6 Types of Crunches for Abs (hint: the Star Crunch is amazing!)

Even though I usually advise that if you’re short of time you may be better off avoiding exercises that target your abs specifically, I do think that if there is one type of crunch that you should include in your home or gym workout, then it’s the Star Crunch.

I hadn’t really discovered this exercise, until I did 6 sets of it a few weeks ago. The result? I felt sore and realized that my body had muscles I had no idea were there! And this is exactly the reason I believe crunches (especially Star Crunches!) are some of the best ab exercises you can do!

It works your upper abs, lower abs, your abs deep within…It pretty much does not leave anything out.

Types of crunches to go beyond the Star Crunch

The Star Crunch is not for beginners, so if you’re new to exercise then we got you covered too with these 6 types of crunches. If you’re up for a challenge, combine the Star Crunch with the rest of the exercises for a more robust ab workout for women.

Try these 6 crunches today for a great ab workout!

1. Star Crunch

star crunch
Starting position: Lie on the floor with legs and arms spread out, as if you were a star. Push your belly button in so you don’t strain your lower back!

Ending position: Lift your legs, arms and core up in one movement. Hug your legs. Repeat 2-3 sets of 10, 2-3 times per week to see the maximum results.

Not sure how this is done? I’ve also got a video for you:

2. Bicycle Crunch (also known as Criss Cross)

Lie on your back with your knees in table-top position. Hands are behind head.
Lift right shoulder closer to opposite knee while you rotate your body. At the same time lengthen right leg to 45 degrees. Repeat for other side.

3. Crunch I

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Hands are behind head. Contract your abdominals bringing your shoulders off the floor.

4. Crunch II

Lie on your back with your knees in table-top position. Hands are behind head. Curl your head and shoulders off the floor.

5. Towel Crunch

Lie on your back with your knees in table-top position squeezing the towel in between. Hands are behind head. Curl your head and shoulders off the floor.

6. Ladybug

ladybug abs
Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, shoulders lifted off the floor, knees drawn in, pressing the insides of your feet together. Lift your arms off the floor and extend your legs out.

Here’s how to combine these types of crunches and create an amazing ab workout for women.

  1. Follow this progression to work your way up to the more challenging crunches we discuss today.
  2. Start with the Crunch I and/or the Crunch II. Do 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions. Take a 15 sec break between sets.
  3. Continue with the Towel Crunch. Again, do 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.
  4. Move onto the Ladybug, then Bicycle Crunches. Keep up with 2-3 sets of 10 reps of each.
  5. Finally, if you’re up for it, finish off with the Star Crunch! Start with 2 sets of 10 and aim for 3 sets when you’re ready!

Not into crunches?

That’s ok! Check out this workout that compiles my other 3 favorite abdominal exercises. These are great options for ab exercises, even for beginners, because I show you 11 different variations to make them work for you!

Or check these 14 different types of planks and no crunches will be needed to form a strong core.

Want more?

fb16 book

The exercises featured in this sequence are from my book Flat Belly Firm Butt in 16 Minutes, available on Amazon.com.

While these crunches are great, ab exercises alone aren’t going to give you an all-rounded workout. You need a total body workout and you’ll find everything you need in the book.

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