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Standing Dumbbell Knee Crunch 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Core Exercise


Standing Dumbbell Knee Crunch
Standing Dumbbell Knee Crunch

Exercise Synopsis

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The Standing Dumbbell Knee Crunch is a dynamic abdominal exercise that targets the abs as its primary muscle group, with the hip flexors serving as secondary targets. In this exercise, individuals stand upright while holding a dumbbell in one hand, with the opposite arm extended overhead for balance. They then lift one knee towards the chest while simultaneously crunching the torso downwards, aiming to bring the elbow towards the knee. This movement effectively engages the abdominal muscles, particularly the rectus abdominis, as well as the hip flexors. The exercise helps improve core strength, stability, and overall abdominal definition when performed with proper form and control.

How to Perform

  1. Setup: Begin by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in one hand, letting it hang down by your side. Keep your knees slightly bent for stability.

  2. Hand Position: If you're holding the dumbbell in your right hand, extend your left arm overhead to help maintain balance. Alternatively, you can keep your non-working arm by your side.

  3. Engage Core: Brace your core muscles to stabilize your spine and maintain proper posture throughout the exercise. This will help protect your lower back and ensure maximum activation of the abdominal muscles.

  4. Initiate the Crunch: Start the movement by lifting one knee towards your chest while simultaneously crunching your torso downwards. Your goal is to bring your elbow towards your knee as you crunch.

  5. Contract Abs: As you crunch, focus on squeezing your abdominal muscles, particularly the rectus abdominis, to bring your chest closer to your knee. This contraction will help maximize muscle engagement and strengthen your core.

  6. Maintain Control: Move through the exercise with control, avoiding any swinging or jerking motions. This ensures that you're effectively targeting the abs and maintaining stability throughout the movement.

  7. Breathing: Exhale as you crunch down and inhale as you return to the starting position. This rhythmic breathing pattern helps enhance muscle engagement and oxygen flow to the working muscles.

  8. Alternate Sides: Complete the desired number of repetitions on one side before switching to the other side. Focus on maintaining proper form and technique throughout each repetition.

  9. Focus on Hip Flexors: While the primary focus is on the abs, also be mindful of engaging the hip flexors as you lift your knee towards your chest. This secondary muscle group assists in the movement and contributes to overall stability.

  10. Progression: As you become more proficient with the exercise, you can increase the weight of the dumbbell or perform the movement at a slower tempo to further challenge your core muscles and enhance strength and stability.

  11. Cooldown: After completing your desired number of repetitions, take a moment to stretch your abs and hip flexors to help prevent tightness and promote recovery.

  12. Form Check: Regularly assess your form in a mirror or with the help of a fitness professional to ensure proper alignment and technique. This will help maximize the effectiveness of the exercise and reduce the risk of injury.


  1. Stand upright with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in one hand.

  2. Engage core muscles to stabilize spine and maintain proper posture.

  3. Lift one knee towards chest while simultaneously crunching torso downwards.

  4. Focus on bringing elbow towards knee to maximize abdominal contraction.

  5. Maintain controlled movement throughout, avoiding swinging or jerking motions.

  6. Exhale as you crunch down, inhale as you return to starting position.

  7. Alternate sides, completing desired reps on each side.

  8. Be mindful of engaging hip flexors as you lift knee towards chest.

  9. Progress by increasing dumbbell weight or slowing down tempo.

  10. Regularly check form to ensure proper alignment and technique.

How Not to Perform