How to do Bicycle Crunches : 7 Simple Steps

Have you heard the word “bicycle crunches” before? If not, let me tell you what we understand by the phrase bicycle crunches. How to do bicycle crunches? In this exercise, your legs will move like you are riding a bicycle. But your body lies flat on the floor, and your legs are lifted and folded like a child. This is one of the core exercises that leads to a strong core1.

Above mentioned steps are typical for a layman’s language. Doing bicycle crunches correctly is a difficult task and focusing on your obliques and abdominal area. Bicycle crunches are no. one exercise for strengthening your abdominal muscles i.e., focusing on your six-pack.

To make the exercise harder best way is to decrease the speed of the abdominal workout. Lowering the speed will increase to strengthen your core and abdominal muscles. Make sure that during each rep, you are using your core strength with no momentum.

1. Steps To Do Bicycle Crunches

Now, how to do bicycle crunches exercise. These are also called standard crunches. Mentioned below are the steps to do it-

1.1 Lie on the floor with your back on a mat. Try to press the lower into the floor along with bend knees and keep your feet flat on the floor.

1.2 Keep your hands behind your head along with interlacing fingers. Then keep your elbows wide and your head should be in your hands.

1.3 Now lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Then bend your left leg and bring it near to your core muscle and along with this move your right elbow near the core muscles.

How to do a Bicycle Crunch

1.4 Then do the same exercise with the opposite leg and hand. And try to focus on the core strength. After completing one rep with each side repeat this with the other knee and elbow.

1.5 After completing from both sides. This completes your one rep and then returns to starting position.

1.6 At least do 3 sets of 12-15 reps along with a resting period of 30 seconds to 1 minute after each set.

1.7 Above mentioned steps are proper bicycle crunch exercises. This basic exercise focuses on muscle groups like upper abs and oblique muscles2.

2. Variation in Bicycle Crunches

2.1 Standing Bicycle Crunches

How to Do a Standing Bicycle Crunch

Some people or if you are uncomfortable lying on the floor. Then you can do bicycle crunch in a standing position. Twist your waist and bring your elbow and knee near the abdominal muscles. Lift the leg and bend the elbow in the same position. Keep your hands behind your head in this crunch position.

2.2 Knee Stable Bicycle Crunches

knee taps and standing bicycle Crunches

Lie flat on the floor as mentioned above and then bend your knees at 90 degrees from the floor. Then bend your elbows in a rotation portion of the crunch. So, the left knee comes near the right elbow and vice versa.

2.3 Bench Bicycle Crunches

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Image by 5132824 from Pixabay

Lie on the bench so that your back is on the bench and your legs are hanging. Then pull the hanging knee opposite the elbow near the chest and leave the other leg touching the ground. Repeat this with the opposite elbow and knees. This is also called elevated bicycle crunch3. These crunches mainly focus on core muscles for a deeper stretch. This crunch focuses on the rectus abdominus4.

2.4 Bosu Ball Bicycle Crunches

How to Do a Bicycle Crunch | Bosu Ball Workout

The Bosu ball is also called a half-dome balance ball. These crunches are specially for intense stretches. Lean your lower back on the domed part of the ball. Put your feet on the floor, and then start your crunches. This crunch is much more difficult than the crunches performed earlier because it contains balancing on the dome and focusing on the abdominal muscles.

2.5 Medicine Ball Bicycle Crunches

How to Do Bicycle Crunch With Medicine Ball

This is a crunch that includes a medicine ball. Balls are of different weights according to your capacity. Lie down on the floor. Now lift your legs and abdominal body on the hip muscles. This exercise will include your muscle groups like hip flexors5, lower abs, and upper abs. Then rotate the ball with your hand from the left rib to the right rib. This exercise will tighten and strengthen your hips and abs.

3. Benefits of Bicycle Crunches

3.1 Bicycle crunch activates the rectus abdomen also known as six-pack abs. Starting from standard crunch to ball bicycle crunches all types of crunch include these muscle groups.

3.2 It helps strengthen and tighten the core and makes them stronger. Build core strength along with different muscles like- the chest, abs, right knee, left elbow, lower back, and many more.

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Image by Alexandra Voicu from Pixabay

3.3 Loses your weight when done regularly. Every time you repeat the exercise, you will burn more calories.

3.4 It also improves and increases muscle strength and muscle mass.

3.5 It will help you to maintain your ideal body weight.

3.6 It will help you to build your stronger core. Core strengthening will help you in physical abilities and help you to maintain body posture.

3.7 It will help you by giving you incredible muscle definition. It means that it will help you in toning your muscles i.e. helps in defining the abdominal area.

4. Common Mistakes

Bicycle Crunch: You're Doing it WRONG

4.1 Avoid straining your neck and perform the exercise in small sets.

4.2 During performing your exercise avoid contracting the chest. It will also limit your range of motion and decrease the effect of exercise.

4.3 In standing bicycle crunch try to put pressure on your heels and entire feet. Avoid putting pressure on your toes.

4.4 The movement of the exercise should be slow. In speed, the form of exercise will disturb and will lead to no results. Rather take it slow and feel pressure in the rectus abdomen.

4.5 Take care of your lower back and avoid arching your back. While performing the exercise your lower back does not arch, it will lead to pain in your hips and back.

4.6 Do not hold your breath as it will lead to reducing the oxygen flow which will result in cramps and pain.

5. Personal Trainer

All the above-mentioned crunches are to be done with the guidance of the personal trainer. Personal trainers help you do all types of variations with proper form and time per set.

A personal trainer helps you to open your muscles before starting any exercise. As for bicycle crunch, spinal flexion is important. Spinal flexion6 is when you bend your spine cord i.e. bending forward and backward.

Spinal cord bending is done under the supervision of a personal trainer. The personal trainer will guide and direct you through all the muscle flexing along with the number of sets in a particular time.

Personal trainers also guide the proper form like arms straight, left arm, right leg, shoulders, neck, rest, core, head, upper body, left elbow, opposite knee, knee bent, feet flat, shoulder width, and many more according to the exercise. Trainers also guide the food to be eaten before and after the crunch. Trainers give you proper and certified guidelines on how to perform and what to eat and drink.

6. Digital Articles

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Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

In today’s world, there are many leading digital publishers who publish articles on many health and exercise-related topics. This article is helpful in many ways these articles contain detailed descriptions of how to do exercise with a proper form and proper diet.

In articles, many pictures are attached which explains to the reader in a much better way. You can open different articles on the new tab and can read the description. Many websites publish articles along with articles there are websites like Shutterstock that contain pic of different topics. The new tab contains many sites like well fit, women’s Health, fit and Well, and many more.

7. Diet for Abs

The diet should include protein and healthy fats-rich food along with low carbs. Some of the food items which should be there in your plan are as follows-

How to do bicycle crunches
Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash
  • Non-veg includes chicken, and lean meat (lean meat, pork, and lamb).
  • Fish includes fatty acids and omega-3.
  • Dairy products to be consumed at a lower rate like- milk, curd, cheese, and yogurt.
  • Eggs are rich in protein.
  • Tofu, paneer, and beans include vegan protein.
  • Also includes nuts like almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts.
  • Some of the seeds like pumpkin, melon, chia, sunflower, and quinoa.

Some of the food includes carbohydrates that can fuel the body for exercise including-

  • Fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges.
  • Vegetables that do not contain broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach.
  • Grains that are undefined like- whole wheat grain, brown rice, and oats.
  • Pulses, legumes, and beans like- lentils, kidney beans, and chickpeas.
  • Also contains starchy vegetables like- potatoes, corn, and green peas.

Along with eating, drinking water is also very important. Water is crucial because exercising can lead to dehydration. Water reduces bloating in the abdominal area and also includes waste removal from the body.

8. Conclusion

Bicycle crunches are a great exercise for strengthening your abdominal muscles. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform them:

Start by lying flat on your back on an exercise mat or a comfortable surface. Bend your knees and place your hands gently behind your head, elbows pointing out to the sides. Your feet should be off the ground, with your thighs perpendicular to the floor.

Lift your head, neck, and shoulders slightly off the ground. This is your starting position. Engage your core muscles by drawing your navel in toward your spine. This will help stabilize your lower back throughout the exercise.

Begin the movement by bringing your right knee toward your chest while simultaneously lifting your upper body and rotating it to the left. Twist your torso so that your left elbow moves towards your right knee. Extend your right leg out straight, parallel to the floor, while simultaneously switching sides. Bring your left knee toward your chest and twist your torso to the right, bringing your right elbow towards your left knee.

Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort. If you’re new to bicycle crunches or any exercise, it’s always a good idea to consult with a fitness professional to ensure proper form and technique.

 

FAQs

1. How many reps and sets should I do?

A: The number of reps and sets you should perform depends on your fitness level and goals. Start with 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per side and gradually increase as your strength improves. Aim for a challenging but manageable number of reps.

2. Can bicycle crunches help me get a flat stomach?

A: Bicycle crunches can be a valuable exercise to strengthen and tone your abdominal muscles. However, it’s important to remember that spot reduction (targeting fat loss in a specific area) is not possible. To achieve a flat stomach, you need a combination of regular exercise, a healthy diet, and overall body fat reduction.

3. What are the benefits of bicycle crunches?

A: Bicycle crunches offer several benefits, including:

  • Strengthening the abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdomin and obliques.
  • Improving core stability and balance.
  • Engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
  • Enhancing overall abdominal definition.
  • Improving lower back strength and stability.

Read more

  1. Luo, Shengyao, et al. “Effect of core training on skill performance among athletes: A systematic review.” Frontiers in physiology 13 (2022): 915259. ↩︎
  2. Ohgoshi, Yuichi, et al. “Novel external oblique muscle plane block for blockade of the lateral abdominal wall: a pilot study on volunteers.” Canadian Journal of Anesthesia/Journal canadien d’anesthésie 69.10 (2022): 1203-1210. ↩︎
  3. Chok, Stephanie. “Effects of 8 weeks core strength training on core muscle strength among young male cyclists.” Malays. J. Mov. Health Exerc 9 (2020): 9-16. ↩︎
  4. Gluppe, Sandra, Marie Ellström Engh, and Kari Bø. “What is the evidence for abdominal and pelvic floor muscle training to treat diastasis recti abdominis postpartum? A systematic review with meta-analysis.” Brazilian journal of physical therapy 25.6 (2021): 664-675. ↩︎
  5. Konrad, Andreas, et al. “The influence of stretching the hip flexor muscles on performance parameters. a systematic review with meta-analysis.” International journal of environmental research and public health 18.4 (2021): 1936. ↩︎
  6. Saraceni, Nic, et al. “To flex or not to flex? Is there a relationship between lumbar spine flexion during lifting and low back pain? A systematic review with meta-analysis.” Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 50.3 (2020): 121-130. ↩︎

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