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How to Do a Bicycle Crunch for a Boot Camp Workout

Learn how to do a bicycle crunch for a boot camp workout for women from personal trainer Rachel Buschert Vaziralli in this Howcast workout video.


I’m going to talk you through how to do a bicycle crunch. So to do a bicycle crunch, you could do them at a boot camp, in the grass, you could do them at home on a mat. You’re just going to come onto your back and I like to start by bring both knees up off the floor and making sure that before you even begin that you’re pulling the abdominal muscles in. So that when you breathe in naturally, the belly expands, on the exhale, the abdominal muscles draw inward. So that’s what you want to focus on, to engage the deep layer, the transverse abdominis, that kind of runs across your body like a belt. So just think of it as cinching a belt tightly around your waist. Then you want to engage the superficial layer, the rectus abdominis, aka, your six pack. So that muscle group is the muscle that flexes your spine. So drawing your belly in and then flexing your spine, and starting to engage the superficial layer. So now you’re firing up your entire core then you’re going to take the hands behind the head, open up the elbows. I’d like to have you think that you’re not able to see your elbows in your periphery. So instead of getting like this and potentially pulling on your head and stressing out the sternocleidomastoid and all those other muscles in your neck. Just keep it relaxed, open up, keep the heart open, one leg goes in as the other leg goes out. So this is the mechanics of the lower body in the bicycle crunch. The more you extend your leg, the more you’re going to fire up your quad muscle. If I keep my leg slack, I’m not getting as much recruitment of the quad. So if you can, fully extend energy all the way out through the legs. And then to really get the obliquus; the muscles of the abdominals. Rotate your body, you need to add in the rotation, so, you’re doing, opposite elbow to the knee, and again, try to keep your shoulder blades up off the matt if you really want to fire up the rectus abdominis at the same time.

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