Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredOther
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Abs Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Weighted Crunch Overview

The weighted crunch is a variation of the crunch and an exercise used to build the abdominal muscles.

Adding weight is a common form of progression used to make bodyweight exercises, such as the crunch, more challenging. Doing so allows for the lifter to progress, adapt, and build more muscle.

Weighted Crunch Instructions

  1. Lay supine in a relaxed position with your knees bent.
  2. Hold a weight plate directly over your chest and press it to extension.
  3. Raise your knees to 90 degrees, at which point they will be perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Exhale as you reach towards your toes with the weight plate.
  5. Once your abs are fully contracted and your upper back is off the floor, slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
  6. Complete for the assigned number of repetitions.

Weighted Crunch Tips

  1. Exhale hard like you’re blowing out candles on a cake and hold the contraction for a second to improve mind muscle connection.
  2. If your lower back bothers you during this exercise, choose more anti extension and anti rotation based movements.
  3. Avoid putting the hands behind the head as this can lead to excess strain upon the neck.
Posted on: Thu, 10/05/2023 - 16:30

In 1982 I had a spinal fusion Harrington rods are still installed I am 56 of the spinal fusion was around l4 l5 in that region what exercises can I do that will not aggravate my lower back I also have hyperladosis and scoliosis again I'm 56 and starting to fill you know that lower region

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 10/05/2023 - 21:14

Weighted crunches would definitely be out, Damon. I would suggest talking to your doctor. The only movement I would feel comfortable recommending for you would be planks.

Posted on: Tue, 07/11/2023 - 21:57

I had scoliosis when I was a teenager and they did surgery on my spine, so now the top of my spine down to the top of my lumbar is is permanently straight with titanium rods. Is there any alternatives to this exercise that bend the top of the spine and can be done at home? All I have is dumbells and a bench. Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 07/23/2023 - 09:28

Hi, Blake. That is a tough one. You can do standing crunches with a band. You would need to secure the band to the top of a solid base like a pullup machine or a squat rack. Then take the bottom of the band and hold a side in each hand at shoulder height. You would then bend the top of the spine as best as you can and squeeze the abs. If that doesn't work, then you may need to talk to your doctor about finding something you can do.

Posted on: Sat, 03/04/2023 - 15:53

Can I do exercise with a dumbbell?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 03/14/2023 - 09:53

Absolutely. Hold the sides of the dumbbell on your chest while you're doing the crunch.

Rohit Bokde
Posted on: Tue, 11/22/2022 - 20:57

Nice workout plan

Gerardo Ibarra
Posted on: Wed, 06/08/2022 - 00:03

Is it okay to rest my feet 90 degrees on a bench and focus on abs contraction?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 06/09/2022 - 08:24

Absolutely, Gerardo! If that helps you feel the abs working more, go for it!

Posted on: Tue, 05/24/2022 - 22:54

Can I do a oblique plate twist instead for this

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 05/25/2022 - 18:46

They don't exactly work the same portion of the abs, Ethan. However, if you would do one or the other, I actually suggest the oblique twist. So, I say yes.

Posted on: Tue, 03/15/2022 - 19:02

My neck hurts while doing this exercise, am I doing something wrong?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 03/16/2022 - 21:14

Hi, Bart. Do your best to keep your neck neutral. Many people turn their head as well while doing this exercise.

If this doesn't solve the issue, see a physician about it.

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2021 - 01:49

Can I understand what does this means?

*Each set utilzies a drop set. So perform 1 set, drop the weight performing an additional set, rest, and repeat.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/23/2021 - 12:38

Perform one set with the weight you want to use. As soon as you finish the last rep, quickly reduce the weight you're using, and immediately continue performing reps until you reach the number you want or you can no longer continue with good form.

Posted on: Sat, 03/27/2021 - 09:03

Can I use a dumbbell instead of a weight plate? Also how heavy should it be for beginners?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 03/29/2021 - 09:34

Hey Alexander - yes you can. Weight should be one that you can move safely and with proper form for the given number of reps.

Posted on: Mon, 03/29/2021 - 17:39

Okay, thank you.

Posted on: Sun, 10/01/2023 - 00:11

What would be the normal range for reps in an workout please?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 10/18/2023 - 11:13

Hi, Francine. Different programs have different ranges, but three to four sets of 10-20 reps is a good range to start with.

Posted on: Wed, 03/24/2021 - 12:00

My neck hurts when doing this. Am j doing anything wrong?

Posted on: Mon, 01/25/2021 - 21:42

My Quads always hurt so bad when I do this exercise.

Posted on: Sat, 04/07/2018 - 13:04

Crunches gives me abdominal cramps. Solutions?

george fourtwenty
Posted on: Wed, 03/03/2021 - 20:09

Push through it!