By changing the trajectory of body parts you often change what you work. Find out how to do crossover crunches and what changes.
Crossover crunches are a crunch variation where you start with one foot on the knee of the other side. After that, you raise the shoulder of the support leg side as far as comfortable to the knee of the other side.
This movement mainly works your obliques and to some extent your abs.
In turn, crossover crunches can be a great exercise for growing and strengthening these muscles.
One thing to note is that people who are experienced with core training may need to add weights to crossover crunches to see their desired results.
How to do a crossover crunch correctly
Doing crossover crunches on a soft surface will be more comfortable for your back. That side, take the following steps to do the exercise:
- Lie down on your back. Plant one foot on the ground. Put the foot on the other side on the knee of the support leg. Hold your hands against the side of your head with your elbows pointing sideways.
- Slowly raise the shoulder of the support leg side as far as comfortable to the knee of the other side.
- Lower your shoulders in a controlled motion until you are back in the starting position.
- Complete your set and do the same number of crossover crunches on the other side.
In crossover crunches, you mainly want to make sure you don’t swing your head too much. Keep it in line with your upper body.
Besides that, this exercise is relatively straightforward.
Muscles worked with crossover crunches
The main muscles worked with crossover crunches are your obliques and to some extent your abs.
If you do not just want to improve endurance in these but actually want to grow and strengthen them, you will have to do enough crossover crunches with enough resistance.
For example, to grow your obliques, you want to do 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 25 (and even up to 50) crossover crunches.
Make sure you work each side about equally to avoid muscle imbalances. These can lead to an uneven look and injuries.
Crossover crunch benefits
There are a few reasons why you can consider adding crossover crunches to your exercise routine. A few examples of these benefits are:
- Stronger muscles: Doing crossover in a good exercise routine can help you grow and strengthen your obliques.
- Helps you avoid muscle asymmetries: Crossover crunches work the obliques on one side at a time. This helps you avoid muscle imbalances if you don’t forget to do the same number of repetitions on each side.
- No equipment or location required: Many people will be able to see nice effects from crossover crunches. This means you don’t have to invest in equipment or drive to the gym.
- May reduce or prevent back pain: Strengthening your core muscles with exercises like crossover crunches can reduce or prevent back pain (1, 2). Keep in mind some people also find crossover crunches uncomfortable in this area.
These benefits are not exclusive to crossover crunches but they can make this exercise worth it for your situation.
Crossover crunch alternatives
You may also wonder what some crossover crunch alternatives are. The muscle engagement or experience of these could align more with your training goals or preferences:
- Bicycle crunches
- Side bends
- Hanging sideways knee raises
- Ab wheel V-rolls
You want to think about things like what muscles you want to work and what equipment you have available to choose between these crossover crunch alternatives.
Are crossover crunches a good exercise?
Crossover crunches can be a good exercise for working your obliques and to some extent your abs.
If you use enough weight and a good workout plan, crossover crunches can definitely help you grow and strengthen your obliques.
At the same time, it is worth noting there are many other good core exercises too. If you like some of these more than crossover crunches, you can likely consider them too.
What is a crossover crunch?
A crossover crunch is a crunch variation where you raise one shoulder sideways instead of two shoulders up. This makes the exercise focus on your obliques.
Are crossover crunches effective?
Yes, crossover crunches are effective for working your obliques. In combination with enough resistance, reps, and sets this can lead to things like muscle growth.