: Perform the twisting motion with control, ensuring that the movement originates from the core muscles rather than relying on excessive force.

  5. Avoid arching your lower back: Keep your lower back pressed gently against the mat throughout the exercise to prevent strain and maintain proper spinal alignment.

  6. Don't hold your breath: Remember to breathe steadily throughout the movement, exhaling as you contract your muscles and inhaling as you return to the starting position.

  7. Avoid rushing through the exercise: Focus on quality over quantity, performing each repetition with proper form and control to maximize muscle engagement.

  8. Don't neglect proper form for speed: Avoid sacrificing form for speed, as this can increase the risk of injury and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.

  9. Avoid overarching or rounding your spine: Maintain a neutral spine position throughout the movement, avoiding excessive curvature or rounding of the back.

  10. Don't forget to engage your core: Concentrate on actively contracting your abdominal muscles throughout the exercise to ensure they are the primary focus and to prevent other muscle groups from compensating.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.


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