Bodyweight Crunch Variations

The bodyweight crunch is a classic core exercise, that can be performed virtually anywhere with no equipment and limited space. It specifically trains your abdominal muscles, which are part of your core.

Your core consists not only of your abs. It also includes your oblique muscles on the sides of your trunk, as well as the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, and hips. Together, these muscles help stabilize your body.

Perform “Crunches” and other exercise moves safely and effectively with Traveling Trainers exercise database, which includes top tips from Traveling Trainers fitness experts, video demonstrations, and a step by step guides.

*MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

How to perform the Bodyweight Crunch:

  1. Lie down on the floor, on your back. Plant your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Bend your knees and place your arms at your sides. Contract your abs and inhale.
  2. Exhale and lift your upper body, keeping your head and neck relaxed. Lift legs off the ground with knees bent at 90°. Lifting head off the ground, with chin pointing up. (HOLD this position for ½ to 1 full second.)
  3. Inhale and return to the starting position. Relax into laying position.

*If you’re unable to perform a FULL crunch, simply follow the same instructions as above – only this time, with hands behind the base of skull. This well aid in support of neck muscles as you move up and down during the exercise.

Bodyweight Crunch HOLD Variation:

Another Variation of the Bodyweight Crunch – “Crunch Hold

Performing this Crunch Hold Variation helps improve strength and stability. This move is similar to the bodyweight crunch, you simply will HOLD the crunch for a longer time period.

Hold Crunches for 30, 45 and even 60 seconds at a time. Return to a resting position once completed.


Use your core to raise your upper body. If the movement comes from your head or neck, you’ll increase the risk for injury. Move in a slow, controlled manner. Rapid movements won’t engage the right muscles.

  • Take intermittent rest periods
  • Stay hydrated
  • Keep a towel to cool/dry off during workout