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Can Crunches Make Your Waist Bigger?

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
Can Crunches Make Your Waist Bigger?
Crunches can strengthen and tighten your midsection. Photo Credit: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Having a big waist can be enough to convince you to buy a gym membership and get active. Provided your workout regimen includes enough cardio exercise and strength-training exercises such as crunches, you're likely to experience a shrinking waist, not a growing one. Crunches are a simple way to strengthen your abdominal muscles; within reason, they'll tighten the area, not increase your waist size.

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Strong and Tight Midsection

In addition to working your abdominal muscles, crunches also strengthen your obliques, which are found on each side of your torso. Even if you perform crunches regularly to strengthen these muscles, it's unlikely you'll build them enough to result in a thicker waist.

Cardio and Crunches

Crunches won't play a significant role in shrinking your waist fat, however. Although muscle-strengthening workouts can elevate your metabolism, cardio exercise burns calories much faster. Provided you also cut down on your caloric intake, cardio exercise can help you turn a thick waist into a thin one. When you burn waist fat with cardio and tone your abs and obliques with crunches, you're likely to experience a thin, tight midsection.

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