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- Target muscle: Rectus Abdominis
- Synergists: Internal and External Obliques
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Force: Pull
- Lie supine (on your back) with your lower back pressed against the floor.
- Raise your arms and legs straight up into the air.
- Exhale as you slowly flex your abdomen and try to touch your toes with your fingers.
- Try to hold the contracted position for a count of two.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
- Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
Comments and tips
- Keep your neck level with your torso and your lower back pressed against the floor.
- You can bend your knees a little and/or cross your legs if it makes the exercise easier.
- Instead of reaching up to touch your toes, you can place your hands behind your head (see video).
- To make the vertical leg crunch more difficult, hold a weight plate in your extended hands or behind your head.
- In one study, the vertical leg crunch was found to produce 29% more mean activity in the rectus abdominis and 116% more mean activity in the obliques than the regular crunch.
- Also known as the crunch up.
Vertical leg crunch video