Strong Abs Without Crunches

Posted on Dec 5, 2013 in Fitness Workout Blog

Do you spend too much time on your back trying to get a flat front? Endless crunches and sit-ups are boring and can be painful for your spine and neck.  Good thing there are several exercise options for strengthening your abs without looking like an awkward turtle!

Plank

Performing a plank targets your abs, back, arms and glutes. There are several variations including a high plank (on your hands), low plank (on your elbows), and a side plank, which targets your oblique muscles. Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe in all variations to get the most out this static exercise.

plankphases

Russian Twist

This exercise brings you to the floor, but keeps you off your back. With knees bent and your torso leaned back, twist from side to side. Make it more challenging by picking your feet up off the ground or holding a weight or med ball in your hands.

russiantwistchallenge

Want to avoid the floor completely? Grab a med ball and perform the following exercises.

Med Ball Standing Twists

Standing straight up with feet hip-width apart, hold the med in front of your stomach with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Using your core (not just your arms) twist from side to side. Grab a workout buddy and perform the same exercise by standing back to back and handing the ball off with each twist.

medballtwistphase

Med Ball Wood Chopper

Channel your inner lumberjack with this core exercise. Standing with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, hold the med ball high above the right side of your body. Using a chopping motion, bring the med ball down to your left knee. Allow your right foot to pivot. Return to the starting position by following the same path upwards. Repeat on the left side.

medballchopper

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is one of the most beneficial forms of cardio for your abs. It engages the upper and lower body, which are connected by the torso. If done correctly, it is lower-impact than jogging.