The one arm dumbbell/ kettlebell crunch is a great variation for the typical abdominal crunch. This particular crunch not only targets your rectus abdominus and oblique muscles but also causes your transverse abdominus muscle to activate. The transverse abdominus muscle is one of your deeper abdominal muscles and is very important in core/trunk stability. This core exercise also requires stability of the shoulders while it is performed and doesn’t allow you to cheat with your arms as can occur with the typical abdominal crunch.
1) Lie on the ground on your back and hold a dumbbell/ kettlebell in one hand. Keep your arm and elbow straight and your knees slightly bent with your feet on the ground. Note: Begin with light resistance such as 2-5lbs and then progress to tolerance.(Figure 1)
2) Bend your trunk up into a crunch while you maintain the same arm position. (Figure 2)
3) Come all the way up ending in the position with your arm still straight and next to your ear. (Figure 3)
4) Lower yourself back to the original position and repeat. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions with the weight in the right hand and then do another set with the weight in the left. You can perform 2-3 sets on each side.
As with any new exercise, if you experience pain stop immediately and consult your physician. When beginning a new exercise program, always consult your physician.
Taleen is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physiological Science & a Master’s degree in Sports Health Care.