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Floor crunches

RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

Unless you let your gym membership expire 15 years ago, chances are you know what a crunch is. But knowing what a crunch is and doing a crunch properly are two different things. A well-executed crunch works the center abs muscles and lower abs muscles in particular; a poorly executed crunch strains the neck and does little for the abs.

Muscles worked
Center and lower abs

Starting position
Lie on a floor mat or on the floor with your feet on the ground approximately hip-width apart, your back flat and your elbows bent with fingers just cupping your head on each side. To avoid straining your neck, do not fully support your head in your hands (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, use a rolling motion to lift the upper body up off the floor until your shoulder blades are off the floor. Be careful to lift with your abdominal muscles and not with your arms—you should feel no pull in your neck (see Photo 2).
  2. At the top position, you should feel a complete squeeze in your abdominal area. Hold the squeeze, and then reverse the motion and slowly lower yourself down again until your back is once again flat on the floor or mat (see Photo 3).
About Mike Clausen: Clausen is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body Personal Training and Wellness Center, which was voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. He has been actively involved in sports and weightlifting since high school, and continues to use that knowledge when training his clients. Clausen is both A.C.E. and N.A.S.M. certified and has been training clients professionally for six years. He enjoys making his clients stronger, both physically and mentally, giving them the tools to create an efficient body and to do things they thought were not possible.