Bicycle Crunches

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How To Do Bicycle Crunches

Main Target: obliques
Equipment needed: none

Bicycle crunches (also known as air bike crunches or criss cross exercise) are one of the best abs exercises. This exercise is proven to be 248% more effective than a regular crunches. And the best part is you can carry it out anywhere, anytime.

How To Do Bicycle Crunches Properly:

When it comes to ab training quality overcomes the quantity. Therefore make sure you perform bicycle crunches properly. Here’s how:

Step 1: Get In a Starting Position

Lie down on the ground. Stretch your legs out straight while keeping your feet together. Make sure your lower back is pressed flat against the floor. Put your hands beside your head.

Step 2: Begin The Ab Exercise

To begin the exercise start mimicking bicycle pedaling motion.

Bring your right knee towards your head as you rotate your upper body. Try to touch your left elbow to your right knee.

Then straighten your right leg back as you bring your left knee in. Simultaneously rotate your upper body to the opposite side. Try to touch your right elbow to your left knee.

Don’t rest your feet and shoulder blades on the ground. Once you lift your heels and shoulders off the ground you never put them back throughout the whole exercise. Keep them a few inches above the floor.

Breath Correctly

Correct breathing is important to get the maximum benefit out of bicycle crunches exercise. Fully exhale while you rotate your upper body to a side. Inhale while you bring your upper body back to a neutral position.


  • Depending on your flexibility, it’s not mandatory to actually touch your elbow to your knee.
  • To avoid pulling your head with your hands and straining your neck, put your fingertips behind your ears.
  • Keep your elbows pointing out, rather than bringing them forward.
  • Perform this exercise nice and slow. Spend quality 3 seconds in fully contracted abdominal position.
  • Lift your shoulders as high and as far as you can.
  • To make this exercise a lever lighter, lift your legs higher. Increased angle between your legs and the floor will put less stress on your lower back as well. Another option is not to extend your legs fully. Keep them bent.
  • If lower back pain bothers you while you perform this exercise and previously mentioned tweaks don’t work, then don’t do this exercise.

Common Mistakes

  • Shoulders and upper back resting on the floor.
  • Elbows pointing in not out.
  • Chin tuck down too far.
  • Focusing too much on touching the knees with the elbows.
  • Exercise done too fast.
  • Uncontrolled breathing.

Bicycle Crunches Video Demonstration

About Matiss Bartulis

Sweets and pizza addict. Online and real-life fitness coach. Author of the "From Fat To Six Pack" E-mail training course. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.