How To Do Curl Up

Curl Up Exercise

Curl Up is an effective isolation exercise that targets the rectus abdominis primarily the upper abdominals.

Curl Up can be used as a finisher in an abdominal workout program or as a warm up before performing back or leg exercises.

It can also be used as a warm down to allow you to focus intently on working the upper abdominals.

Curl Up How To

  • Lie on your back on the floor. Keep one leg straight and the other with knees bent to 90 degrees.
  • Place both arms on the floor alongside your hips.
  • Contract the upper abdominal muscles to curl your shoulders off the floor.
  • When your shoulders come off the floor, pull your upper abdominals toward your ribcage to bring your upper body forward. Your lower back must remain braced on the floor. Hold the position for a count of “one”.
  • Return back to starting position under complete control.
  • Repeat the exercise until you have completed the targeted number of reps.

Form and Technique

Unlike the regular Crunch or Sit Up, Curl Up relies purely on the strength of your upper abdominals.

This is why you do not place your hands behind your head for stability.

Curl Up can be broken down into two parts: a curl and press forward.

Once you are able to get your shoulders off the floor, the upper abdominals will contract harder to bring your torso forward for a more intense contraction.

The key is to raise your pelvis toward your upper torso and to keep your lower back flat on the floor so you will not engage the hip flexors.

This shifts all of the work to the upper abdominals.

Variations: Decline Crunch, Cross Crunches, Cross Body Crunch

Routine for Strength: 5 sets x AMRAP (30 secs rest between sets)

Routine for Muscle Gains: n/a

Curl Up