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1 Ab Exercise I Wish I Didn't Skip!

You Will Too!

Posted by Scott_Herman - April 27th, 2018

Today I want to share with you one ab exercise I wish I never skipped. It’s not so much that I skipped the actual movement, it’s just that I never realized I could have made the movement SO much more intense to get such better gains. There’s nothing worse than missing out on gains just because you didn’t know how to maximize a movement.

This kind of information is absolute GOLD! I wish when I was a kid that I had articles like this at my disposal and I would have gotten so much better results.

Reverse Crunch

The exercise in question is the reverse crunch. I’ve talked about this movement a lot – you’re trying to place a bit more emphasis on the lower abs with this exercise. When it comes to abs training, yes every movement you do will train the entire rectus abdominis, but there are movements you can do to place more emphasis on the upper abs, and others to place more emphasis on the lower abs. When you are trying to get that nice V-taper, you want that lower area nice and tight, and this is one of those movements that will help with that.

Proper form for the reverse crunch is simple: you lay down on the ground, and then you can either put your hands behind your head or by your sides, it’s up to you. From there, you keep your lower back flat on the ground, and then you bring your knees in, and then you go back out. You can make the exercise more intense by not letting your heels touch the ground on every rep, and if you want to, you can also put on some ankle weights or hold a dumbbell between your legs. But what if I were to tell you that you can make the exercise EVEN MORE intense without ankle weights or holding a dumbbell?

Reverse Crunch With A Band

To do this, you want to be in front of a solid structure. You’re then going to take a band and wrap it around that solid structure, and this is where things get interesting. If you try this the next time you go to the gym, it’s going to change your life, because the engagement is out of this world! This is actually an ab exercise I do quite often to be honest, but now that I know how to make it more intense, I’m getting a lot more out of it.

Now, instead of just moving your lower body, you can actually pull on the band. By pulling on the band, you can create a “pre-flex” in the abs because in order to hold the band tight and above your head, you have to start engaging your core. A few things are going to happen when you pull on a band, which is going to make the core engage a bit more. As you pull on the band, it is going to try to pull your upper body backwards and into spinal extension. By fighting the spinal extension, and FORCING your lower back to the ground, you’re creating that “pre-flex”. You’ll be able to feel this right away, whereas generally when you do a reverse crunch, you won’t feel a lot of tension in your abs. But if you get into position with your knees bent while pulling on a band, your abs are going to be lighting up like a Christmas tree.

Once you’re in that position, you’re going to focus on keeping your lower back on the ground and avoid going into spinal extension. You’re then going to bring your feet all the way forward, again keeping your back as flat as possible, before bringing your feet back in. You’re doing the same range of motion as a normal reverse crunch, and still not letting your heels touch the ground, but because you have that “pre-flex”, it’s going to be a lot harder for you to keep your lower back flat the entire time.

If you do go into spinal extension while doing this movement, that will actually bring a lot of your hip flexors into play. For those of you that have lower back problems, it can actually be due to exercises like this where you’re engaging the hip flexors and causing some tightness that you don’t want. If you want to keep ALL the focus on the ABS, make sure that back stays flat the entire time


To take your training to the next level doesn’t always necessarily mean you have to find new, crazy exercises that no-one has ever heard of. You can take a simple movement like a reverse crunch, hold onto a band, get a “pre-flex” in those abs, and then take your gains to a whole new level!

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I was doing this exercise already but tried it with the band today and it was awesome, I really felt a difference! Thanks Scott!


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