Best Exercises to Superset with Crunches

10 Best Exercises to Superset with Crunches

Looking to take your Crunches to the next level?

You’re in the right place.

I’ve been a Strength and Conditioning Coach for two decades and in this guide, I’ll introduce you to the top 10 exercises to superset with Crunches. These movements will increase the intensity and efficacy of your core workouts.

From Russian Twists to Leg Raises, I’ve got an array of exercises that will help you improve both your core strength and core stability. Let’s get started.

Keys to Choosing Exercises to Superset with Crunches

When selecting exercises to superset with Crunches, there are several key factors to consider to ensure efficiency and avoid injury.

Here is what you need to keep in mind:

Muscle Group Targeting

Aim to choose exercises that complement crunches by targeting different muscle groups in your core, such as the obliques or lower abs, to ensure a well-rounded workout.

Equipment Availability

Consider the equipment you have at hand. Exercises using stability balls, resistance bands, or even just your body weight can offer great pairing options with crunches.

Ability and Experience

Tailor your workout to your own ability and experience level. Ensure the exercises you choose are neither too easy nor too hard, to foster steady progress and prevent potential injuries.


To avoid a plateau, it’s beneficial to add a variety of exercises to give your muscles a new stimulus and to keep your program from getting boring.

Best Exercises to Superset with Crunches

Here they are, in no particular order, my favorite exercises to superset with Crunches.

Russian Twists

Russian Twist with Medicine Ball

Why: This exercise targets the obliques, providing a comprehensive workout that complements the focus of crunches on the central abdominal muscles.

Coaching Tip: To increase the challenge of Russian Twists, add a medicine ball (as pictured above).

How To

  • Start by taking a seat on the floor and clasping your hands together.
  • Slightly bend the knees and raise your feet roughly six inches off the floor.
  • Start by rotating your torso to the left, taking your right elbow toward your left knee.
  • Now turn your shoulders and rotate your torso to the right, now taking your left elbow toward your right knee.
  • Keep legs mostly still and maintain the feet off the floor throughout the movement.
  • Continue rotating back and forth until all reps are completed.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers (1)

Why: Mountain Climbers engage both your core and lower body, enhancing overall stability and strength, which makes for a dynamic pairing with Crunches.

How To

  • Begin in a push-up position – hands under shoulders, core engaged, body in a straight line
  • Now raise one knee toward the chest and place the ball of the foot on the ground – from this position you’re ready to begin performing reps.
  • Drive one leg up and place the foot right next to where the opposite foot just left.
  • Simultaneously extend the ‘up foot’ back to the original starting position.


Elbow Front Plank

Why: Planking works the entire core, including muscles that aren’t primarily targeted by Crunches, offering a well-rounded approach to your core workout.

How To

  • Start on the ground on your stomach.
  • Assume a push-up like position on your elbows and toes. Elbows should be directly under the shoulders.
  • Position your body in a straight line from the shoulders through the hips, knees and ankles.
  • Brace the core tight. (As if you’re going to be punched in the stomach)
  • Do not let the body slouch to the ground nor push the hips up high in the air.

Bicycle Crunches

Why: Bicycle Crunches target both the upper and lower abs, as well as the obliques, making it a great all-around exercise to pair with Crunches.

How To

  • Lay on your back with your knee and hip flexed to 90 degrees
  • Raise your shoulder blades off of the ground several inches and put your hands behind your head.
  • Keep your chin off of your chest and keep your left leg off of the ground.
  • Straighten your right knee while simultaneously driving the left knee in the opposite direction toward your shoulder.
  • Touch your left knee to your right elbow and immediately repeat to the other side.
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Reverse Crunches

Reverse Crunch

Why: Reverse Crunches are a variation that focuses more on the lower abs, an area that standard Crunches might not effectively target, thus ensuring a full abdominal workout.

How To

  • Start laying on your back with hands either out to the side or under the low back for support.
  • Lift the legs up six inches off the ground.
  • Pull the knees in toward the core.
  • Now, extend the legs and drive the feet straight up in the air – lifting the hips up off the ground.
  • Retrace back to the starting position (keep feet off the ground) and repeat.

Leg Raises

Leg Raises on a Bench

Why: Leg Raises primarily target the lower abdominal muscles, perfectly complementing the upper abdominal engagement found in Crunches.

Coaching Tip: Leg Raises can be done on the floor (as described below) or on a bench (as pictured above). Find what works best for you!

How To

  • Lay on your back, feet together, legs straight.
  • Arms can either be at your side or underneath your low back as support*.
  • Start by raising the feet to six inches off the floor.
  • Now, using the core, raise the feet until they are straight up (perpendicular to the floor**)
  • Finally, lower the legs under control back to the starting position – feet six inches from the floor.

Spiderman Push-Ups

Spiderman Pushup

Why: The Spiderman Push-Up is an exercise that is excellent for targeting the obliques and bringing in some variety to your workout, engaging muscles that are not the central focus during Crunches.

How To

  • Begin in a push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes on the ground.
  • As you lower yourself towards the ground, lift your right foot off the floor and bring your right knee towards your right elbow.
  • At the bottom of the push-up your knee and elbow should be almost touching.
  • Now push yourself back up to the starting position. Straighten your right leg and return it to the ground.
  • Repeat the same movement on the left side, bringing your left knee towards your left elbow as you lower yourself down.
  • Continue alternating sides with each repetition until all reps are completed.

Side Plank

Side Plank with Upper Arm Extended

Why: Side Planks work the obliques intensely, offering a counterbalance to the frontal abdominal focus of the Crunches.

How To

  • Lay on your side, one elbow down and feet, hips and shoulders stacked vertically above one another.
  • The opposite hand (non-support arm) can be placed on the hip or held up in the air.
  • Hold this position for the designated amount of time.

Flutter Kicks

Flutter Kicks

Why: A great lower abdominal and hip flexor exercise, Flutter Kicks complement Crunches by emphasizing regions that are less targeted in a standard Crunch.

How To

  • Lie flat on your back on a mat or the floor, with your arms at your sides and your palms facing down.
  • Engage your core muscles and keep your back in a neutral position.
  • Raise your legs off the ground about 6 to 8 inches, keeping them straight and together. This is your starting position.
  • Begin the fluttering motion by rapidly alternating small up-and-down movements with your legs, keeping them straight and together.
  • Make sure you are using your abdominal muscles to control the movement, and avoid arching your back or lifting your shoulders off the ground.

Bird Dogs

Bird Dogs Front Angle

Why: By working on the stability and strength of the entire core, including the lower back muscles, Bird Dogs offer a counterbalance to the crunch motion, promoting spinal health and core stability.

How To

  • Start on the ground, on your hands and knees.
  • Simultaneously lift one arm and the opposite leg.
  • Lift the arm straight out in front of the body, palm down. It should finish parallel to (or slightly higher than) the torso.
  • Lift the leg straight out below the body, squeezing the glute at the top. It should finish parallel to (or slightly higher than) the torso.
  • There should now be a (relatively) straight line through the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and hand.
  • Reset back to the starting position and then repeat the movement on the other side.
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Final Thoughts

Supersets with Crunches can truly be a game-changer in your core workouts.

By pairing them with exercises that target various muscle groups in the core, you pave the way for a stronger, more resilient midsection.

Now, with the knowledge of the ten best exercises to superset with Crunches, you’re equipped to elevate your core training to the next level. Let’s get to work!

More Links and Info

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