The bicycle crunch is arguably the best all round abs exercise, because it works all the layers of the ab muscles when it’s done properly. If you don’t have much time for ab workouts, then this multi-tasking exercise is a good choice. The bicycle crunch workout challenge includes 3 variations to get the most out of the exercise and add variety. At the end of the challenge you’ll be doing 24 of each variation – 72 reps in all.
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How the bicycle crunch works the different layers
The top layer – the 6 pack muscles: the action of lifting the upper body towards the legs works these muscles.
The middle layer – the obliques: the obliques carry out twisting and side bending movements, so the action of rotating the elbow towards the knee works this layer.
The deep layer – the transverse abdominal muscle: the deepest layer of the abs works to stabilise the pelvis. For the exercise to effectively work this muscle, you need to make sure it’s working to stabilise your pelvis and stop your lower back from arching.
General workout info.
Please read these exercise guidelines before you start.
You’ll need an exercise mat or some other form of cushioning if you’re working on a hard floor.
How to do the bicycle crunch and variations
Standard bicycle crunch
- The start position is with your feet in the air and your hands behind your head.
- Extend your right leg to a 45° angle with the floor.
- At the same time, bring your left knee towards your upper body and lift your right shoulder off the floor to reach your elbow towards your knee.
- Now extend your left leg and bring your left elbow towards your right knee.
- Keep alternating for the given number of reps.
- For the double pulse, reach your elbow towards your knee as before. At the end of the movement, move your elbow away from your knee slightly and then back again.
- Repeat on the other side.
- At the end of the movement, hold for a count of 5 then repeat on the other side.
Bicycle crunch challenge workout – reps for each day
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