Do Crunches Really Give You Abs?

A consistent favorite exercise of those wanting to build abs are crunches, this is because they’re a ubiquitous form of exercise meaning they can be performed almost anywhere. Crunches are also popular due to the …

Average Sit-ups for an 18-year-old

A consistent favorite exercise of those wanting to build abs are crunches, this is because they’re a ubiquitous form of exercise meaning they can be performed almost anywhere.

Crunches are also popular due to the simplicity of the movement, it doesn’t really require practice, and you can usually get the form right very quickly. Crunches can also be incorporated into your daily workout regimen pretty easily.

The answer is yes, crunches will definitely help you get abs when used correctly, they will help strengthen and tone your abs. It will also help improve your core strength.

Sit Ups Vs Crunches (Differences)

Sit ups

Both situps and crunches are exercises that will target your abs, so they’re used by people looking to get a six-pack, or maybe strengthen their core.

They both involve laying on the floor and curling up, but there are some differences. Situps involve a person rising to a seated position whereas in crunches the person only rises partway.


have one key benefit, and it is that it can target multiple muscle groups, this includes your hip flexors, glutes, and lower back. You’re probably wondering what this has to do with building abs, well due to it targetting more muscles, you will also burn more fat and calories.

And it’s crucial to burn fat and calories to gain definition within the abdominal region. Crunches, on the other hand, do not burn as many calories, they’re highly targeted on the abs making it an isolation workout.

Situps are also great at targetting the entire abdominal region, when done correctly, they will work out the rectus abdominis (sixpack muscles) and the obliques (side muscles). It also works out the transverse abdominis (deepest abdominal muscle), so situps are great for the entire core.


Crunches are more focused on the lower abdominal region. While they will also work out the upper abdominal area, it won’t be to the same intensity compared to situps.

Crunches may be regarded as being better than situps for abs/six-packs because it isolates the rectus abdominis muscles(six-pack muscles), but they may be less effective for building a stronger core as a whole.

So Do Crunches Build Abs?


Crunches are an effective workout for building abs, we do believe they will strengthen and help build definition for the abdominal muscles. It will improve your core strength, and it will improve your overall posture.

But if you’re wondering whether crunches alone will help build your abs enough for you to show them off, then you’re sadly mistaken. Crunches will help build bigger abdominal muscles, and strengthen them, but we’re missing a key factor and that’s body fat percentage.

Your abs will only really be on the show if your body fat percentage is low enough. This is why crunches alone won’t be enough to show your abs. Depending on the individual, your abs may be hidden by a layer of fat that needs to be reduced through dieting and exercising.

What Is The Ideal Bodyfat Percentage For Showing Abs?

The lower your body fat percentage is, the leaner you’re considered. And for abs, you generally have to be pretty lean for them to show, this is why we’re going to advocate that you get at least a round 12% body fat.

While it mostly depends on the individual, someone with 12% body fat should have their abdominal muscles prominent. And having a low enough body fat percentage reduces the effects of your stomach looking bigger when working out your abs.

I also believe 12% is a healthy body fat goal, it makes you shredded enough for your abs to show, but it also means you’re still relatively healthy as you still have enough body fat to fuel the body.

So How Can I Have Prominent Abs With Crunches?

Prominent Abs

We recommend integrating crunches into a healthy lifestyle plan, what this would do is help you strengthen the core muscles whilst also boosting the definition. This can be done in combination with a healthy diet, regular cardio exercise, getting enough protein, and sleep.

Abs are a reflection of our overall health, while some individuals can have abs and be in poor shape, it’s important to remember that abs are a marker of health, and most of us have to work hard to get them.

A good place to start would be to start off with 10 crunches per set and do a total of 3 sets. As you feel like you’re getting stronger, increase the number of sets, and increase the number of crunches per set to maintain the intensity

Reverse Crunches (For Extra Intensity)

Reverse crunches can also be integrated into your workout plan, they involve curling your knees up instead of your body, and this works out the lower abdominal muscles even more

So if you feel like you’re lacking in your lower abdominal muscles, reverse crunches are the way to help tone them up.

Medicine Ball Crunches (Weighted Workout)

Have normal crunches lost their effects? Well if you’ve outgrown normal crunches, additional weight is the best way to reintroduce intensity within your workouts.

And if you get used to one weight, you can always increase the weight, there’s no limit as long as you have additional weight to add.

Bicycle Crunch (Great Cardio)

Bicycle crunches are a great alternative to regular crunches, this is because bicycle crunches also improve stability and flexibility. It will also focus on additional muscles such as your obliques, and it will also burn more calories compared to the traditional crunches.

Bicycle crunches are great for cardiovascular health, it boosts your heart rate, which will help you burn more fat.

Bicycle crunches are probably better than normal crunches for abs because it has the additional effect of burning fat, this will help build definition in the abdominal area.


In conclusion, crunches aren’t enough for prominent abs, but they’re enough to tone them up, strengthen your core, and build abdominal muscles.

To actually have prominent abs, you will need to reduce your body fat percentage, this can be done through dieting, cardio, and intense workouts.