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Reverse Ab Curls – Wrong and Right Way

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Reverse ab curls look easy, yet are rarely done correctly to get full strength benefits. Learn a few quick workout tips to do this popular abs exercise effectively!

Squirrel Reverse Curl

The Ultimate Reverse Squirrel Curl

Swing and a Miss! Forget swinging from the knees, ankles, or hips. And we say verily unto you, resist the evil temptation to kick from the knees. Another common error with reverse curls is lifting the hips too high. Think Small, Yet Mighty – just like your abs are going to be one day. A little ab compression movement goes a long way.

For once, Kymberly gets to show the Right Way as Alexandra is All Wrong (guess who wrote this part heh heh)..


Stop, in the Name of Love, Before You Break Your Form! Hold still at the ankle, knees, and hips. The only joint moving in this exercise is the spine, specifically the lower few vertebrae. Also, pause at the top of each curl to eliminate all momentum. Compress and contract to lift the hips slightly; hold still for a count or two; then lower your hips slowly to the ground. You will recruit the abs better.

Relax the upper body as much as possible and bring your lower body towards the ceiling (not towards your face). If you want a super challenge, keep your shins parallel to the ground while curling and uncurling.

Did you know that such a popular move had so much to think about?
Want more for your Abs? Or would that be “less for your abs?” Take a look at:

Get Fab Abs: Part 1
Get Fab 6-Pack Abs: Part 2
Get No-Flab, Fab Abs: Part 3
Planks: Beginning to Intermediate
Planks: 3 Advanced Options
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Photo credit: Creative Commons, Fishhawk at

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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25 Responses to Reverse Ab Curls – Wrong and Right Way

  1. Tara Burner April 9, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    love me some reverse ab curls!
    Tara Burner recently posted..Discipline is…My Profile

  2. Steph @fitmomtraining April 9, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Will now and forever be singing “Stop in the Name of Love” every time I work my abs. Every. Single. Time. :)
    Steph @fitmomtraining recently posted..Motivation Monday: Damn you Easter Chocolate!My Profile

  3. amber April 9, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Thanks for sharing the “right” and the “wrong” way. Great to know.
    amber recently posted..Egg Carton ChallengeMy Profile

  4. Carrie with Children April 9, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    This is such a helpful video! I’m good at doing them the “wrong” way! :) I also love that squirrel picture. Too cute
    Carrie with Children recently posted..How to Make Panoramic Pictures #WindowsChampionsMy Profile

  5. John Poole April 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    You can’t fool me! Those squirrel pics are upside down! :-P

  6. Shira April 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    I feel a tighter six pack emerging in the future after seeing this video! And it turns out 99% of the people at my gym are doing this move wrong…I’ll have to send them to your blog!
    Shira recently posted..What motivates your wellness journey?My Profile

  7. Melissa April 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    I am definitely doing them wrong! Must show this to my husband!
    Melissa recently posted..Disney News: Maleficent To Hit Theatres on March 14, 2014My Profile

  8. Elle April 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Who knew there were so many things I could do wrong in one seemingly simple little move.. and I WAS! Thanks for showing the right AND the wrong way. Great great post. Very helpful.
    Elle recently posted..Another 9 Miler Done!My Profile

  9. Talia @ Bite Size Wellness April 10, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Always good to have a reminder on the basics. I see people doing this wrong at the gym all the time. Maybe you can come in and do a demo??
    Talia @ Bite Size Wellness recently posted..Work Achievement: 9 Ways to Handle a Sucky BossMy Profile

    • Fun and Fit April 11, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      Why, what a fabulous idea. We are available for personal appearances, especially if you want us to demo on Dancing WIth the Stars as the first celeb twins. Have them call us, ok?
      Fun and Fit recently posted..Belly Up to the (Protein) BarMy Profile

  10. Darci April 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Hahahaha! The squirrel curl is awesome!

    Actually, your description is awesome too. I’m inspired to lay down on the floor right now and make sure I’ve got it right :)

    Thank you, ladies, for the info!
    Darci recently posted..Can Being Selfish be Healthy? You bet your soon-to-be smaller butt it can!My Profile

  11. Tyler April 11, 2012 at 5:13 am #

    Hey Kymberly and Alexandra, great blog!

    It’s amazing to me how most of America’s “ab exercises” are far more for the hip flexors than actual abs. Nice work on showing the right way!
    Tyler recently posted..A Follow-Up Video to “Imaginary Lats Syndrome”My Profile

  12. Heather@Just a Colorado Gal April 11, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    These things are brutal! I do them at the gym and when I am really focusing on doing them correctly, they huuuuuuuuuuuuurt me!
    Heather@Just a Colorado Gal recently posted..Slightly Concerned About the 13.1My Profile

  13. Elizabeth April 11, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    You just had me giggling with your rendition of “Stop! In the name of love…” Extremely helpful video!
    Elizabeth recently posted..Today: Look at me! I’m three!My Profile

    • Kalea April 29, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      It’s great to find an expert who can exlpain things so well

  14. Jennifer Goodale April 11, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Reverse ab curls are such a great exercise! And I love the squirrel pictures:)
    Jennifer Goodale recently posted..My New TrainerMy Profile

  15. Julie April 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    It looks so easy on the video tutorial, but when I decided to give it a try, I realized that it is really hard to do it correctly.
    Julie recently posted..Dental Implants For A Permanent Tooth AlternativeMy Profile

  16. Gabriel April 12, 2012 at 2:07 am #

    As a guy affected by a little lower back problem, I know why there is a need to make sure that you perform the reverse ab curls in the proper form.
    Gabriel recently posted..kings island ticketsMy Profile

  17. Kris @Krazy_Kris April 13, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    uggg…. I love/hate these…
    And now I might be resentful to you cuz I’ll have to work them in again!
    Kris @Krazy_Kris recently posted..My GAWD He Eats a Lot!My Profile


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