Bicycle Crunches Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

Bicycle is abdominal exercises designed to work and strengthen the core. While lying on your back and moving your legs (in a way similar to pedaling on a bike), your abs will “crunch” as you draw your leg in toward you. Bicycles are a great exercise if you are trying to target multiple areas of your abdominals, such as your obliques and upper abs.

Bicycle Crunches

How to do Bicycle Crunches


Lie on your back with your legs straight up to the ceiling and your feet softly pointed. Breathe in to prepare and as you breathe out draw the legs over the body and peel the spine up off the floor one vertebrae at a time. Place your hands on the back of your pelvis, your upper arms and elbows are on the floor supporting the pelvis. Reach your legs up to the ceiling so the are at 90 degrees to the floor. You are now in the start position.

Simultaneously stretch your right leg towards the floor and draw your left leg towards your chest, bend the right knee dropping the heel towards the buttock. Taking the bent right leg forward and stretching the left leg back, straighten the right leg and bend the left, dropping the left heel towards the buttock – as if you were riding a bike upside down. Pedal you invisible upside down bike forward 10 times, and then reverse the movement to backpedal 10 times.

To finish bring the legs back together and vertical before sequentially lowering the spine back down to the floor.


  • Rather of sitting down and raising up your chin, neck and arms, sit up in a strong, seated role. Move your elbows into your thigh while raising your knees back toward you, use your core power.

  • When you are only starting out, just come up halfway while doing the crunch instead of completely linking the elbow to knee.

  • For more of a task, throw on a leg extension before the move's completion. When the arm bends back and you pinch, stretch your leg until it is fully straight.

  • When you're pregnant, sit back on your elbows and forearms for protection instead of putting your hands behind your shoulders. So push your knees in into your torso using your abdominal muscles.

Exercise Benefits

  • Leg Stretch

  • Full-body Strength

  • Core Strength

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do bicycle crunches from this step-by-step illustrations:

Bicycle 1
Bicycle 2
Bicycle 3
Bicycle 4
Bicycle 5

Muscles Worked

The muscles used for bicycle crunches may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for bicycle crunches are:

Primary Muscles

  • Abs
  • Hamstrings
  • Deltoids
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes

Synergyst Muscles

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles do Bicycle Crunches work?
Bicycle Crunches work abs, hamstrings, deltoids, quadriceps, glutes.
What are Bicycle Crunches good for?
Bicycle Crunches are beneficial for conditioning and to strengthen. They work the best for buttocks, core, hips, legs, lower body, shoulders, upper body, upper legs and waist, as they work abs, hamstrings, deltoids, quadriceps, glutes. Bicycle Crunch is is a great bodyweight exercise for men, men over 50, women and women over 50.
Is Bicycle Crunch a good exercise?
Bicycle Crunch is a popular bodyweight exercise for abs, hamstrings, deltoids, quadriceps, glutes.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Bicycle Crunches faster?

Bicycle Crunches Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Bicycle Crunches and how should you?

Bicycle Crunches Standards and Averages


Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Bicycle Crunches Alternatives


Wonder how to make Bicycle Crunches either easier or more challenging?

Bicycle Crunches Variations

Discover more


Type(s) Bodyweight, Calisthenic, Strength
Muscles Worked Abdominals, Biceps Femoris, Deltoids, Quadriceps, Gluteus
Difficulty Level(s) Moderate
Equipment No Equipment
Location At Gym, At Home, Outdoor
Major Exercise Ab Crunches

Muscles Worked

Target muscle(s) Abs, Hamstrings, Deltoids, Quadriceps, Glutes
Synergyst muscle(s)

Related exercises

Discover more