You may really feel crunches on your abs after one session but this exercise also offers other effects. Find out how long it takes to see these other results.
The main result of doing crunches will be stronger and bigger abs. These things will gradually start happening after your first workouts.
At the same time, the rectus abdominis (ab) muscles are not the biggest so you will likely not see pounds of weight increases. Additionally, your body fat percentage has to be low enough to see the visual effects of crunches.
Besides, that crunches can help with certain things like burning calories, improving sleep, improving mood, etc. to a tiny extent.
You can see these results as soon as after one workout but since crunches are not that effective in these areas, you may need other exercises to see noticeable effects.
Your abs can grow and strengthen
Regular crunches are mainly a resistance training exercise you do to grow and strengthen muscles. More specifically, this movement focuses on your abs.
The way you grow muscles is by challenging them with enough resistance and repetitions, giving your body enough nutrients to repair and grow them, and giving your body some rest time to do these things.
Exactly what is challenging enough and how many crunches you need to do to see results depends on your current strength level.
For many people, a few sets of bodyweight crunches will already be enough to see ab muscle growth. More advanced individuals may need to hold extra weights against their chests.
With or without weights, you want to aim for a challenge level where you can do around 8 to 16 crunches per set before your muscles fatigue.
As you see muscle growth and strength results over time, you will have to add or increase the weights you hold to stay within this range.
Exactly how long it will take to see growth and strength in your rectus abdominis will depend on your strength level, workout program, genes, and other factors.
You can definitely see results after a few weeks of crunches but it is hard to put these into exact numbers.
You may feel some soreness
If you have been relatively inactive until your first set of crunches, you may feel some soreness right after the workout and the day after.
Besides the uncomfortable feeling, sore muscles are not necessarily good or bad. It is just something that can happen when getting into exercise.
If you really want to avoid soreness as much as possible, you would not do crunches to failure. This means you would want to stop a few repetitions before your ab muscles are too tired to continue.
You don’t have to worry about the effectiveness of these sets. You can still see results from crunches when not going to failure completely (although it can be helpful too).
You could lose a tiny bit of body fat
Excess body fat can cause negative effects on your health and hide your abs. Luckily, it is also possible to lose this fat again.
When you get to a point where your body requires more energy than is coming in from food, it gets the difference from energy stores like body fat.
To get to this level, other lifestyle habits like nutrition and other exercises will generally be a lot more effective. However, crunches could help burn a tiny amount of calories.
More specifically, a 155-pound (70 kg) person will burn around 55 calories while doing crunches for 10 minutes. The results in this area basically come in as you are doing the workout.
However, to make it clear that this is a small number of calories, one medium chocolate chip cookie (16 grams) contains around 78 calories (1).
So while crunches can help you see a tiny amount of fat loss results, if other lifestyle habits like nutrition are not good enough you could do 100 repetitions a day or a lot more and gain fat.
Standing up and walking could feel easier
The ab muscles which crunches mainly work are part of the core muscles. This is a category name for the muscles around your waist.
These have to work when you stand up and walk around to keep your rib cage from swinging in all directions aka to keep your body upright.
Even if you do crunches with weights and repetitions aimed toward muscle growth and strength increases, you will also likely see some positive results in terms of ab muscle endurance.
In turn, this could make standing up and walking around throughout the day feel easier and more convenient.
Your sleep could improve a bit
Growing ab muscles and losing weight are the most popular reasons people get interested in crunches but you can also see helpful benefits in other areas.
Now, crunches are definitely not the most intense exercise out there so you should not expect too many improvements in these areas.
At the same time, sleep quality and duration are very important for things like your health, gaining muscle, and mood. Even the small amounts of positive results from crunches are welcome.
How many crunches do I have to do a day to see results?
First of all, implementing rest days can help your progress. That aside, how many you have to do a day to see results depends on your current strength level and how much weight you use. You can generally see results by doing anywhere between 18 to 50 crunches with enough resistance (up to a point of course).
What happens if you do crunches every day?
While you may not want to do them every single day, doing more crunches will mostly make your ab muscles bigger and stronger. Additionally, you will burn a few extra calories, improve your sleep a tiny amount, and improve your mood a tiny amount.
Will 50 crunches a day make a difference?
You may not want to do them every single day but doing 50 crunches a day can definitely make a difference in terms of ab muscle strength and size.
Will doing 100 crunches a day give you a flat stomach?
To get a flat stomach you need to burn enough calories in combination with other good lifestyle habits in areas like nutrition. While crunches can help you burn a few calories, 100 (or more) repetitions a day are likely not enough to give you a flat stomach.