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Air Force Cross Leg Reverse Crunch Exercise 2024

The Air Force Cross Leg Reverse Crunch is a core exercise that has been part of the Air Force Fitness Test program since 2021.

The Air Force cross-leg reverse crunch is a standard reverse crunch exercise variation. This exercise effectively targets the lower abs and works the obliques due to the crossed-leg position.

The air force cross-leg reverse crunch exercise replaced the traditional sit-ups, which were found to put excessive strain on the lower back.

The cross-leg reverse crunch is a challenging and effective exercise that targets the rectus abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors.

How to do the USAF Cross Leg Reverse Crunch

Equipment and Instructions:

  • U.S Air Force-approved timing device
  • Floor mat (optional)
  • Instructions must be read before the start of the test, along with a short demonstration.

Time needed: 2 minutes

Two Minute Cross Leg Reverse Crunch instructions:

  1. You will lie flat on the ground with your back.

  2. You will straighten your legs and have your feet on the ground.

  3. You will then cross your arms across your chest with open hands or fingers touching your shoulders or upper chest. 

  4. Please note that you will not grab your shirt.

  5. While keeping the lower back on the floor, you bring both legs towards the chest while reaching your right elbow across your body to touch your left thigh.

  6. Then return to the starting position. This is counted as repetition number two.

  7. The repetition will not count if your hands or fingers do not remain in contact with the shoulder or upper chest throughout the assessment, including the rest position.

  8. The repetition will not count if your lower back lifts off the ground, your elbow does not touch the opposite thigh, or your legs do not fully extend when returning to the start position.

  9. The resting position will be the same as the starting position.

  10. Note: while performing this exercise, your head does not need to touch the ground.

Training for the Air Force Cross-Leg Reverse Exercise

There are several variations of the cross leg reverse crunch that you can incorporate into your training to increase the difficulty level or target many more muscles group

Some of these variations include:

Adding weightHold a dumbbell or medicine ball while performing the exercise to increase resistance.
Straight leg raiseInstead of crossing one ankle over the other knee, keep both legs straight and lift them off the ground while performing the exercise.
Bicycle crunchPerform a total bicycle crunch by alternating elbow-to-knee touches while keeping your legs in the air.

Tips for Training Air Force Cross Leg Reverse Crunch

The following cross leg reverse crunch tips are important for those in the air force or those going this exercise at home.

  • All you need for the cross-leg reverse crunch exercise is a mat and yourself.
  • You’ll lie down on the mat on your back and cross your right leg over your left.
  • You will then bring your left leg all the way towards you. You will hold it and then bring it back down.
  • Let’s repeat this ten times, exhaling when you come down and inhaling when you come in. 
  • Make sure you guys are consistent with this. I want you guys to do this four times a week for the best results possible.
  • That was how to do a crossed-leg reverse crunch. 
  • Stay consistent with these workouts, guys. Let’s see the best results possible and get into the best shape of your life.

Cross Leg Reverse Crunch Air Force Scoring

The cross-leg reverse crunch air force scoring system can be found in the link below:

Age RangeMale
(Max/20 pts)
(Min/10 pts)
(Max/20 pts)
(Min/10 pts)
Under 2549214711
25 – 294820459
30 – 344719449
35 – 394618437
40 – 444416426
45 – 494311406
50 – 54429396
55 – 59418386
60+ years 357325
Air Force Cross Leg Reverse Crunch Chart

Below is a more comprehensive score chart of the Air Force PT Test

Muscles Targeted by the Air Force Cross-Leg Reverse Crunch

The air force cross-legged reverse crunch is a compound exercise that targets multiple muscles in your core, including:

  • Rectus abdominis
  • Obliques
  • Hip flexors

Benefits of Cross-Leg Reverse Crunch

The Cross-Leg Reverse is a challenging exercise that offers many benefits, including:

  • Increased core strength
  • Improved balance and stability
  • Reduced risk of lower back pain
  • Improved posture

The cross-leg reverse can strain your lower back and neck excessively if performed incorrectly or with poor form.

It is essential to start slowly and gradually work up to more challenging variations. Listen to your body and stop immediately if you experience pain or discomfort.


The Air Force Cross-Leg Reverse is an effective exercise that targets your core muscles and can be incorporated into any fitness routine. 

Following the proper form and gradually increasing the difficulty level can improve your core strength, balance, and stability. 

Remember always to listen to your body and stop immediately if you experience pain or discomfort. 

The Cross-Leg Reverse can help you achieve your fitness goals and improve your overall health and well-being with regular practice.

George N.