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Kick Crunch: Exercise Guide

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Jessica Brown
May 9, 2024 June 5, 2024
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Kick crunch is a simple bodyweight exercise that targets and strengthens the abs. Besides the abs, there are other benefits of doing kick crunches like improved flexibility and burning calories.

I meant who doesn’t want to burn some calories easily right? So, get ready to kick-start your fitness journey with this exhilarating and powerful exercise that will leave you feeling stronger, more toned, and ready to take on any challenge!

Key Takeaways

  • Kick crunch is a compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups, including the feet, legs, core, and abdominal muscles.
  • Proper form and control are more important than speed when it comes to performing kick crunches effectively.
  • Kick crunches primarily target the abdominal muscles.
  • There are other alternatives to kick crunches like reverse crunch, flutter kicks, sit ups and lying knee raises.
  • There are a number of benefits from doing kick crunch exercises, mainly core strengthening, flexibility improvement, enhanced balance and coordination, and calorie burn.

What Muscles Does Kick Crunch Work?

kick crunch muscles worked

Kick crunches primarily target the abdominal muscles, specifically the abs and the obliques. The abdominal muscle lies between your pubic bone and ribs. It runs from the ribcage to the pelvis, and it is responsible for lumbar spine flexion. The obliques, located on the sides of the abdomen, is responsible for rotational movements and also play a significant role in stabilizing the core.

Kick crunches also recruit the hip flexors, which are the muscles that allow you to lift your legs and bend them toward your torso.

Kick Crunch vs Crunch Kick

The kick crunch and crunch kick are both dynamic exercises that engage the upper body and thigh muscles while targeting the core. Yet, at the same time, they have their differences.

In kick crunch, you start by standing on your feet and extending your leg up to a 90-degree angle before touching your toe with your hand.

Whereas for a crunch kick, you start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. You then simultaneously extend one leg out straight and bring the opposite elbow towards it, touching the knee with the elbow.

How To Do Kick Crunch Effectively

Kick crunch is a kicking exercise that combines a front kick movement with a toe touch. It’s designed to work the muscles of the feet, legs, and core, as well as increase flexibility and balance. It is similar to crunch kicks, except that kick crunch requires you to stand.

how to do kick crunch effectively

Performing kick crunch:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Start by lifting your left leg as high as possible and extend it straight out.
  3. Touch your left foot with your hand and return your left leg back to the standing position.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side.
  5. Continue alternating sides, going as fast as you can until the set is completed.
  6. Ensure that you are breathing throughout. Look straight ahead, keep your back straight and chest open.

It’s important to focus on form and controlled movements rather than speed. Start with a manageable number of reps and gradually increase as your strength improves.

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Benefits of Kick Crunch

Like many other exercises, there are much more benefits to doing kick crunch than targeting the abs and core. Here are some of the main benefits:

Core Strengthening

The primary benefit of kick crunches is the strengthening of your core muscles, including the rectus abdominis muscle (abs), obliques, and transverse abdominis. By repeatedly engaging these muscles during the kicking and crunching motion, you can improve your overall core strength and stability.


The kicking motion in kick crunches requires a degree of flexibility in the hamstrings, upper abs, and hip flexors. Regular practice of kick crunches can contribute to improved flexibility in these muscle groups, which can be beneficial for various daily activities and other forms of exercise.

Burning calories

One benefit of doing this exercise is that it helps to burn calories (so do other exercises, obviously) but burning extra calories is always a good thing!

Helps to boost heart rate

Doing kick crunch can help to boost heart rate as it is more towards a cardio exercise. Throughout the movement, you are expected to keep your limbs moving at a fast pace which is sure to get the heart pumping.

Can be done as a warm-up

Besides all of the above benefits, it can also be done as part of your warm-up set. Prior to any workout, it is best to do some dynamic stretches or movements to get the blood pumping and reduce tension in the muscles.

Kick Crunch Alternatives

If you do not want to do kick crunch for whatever reasons, here are some alternatives:

Reverse Crunch

reverse crunch exercise

The reverse crunch is a core-strengthening exercise that primarily targets the lower abdominal muscles. Unlike traditional crunches where you lift your upper body toward your knees, in the reverse crunch, you keep your upper body stationary and lift your hips off the ground toward your chest. This movement engages the lower abdominal muscles, helping to strengthen and tone them.

Flutter Kicks

flutter kicks

Flutter kicks are a core strengthening exercise that targets the lower abdominal muscles and hip flexors. It is a challenging exercise that helps improve lower abdominal strength, endurance, and stability.


sit ups

Sit-ups are a classic abdominal exercise that targets the muscles of the core, particularly the rectus abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors. It is effective for building core strength, improving abdominal endurance, and enhancing overall functional fitness.

Lying Leg Raises

lying leg raises

The lying leg raise is a core-strengthening exercise that primarily targets the lower abdominal muscles. It effectively engages the lower abs and helps improve core stability and strength.

By incorporating these variations into your routine, you can target different areas of your chest and core, challenge your muscles in new ways, and prevent plateaus in your workout progress.


Kick crunch exercise offers a holistic approach to strengthening the core, improving flexibility, and enhancing overall physical fitness. For a much more effective and targeted approach to training the abs, you may try out quick and easy workout routines that are available on the JustFit app. Let’s improve our health together!

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Chris Zibutis. (2024). How to Do Crunch Kick Exercises Properly. Available at: [Accessed 1 April 2024].