health

10 Ab Exercises That Are Way More Effective Than Crunches

PlankGetty Images

Plank

To get into a plank position, rest your body weight on your toes and your hands or elbows, with your back straight. The plank, which you can also modify to work your obliques, works several muscles groups, making it a total-body workout.

Reverse Plank

Reverse Plank

As an alternative to the traditional plank, try a reverse plank. Face the ceiling and rest your body weight on the palms of your hands and your heels. More advanced fitness fans can alternate leg lifts for a more challenging exercise.

Kettlebell JugglerGetty Images

Kettlebell Juggler

The kettlebell juggler works several muscle groups, including the core and arms. With this move, you do a one-arm kettlebell swing and when your arm is parallel to the ground, you let go of the kettlebell and catch it before repeating the move.

Jackknife

Jackknife

The jackknife exercise targets your lower abdominal muscles. Lying on your back with your arms and legs extended straight, lift your legs and your arms to the center while keeping them in straight lines. Quality is more important than quantity for this move.

Flutter Kicks

Flutter Kicks

Lying on your back with your arms at your side, extend your legs straight out and slightly raise off the ground. Raise your toes on one foot toward the ceiling and alternate with the other foot. Whether you go for a certain length of time or an exact number of reps, you'll feel the burn.

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

For hanging leg raises, rest your arms on pull-up bars that are spaced your body's width apart and allow your legs to be straight to the ground. Using your abdominal muscles, pull your legs up in a straight line until they are parallel with the ground.

Exercise Ball Pull-In

Exercise Ball Pull-In

With your arms extended, your hands on the ground, and your ankles resting on an exercise ball--use your abdominal muscles to pull your legs in and the ball toward your center. Push outward and repeat. Because you are engaging your abdominal muscles in this move, you will feel the burn.

Bicycle Twists

Bicycle Twists

Bicycle twists are great for the obliques. To do this exercise, pull one knee in and extend the other while you cross the opposite arm to reach the knee. You'll feel a burn in your hips and thigh flexors as well.

Woodchop

Woodchop

You can complete the woodchop with traditional weights or a kettlebell. Hold the weight down at your hip on one side and use your abdominal muscles to twist and raise it to your shoulder on the other side of your body. Be careful not to use your back muscles to complete this move.

Scissor Twist with Exercise Ball

Scissor Twist with Exercise Ball

To do the scissor twist with an exercise ball, lie on your back with your legs extended in the air at a 90-degree angle from your hips. Position an exercise ball between your feet. Using your core, lower your legs to one side and back to the middle. Repeat with the other side to complete one rep.

Rate This Article
Thanks For Rating!
Help us Improve.
X
Did You Find This Helpful?
Yes Somewhat No

Recent Comments & Questions

Loading comments...
In Uncategorized

What are some effective exercises for abs?

Any exercise that involves the abdominal muscles or abs will be effective with continued use. Some exercises for abdominal muscles are squats, crunches, the side crunch. There (MORE)

Helpful Swimming Tips for Dogs

Swimming, for dogs, is a natural ability, and most dogs are ready to jump right in the pool with the rest of the family and dog paddle around the pool easily. Some dogs may ha (MORE)