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Your core likes it when all your limbs are close and stable to your body. When you put your arms to the side or behind your head, your core has to work extra hard in order to balance things out. So to answer your question, across your chest will make the exercise easier while behind the head makes it harder and works a bit more stabilizers. Keep in mind, ...


I think placing the hands behind the head is more difficult for doing crunches than placing hands on the chest. So it's upto you. Placing hands behind the head can cause injuries if you do it improperly that is if you pull your head while doing crunches so be careful and use proper form.


As long as you do not pull your head - it does not matter. You can also keep hands side by side, or straight. Try different positions, and choose best for you. From time to time change it - maybe something goes better over time? You can stress muscles isometrically, or move chest and hips closer. That is other topic, but can influence hands position.

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