Straight Arm Crunch

Straight Arm Crunch

The Straight Arm Crunch is a core-focused exercise that effectively targets your upper abdominal muscles while also engaging your shoulders and arms. This bodyweight movement is ideal for enhancing core strength, improving posture, and sculpting a defined midsection. Unlike traditional crunches, which have your hands placed behind your head, the unique aspect of the Straight Arm Crunch is extending your arms straight above you, which adds an extra dimension of challenge and increases muscle engagement. This exercise can easily be incorporated into your home or gym workout routine, requiring no equipment other than your own body weight. It's especially productive for those looking to advance their core workout without the need to invest in additional equipment. The simplicity of the Straight Arm Crunch makes it an excellent option for beginners, yet it can be easily intensified by varying the speed or adding rotational movements for more experienced fitness enthusiasts. Besides targeting the upper abdominal muscles, the prolonged arm extension works your shoulders and even your upper back to a lesser extent, providing a well-rounded upper body engagement. By keeping your arms straight and reaching toward the ceiling or sky, you help ensure a full contraction of the abdominal muscles with every rep, making the Straight Arm Crunch a highly effective addition to any core-strengthening regimen.


  • Lie on the floor with your back flat against the ground and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and your toes and heels together.
  • Extend your arms straight behind your head, keeping them aligned with your ears and your fingers extending back.
  • Engage your core muscles and lift your shoulders and upper back off the floor while keeping your arms straight and in line with your torso.
  • Exhale as you crunch up and focus on using your abdominal muscles rather than straining your neck.
  • Pause for a moment at the top of the movement with your shoulder blades off the floor.
  • Inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position without letting your shoulders completely rest on the floor.
  • Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Engage your core throughout the movement to maximize effectiveness.
  • Keep arms straight and extend them overhead to increase the range of motion.
  • Avoid pulling your neck forward; focus on lifting your shoulders off the ground.
  • Exhale as you lift your shoulders and contract your abs for a more powerful contraction.
  • Keep your lower back pressed firmly against the floor to target the abdominal muscles more efficiently.
  • Perform the exercise slowly and with control to prevent momentum from reducing the workload on your abs.
  • Incorporate a brief pause at the top of the movement to increase muscle tension.
  • Focus on quality over quantity; aim for proper form rather than a high number of repetitions.
  • Incorporate this exercise into your core workout routine twice a week for best results.
  • Progress by holding a lightweight in your hands once you have mastered the bodyweight version to increase resistance.


Turn Sweat into Strength and Success

Achieve more with Fitwill: explore over 5000 exercises with images and videos, access built-in and custom workouts, perfect for both gym and home sessions, and see real results.

Start your journey. Download today!

Fitwill: App Screenshot
Fitwill stands in solidarity with Ukraine