Calories Burned for Reverse Crunches
Reverse crunches may not get as much attention as the traditional crunch, but there are some added benefits to this variation that make it a great exercise to add to your daily routine.
With reverse crunches, you can expect to get a toned core as well as burn additional calories to help you stay in a deficit throughout the day.
In fact, depending on your weight and exercise intensity, you’ll burn about 3.6 calories each minute you do reverse crunches, equating to about 216 calories each hour.
Calories Burned with Ab Exercises (weight: 170 lbs)
|Abdominal Roll Wheel
|Hanging Knee Tucks
Continue reading to discover how to do reverse crunches correctly and all the benefits that this challenging ab exercise provides.
How the Reverse Crunch Calculator Works
The reverse crunches calculator uses a MET value to determine an approximate number of calories that you’ll burn doing reverse crunches. MET values that are higher translate into more calories being burnt, while lower MET activities don’t burn as many calories.
What is a MET Value?
The metabolic equivalent of task is a number that is assigned to various activities like sports and exercises.
The MET value is a ratio between the working metabolic rate and the resting metabolic rate , which is the rate of energy that is used relative to the duration of time spent doing different activities.
So a MET value of 1 is the equivalent of the amount of energy you expend while at rest, and a MET value of 3 means you are expending 3 times as much energy compared to being at rest.
The formula that our reverse crunches calculator uses to determine the number of calories burned per minute is (body weight in Kg x MET x 3.5) ÷ 200.
A person weighing 150 pounds will burn approximately 216 calories per hour from doing reverse crunches. This activity has a MET of 3, which means that it burns 3 times as many calories compared to being at rest.
This is what the formula for calculating the calories burned while doing reverse crunches will look like for a 150-pound individual at a MET value of 3.
- Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x MET x 3.5) ÷ 200
- Calories burned (per minute) = ( 68 x 3 x 3.5 ) ÷ 200
- Calories burned (per minute) = 3.6 calories x 60
- Calories burned (per hour) = 216 calories per hour
How to do Reverse Crunches
- To start, lie with your face up on a mat or other soft surface with your knees bent at about a 90-degree angle and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms near your sides with your palms facing down.
- Exhale slowly and brace your core. Then lift your feet off the ground and raise your thighs until they’re completely vertical. Keep your knees bent at 90 degrees throughout the entire movement.
- Tuck your knees toward your face as far as you can comfortably go without lifting your mid-back from the mat. Your hips and lower back should lift off the ground.
- Hold for a moment and slowly lower your feet back toward the floor until they reach the ground.
- Repeat for at least 10-12 repetitions. Do one set to start, and increase the number of reps and sets as you get stronger.
Reverse crunches use a different movement than the standard crunch, which provides some additional benefits.
The reverse crunch is generally easier on your neck compared with the regular crunch or sit-ups. It also is a great exercise to activate the major abdominal muscles as well as the external obliques.
This exercise will also flatten your stomach over time if you continue to practice reverse crunches regularly with the correct form. You’ll find that you will develop hypertrophy in your core muscles which will help you with some of your other major lifts like squats and deadlifts.
Reverse crunches are also known to be much less stressful on your back than standard crunches. One study found that a reduction in the amount that your spine bends during crunches reduces the amount of force on your spinal discs which will prevent injury .
Having a strong core also helps you with everyday tasks. Activities like gardening, cleaning, taking in the groceries, or carrying a large pack of water bottles are tasks that you surprisingly could pull a muscle doing. A strong core prevents injury from everyday tasks like these.
Much like other forms of crunches, you don’t need any special equipment to do this exercise effectively. Once you have the correct form down, you can do this with just your own body weight and a soft mat to make it easier on your back.
Common Pitfalls of Reverse Crunches
Reverse crunches are relatively easy to learn, but there are some common mistakes that people make who are just learning to do this ab exercise. Keep reading to find out which mistakes you should avoid with reverse crunches:
Rolling too far
This is the biggest mistake that we see people make with reverse crunches. Only your tailbone and hips should be raised from the mat in the upward phase.
When you lose contact with most of your back, this signals that you need to stop. If you feel that you’re doing the reverse crunch slowly, you are likely going to go too far as opposed to if you’re using momentum and doing it in a quicker motion.
Using your momentum
You might find that it’s tempting to do the reverse crunch fast and use your body’s momentum to curl you up rather than contracting your abs. You can avoid this common mistake by doing the exercise slowly and with concentrated control of your abs.
If you find that you’re unable to draw your legs towards your chest without using your momentum, you should do other ab exercises before the reverse crunch to strengthen your core.
Unrolling too far
The last mistake that we see made with reverse crunches is that you start to unroll too far. This happens when your knees end up in front of your hips on the downward return. If you’re doing the exercise slowly, this shouldn’t be an issue.
However, if you lack the strength to go slow you may find yourself letting your entire body drop instead. This is another sign that you need more ab strengthening before doing the reverse crunch.
Reverse Crunch Variations
If you find yourself struggling with reverse crunches, you have several options. You can try to do ab exercises that aren’t as challenging, or you can modify the reverse crunch to better suit your level of fitness.
First, you can do the exercise with a shorter range of motion. In the upward phase, go only as far as you can go while maintaining control the whole time. When you first start, this may be just a tiny motion that doesn’t move your tailbone very much.
Another option you have is through building strength with toe taps. From the starting position, you can lower one leg with a pointed right toe until it taps the ground. Return the leg to the starting position and then continue with your left toe. Aim for 15 to 20 reps each set.
If you’re looking for more of a challenge, a combined crunch or full crunch integrates other muscle groups like the shoulders and legs/hips in one exercise.
For this variation, you should start with your legs in the air bent at 90 degrees. This advanced exercise works the rectus abdominis and external obliques. If you can do three sets of about 15 reps each, you’ll know that you have a strong core.
The Bottom Line
Reverse crunches are an intermediate-level exercise that you can do if you’re looking for a little bit more challenging of an exercise compared with the standard crunch.
If you want to do reverse crunches and get all the benefits we’ve outlined here but they’re a little too tough, you can consider doing the variation to make it easier so you can still complete the number of reps you’re looking for.
Be sure to use this calculator and explore the other calculators that we have to offer at Fitness Volt!
- Jetté, M., Sidney, K., & Blümchen, G. (1990). Metabolic equivalents (METS) in exercise testing, exercise prescription, and evaluation of functional capacity. Clinical cardiology, 13(8), 555–565. https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.4960130809
- Schoenfeld, Brad & Kolber, Morey. (2016). Abdominal Crunches Are/Are Not a Safe and Effective Exercise. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 38. 1. 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000263.