Tap to Read ➤

Calories Burned Doing Crunches

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Crunches is a great set of exercise for building abdominal muscles. They are often the secret behind six pack abs and well toned tummies.
Crunches are partial sit-ups done to build and strengthen abdominal muscles. Crunches are often recommended for achieving flat stomach. However, crunches do not offer spot reduction, rather they assist in overall weight loss. More than that, crunches work up your abdominal muscles, making them stronger and taut. In this article, we have taken an overview of this exercise form in detail.

How Many Calories are Burned Doing Crunches

Crunches is a form of resistance exercise, meaning, they benefit you directly by burning calories and indirectly by boosting metabolism. When you perform crunches, your body breaks down at muscle level. Small tears occur in muscles, which are essentially responsible for soreness that you experience after crunches.
When you rest, your body starts repairing the damaged muscles. It extracts calories from the fat deposits in the body and uses them to rebuild the muscles. The repaired muscles are stronger and firmer than before. Thus, your body burns calories when you work out as well as when you are at rest.
The process repeats every time you perform crunches. Eventually, you get tighter, stronger abdominal muscles. Besides, you may also notice a significant reduction in your overall weight.
Number of calories burned while doing abdominal crunches varies significantly. It is mostly dependent upon the pace at which you perform crunches, duration and your weight. During a 10 min workout at a normal pace, you burn about 50 calories. If you increase your pace or adapt some vigorous form of crunches then you may increase this number to 90 calories.
Heavier people are likely to burn more calories than others. For the same exercise routine, a person weighing 180 lbs burns about 60 calories at normal pace while a person weighing 130 lbs burns only about 45 calories at same pace.

Crunches and Weight Loss

If you wish to do crunches as a weight loss exercise, then you ought to take into account several factors. Firstly, it would be wiser to compare it with other weight loss exercises, such as cardio exercises. Cardio exercises burn your calories only when you are actively doing exercises. No excess calorie burning occurs when your body is at rest.
However, crunches being a resistance exercise burn calories even at rest. The rate of calories burned while doing crunches is about 7 cal/min as against 5 cal/min doing cardio exercises. Thus, you undoubtedly burn more calories doing crunches than doing cardio exercises. However, the real question is can you maintain this rate for a longer time?
You can perform crunches for as little as 10 - 20 minutes, whereas one can easily perform cardio exercises for 30 - 45 minutes. In that respect, you burn more calories doing cardio than crunches.

Boosting Calorie Burning Rate

There is one way of boosting your calorie burning rate while doing crunches and it is increasing your target heart rate. Target heart rate is the rate at which maximum calorie combustion occurs. When your heart rate is too low, you cannot burn sufficient calories.
Warming up before doing crunches can elevate your heart rate to the required target rate and thus provide best results. A 5 minute routine on treadmill or cycling can help you achieve a desired target rate. Also, perform a cardio routine for 5 minutes after doing crunches so that calorie burning rate is maintained.
Thus, you burn a very good amount of calories doing crunches. However, you can achieve best results when you combine crunches with cardio exercises.