For as easy as crunches and sit-ups are, it’s amazing that so many people still like to cheat on them. Apart from not making the abs do the work they should, cheating also decreases the range of motion. The solution can be as simple as raising your legs in the air with the toe-touch crunch.

Elevating your legs makes you focus on your toes. In trying to reach them, you’ll bring your shoulder blades completely of the floor, resulting in a deeper, harder contraction. Each rep will be more strict than a conventional crunch. You’ll also work the lower abs, which keep the legs raised throughout the set.

How to Do It

  1. Lie on your back on the floor and raise your legs so they’re perpendicular to the floor. Extend your arms up over your chest.
  2. Crunch your torso off the floor, reaching for your feet (though your hands don’t have to touch them). Hold the top position for a second, then come back down.

Quick Tip

Perform toe-touch crunches (3–4 sets of 10–20 reps) at the end of a workout.