A Safe Way to do Crunches

A Safe Way to do Crunches

==> CLICK HERE to watch A Safe Way to Do Crunches on YouTube

Hey! this is Rick Kaselj from ExercisesForInjuries.com and Fix My Back Pain. I wanted to go through a safe crunch exercise that is good on the back.

I will get Orsy to demonstrate the typical crunch or sit-up that you end up seeing.


With this one we are going through this and it ends up putting a lot of load on the spine, and a lot of times what people say is that it makes their back sore, it irritates their back and sometimes it will end up leading to a back injury.

A Safe Way to Do the Crunch 

There is a safe way to tweak this crunch or sit up to make it safe. This tweak works the abdominal area but puts a low load on the spine. And this one is called a curl-up.


I will get Orsy to lie back, and what Orsy is doing is one leg is straight and I am bending the other one. What this ends up doing is it ends up locking the pelvis so it doesn’t rock back and forth. It keeps the pelvis where it’s at and keeps that curve in the spine to not put that much stress on that low back area. If that pelvis tilts back or if that back flattens out, we lose the arch and we put that back at greater risk and greater strain.

Then what Orsy is going to do is she will put one of her hands underneath her low back and that hand will be her gauge when it comes to maintaining that curve in the spine; so there shouldn’t be a drastic increase in the pressure on her hand and she will want to maintain that curve and maintain a constant pressure of her body on her hand. Now the other hand is put behind her head so she ends up cupping her head to keep her head aligned with the rest of her body.


Now, what Orsy is going to do now is curl up.

She is just going to start with lifting her head off the mat and coming back up, which is working on the rectus abdominal area, the six-pack that people end up wanting to work on.


And then she can make it more difficult by lifting a little bit higher so that the shoulder blades come off a touch, and then the third level is coming up and holding for a second or two and then coming back down.

A Summary of the Curl Up Exercise

There you go. Give that exercise a go. If you end up doing sit-ups, and they irritate your back, try the Curl modification remembering:

  • One leg straight, one leg bent. That locks the pelvis.
  • One hand underneath your lower back to maintain the curve in your back.
  • The other hand is behind your neck to keep your head in alignment with the rest of your spine.

Then you are focusing on that movement happening in the mid back area, lifting as opposed to in your lower back. And pick the level that works best for you, just lifting your head off, lifting your shoulder blades off, or going to hold.

So this is Rick Kaselj from ExercisesForInjuries.com or Fix My Back Pain.

Take care and bye.

Rick Kaselj, MS

Tummy Toning for Those Who Hate Crunches