Curl Up McGill | How is it done? Here are the best tips!

By healthiergang writer , former competitive athlete and currently bodybuilding athlete (Bikini category).

Curl Up McGill

Also known as "push-ups with bent legs", il curl-up McGill it is a great exercise to train your abdominals and prevent lower back pain. Fundamental to the back, this exercise may seem like a classic crunch for but we will see that it is not!

How is it done?

  1. First you have to lie down on the ground, with your back resting on the floor. Bend one leg and leave the other stretched out on the ground.
  2. Place your arms parallel to your body or place your hands behind your neck.
  3. As you exhale, bend your head, chest and shoulders and approach your pubis.
  4. Inhale while holding the position for a few seconds. The abdominals are contracted and the position is hunched.
  5. As you exhale, slowly return to the starting position.

Curl Up McGill | How is it done? Here are the best tips!

There are several variations of this curl-up exercise as we will see below: the simple version, the advanced one and the diagonal curl-up.

1. Simple version

Leave your arms along your body for the duration of the exercise.

2. Advanced version

To make this exercise more difficult it is recommended that you lift your elbows off the floor and not lower them until you have completed the number of repetitions.

Another way to increase the difficulty is to maintain the peak of contraction for a time ranging from 5 to 10 seconds. Always maintain the "curled" position in order to preserve the lumbar area as well.

3. Curl-up diagonale

As you exhale, concentrate the contraction from one side to the opposite side. Do the exercise both from right to left and from left to right.

Some advice

  • To maintain the “hunched” position, imagine holding an egg between your chin and chest and do everything you can to keep it from falling!
  • Perform each movement slowly, seeking the contraction of the abdominal wall and pay even more attention during the descent.
  • Try pressing your tongue against the upper palate to relieve tension in the neck muscles.
  • Be careful not to move forward with your head to avoid excessive tension in the neck muscles.
  • In case of back pain, stop performing the exercise.


The McGill Curl up can be a great exercise for both our abs and back.

A good job, however, is only achieved with correct breathing. Concentrate on the contraction and seek it by exhaling and giving more focus to the muscles involved.


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