Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-The DB Extend & Crunch!-

Here’s a nifty little exercise I call the “DB Extend & Crunch.”  I’m not a big fan of crunches…believe me, back in the day I used to do sets of 50-100 b/c I didn’t know any better!  Crunches are overrated, and i’ll be the first to tell you that nutrition is key if you’re wanting to abs as hot as Brad’s in Fight Club!  Still, you must do “core” exercises.

The DB Extend & Crunch incorporates an overhead reach with a single-leg hip/knee extension.  I recommend that you keep your ankle flexed as you extend the hip & knee.  Why?  You’ll use your glutes.  Think about pushing through the foot as you straighten your leg.  Also note that the “crunch” really is more of a “pull,” as I bring the dumbbells to my body.

You don’t need a ton of weight for this exercise.  I’m using 5-pounders!

I really dig exercises that require you to stabilize one leg while extending the other.  Why?  For many people, this asymmetrical position can help with maintaining a posterior pelvic tilt.  Most people have anterior tilt issues, and using both legs (with exercises such as this) may not always be the best thing.


8 responses

  1. I like! You’re right: extending both legs is great if you can do it without the low back going into hyperextension, but a lot of people can’t. To regress the exercise even further you could tap the toe down maintaining a 90 degree bend in the leg instead of extending it fully … might be a nice variation for people who’re rather weak in through the transverse abdominis.

    May 17, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    • Laura,
      You’re a rockstar! Definitely! Like a quasi-Pilates heel tap/dead bug combo! Good stuff! I already knew you’re a smartie, but once again it’s obvious! The ability to be able to move a client forward is a must-have…but the ability to also be able to modify any exercise to make it less difficult is priceless! I think way too many trainers want to go full-speed ahead and do all the fancy stuff, and work with clients who are at top level. I have always said that it’s easy to train athletes. Many may argue with me on this, but oh well. For those of us who train general population peeps, you must have the know-how to “tweak” an exercise up or down, depending on the client’s level and goals. THIS is the art of personal training! Yay for great trainers! 🙂 Also, Laura, we need to talk dance…I have a few musings that may be run-of-the-mill for you, as I was a dancer (for a brief moment in time when I was little) and i’ve trained a handful of ’em…talkin’ more along the lines of classical ballet, folks. Anyhow, we’ll talk later!

      Yours in Health,

      May 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm

  2. Nice one, Sarah!
    I think I’m going to add this to my ab routine as a finisher. Thanks!!!!!!

    May 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    • Yay Fred!

      Always here to add variety! I have a ton of video clips on here that I realized I had yet to upload…so…there ya go! 🙂 Everything I shoot is good stuff, I promise!

      Yours in Health,

      May 17, 2009 at 8:46 pm

  3. Hey Sarah, I added this to my workout yesterday. I can punch out a million crunches but have terrible core strength. This was great! It’s now written down on my regular workout chart.

    May 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    • Hey Anna!
      Rock on!
      Happy you like it! 😀 Yay!
      Have a great day!

      May 21, 2009 at 7:36 am

  4. DB Extend and Crunch: my new best friend AND worst enemy (DOMS!) Very cool, thanks Super Sarah!

    May 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    • Hey Jimi!
      Awesome! 😀
      Gonna shoot you an email re Mike!
      Talk to you soon!

      May 27, 2009 at 9:44 am

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