Crunches can be a useful addition to your exercise routine. Find out what results you can expect from doing 50 repetitions a day.
The most important thing to note is that crunches are a resistance training exercise for the ab muscles. That means the main goals of this movement are growing and strengthening your ab muscles.
For other goals like weight loss, cardiovascular health, improving mood, etc., you want to choose different workouts.
With that in mind, if you can barely do 50 crunches a day in 6 sets of 9 repetitions to 2 sets of 25 repetitions, a workout like this is likely challenging enough to grow and strengthen your abs.
When you reach a point where the ranges above become too easy, you can start doing crunches with weights to make them challenging enough to see results.
Another reason why you could consider a light exercise routine like this is to get into the habit of working out. As longer workouts feel less overwhelming, you do want to consider these to get more health benefits.
Will you lose weight if you do 50 crunches a day?
Because it is an ab exercise, many people get the idea that crunches are helpful for losing weight and more specifically belly fat. However, crunches will generally not help a lot with these goals.
To lose weight you need to get to a point where your body requires more energy (measured in calories) than is coming in from food.
This makes it so your body starts using other energy stores like body fat.
Exercise can help you get to this point and make the difference bigger by increasing how much energy you use.
That being said, crunches are still relatively bad in this area compared to other options. They are just not that intense in terms of the movements you have to do.
As an example, a 155-pound (70 kg) person will burn around 6 calories while doing 50 crunches.
To put this into perspective, a pound (0.45 kg) of body fat is around 3500 calories.
You will need to implement other lifestyle changes or do a lot more crunches to lose belly fat or weight from other places in significant amounts.
How many calories 50 crunches burn
Let’s say the average person does around 30 crunches a minute. In that case, you can calculate that 50 crunches will burn the following amounts of calories for different body weights (1):
- 125 pounds (56 kg) body weight: 5 calories
- 155 pounds (70 kg) body weight: 6 calories
- 185 pounds (83 kg) body weight: 7 calories
- 215 pounds (97 kg) body weight: 8 calories
At first, this may seem surprisingly low, even for an ab exercise like this. However, you need to remember that doing 50 crunches will only take around 1.7 minutes.
Even if you do these every day for a month or longer, 50 crunches or even 100 crunches a day and more will not make much of a difference in terms of calorie burning.
Will you gain ab muscle mass and strength?
Crunches are actually mainly an ab resistance training exercise. In simpler words, this movement can be helpful to grow and strengthen your ab muscles.
To achieve these goals, you need to train your ab muscles with enough pressure and enough repetitions. Additionally, you need to eat the right nutrients and give the muscles enough rest.
What enough means for you personally depends on details like your current strength. That being said, there are a few principles you can use to figure out whether 50 crunches a day can be enough.
Does it offer enough pressure?
If you can barely complete the 50 crunches in somewhere between 6 sets of 9 repetitions to 2 sets of 25 repetitions you will likely be able to grow and strengthen your ab muscles with a workout like this.
Many people will be able to grow and strengthen their ab muscles with bodyweight crunches because these muscles are so weak.
That being said, when these set and rep ranges become too easy and possibly a bit before that, you will need to make the 50 crunches a day more challenging to keep seeing results.
In a situation like that, weighted crunches where you hold some type of resistance against your chest are often a good choice.
Even if you don’t have objects like dumbbells, medicine balls, or weight plates, you can use something like a weighted backpack to make this exercise more challenging.
In turn, you should see more ab muscle growth and strength progress faster.
Should you do 50 crunches every single day?
As briefly mentioned you also need to give your ab muscles enough rest in between workouts.
During resistance training exercises like crunches you damage the muscles involved. This may sound bad but it starts a variety of internal processes that can make the muscles bigger and stronger.
Even so, your body still needs time to complete these repair, growth, and strengthening processes. If you work the muscles again too soon, you can actually reduce your results.
It is generally a good idea to give muscles you work with resistance training an extra rest day in between workouts.
At the same time, smaller muscles like your abs tend to recover more quickly. So in theory, many people could do 50 crunches every single day without too much of an issue.
However, while it is possible, you can already see nice results by doing 50 (weighted) crunches every other day. A routine like this can give you the time to do other exercises too.
Other things that could happen by doing 50 crunches a day
As mentioned, doing 50 crunches a day is only an extra 1.7 minutes of actual exercising every day. It should be clear that this is not a lot and that you should not expect the more general physical benefits to a large extent.
Even so, besides the ab muscle growth and burning a few extra calories, there are some smaller positive things that could happen by implementing an exercise routine like this.
First of all, small exercise routines can be helpful in making working out a habit. As an exercise beginner, hour-long workouts will likely feel too overwhelming.
You do still want to work up to more intense exercise routines over time but small workouts like 50 crunches a day can be a decent place to start.
Secondly, besides actually growing your ab muscles, you will likely improve endurance in this area to at least a small extent too.
Core muscles like your abs help you keep your body upright while sitting and especially when standing. By improving endurance in them, standing up, walking around, and climbing stairs could be just a bit more convenient.
At the same time, if these are your goals, you want to keep in mind that you likely want to train other core muscles like your obliques and erector spinae too.
Is 50 crunches a day good enough?
So 50 crunches a day can be good enough to grow and strengthen your ab muscles. You may need to use extra weights to do this.
Next, when you are just starting your journey to getting healthier you could start by working up to 50 crunches a day. However, you do really want to consider more intense workouts very soon.
To put the 50 crunches a day (1.7 minutes of exercise) into perspective, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends the following exercise guidelines to adults (1):
- Moving more and sitting less throughout the day
- At least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week. Preferably spread throughout the week.
- You can gain additional health benefits by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
- Muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
The 50 crunches can not even be considered as one of the two minimum muscle-strengthening days a week.
Your abs do not really count as a big muscle group and there are many other important areas left.
Again, you don’t have to go straight to a workout routine like this when you are starting out. At the same time, if you are serious about your health, you likely want to gradually work up to the amounts above.