How are calories burnt when performing a bicycle crunch?
Patient :Hi, when performing a bicycle crunch does the leg/ knee have to be crunched up all the way to the armpit in order for the leg/ knee to be at the same height as the chest. Or does the crunching up of the leg/ knee to the armpit just burn more calories than the crunching up of the leg/knee to just the 45 degree level to the chest. Are significantly more calories burnt (eg 1 and more calories) with the crunching up of the leg/ knee to the armpit compared to the crunching up of the leg/knee to just the 45 degree level to the chest. Also, is it the crunching up of the leg that burns more calories or is it the lowering of the leg into the extended/ straightened position that burns more calories. And, does the leg being lowered as close as possible to the ground when being extended/ straightened back out burn more calories or does the height of the leg/ knee from the floor not really affect the number of calories burnt. Thankyou for your help and kind regards,
Thank you for your medical query at AskTheDoctor.com
I understand your concern.
You burn more calories when the legs are brought closer to the armpit as compared to a 45 degree angle to the chest. However, the difference will be really negligible.
What actually burns calories is when the legs are raised up from the ground, as this requires immense core strength and sends the muscles into a state of contraction. When you just raise the legs above the ground and hold it for 20 seconds, you also burn calories because of the sustained state of contraction.
Raising the leg from the ground burns more calories than lowering it down. So, in that scenario, I will say the height of the leg does matter and you should get it exactly parallel to the ground without really touching the ground. But again, the difference is not huge. What burns more calories is the number of times you can perform the repetition in the given time.
Hope this was helpful,
Feel free to discuss further,
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