Do you faithfully perform crunches, hoping to achieve a flat tummy? It may be time to mix it up a bit! Research shows that crunches are one of the worst abdominal moves in terms of how hard the obliques and rectus abdominous are worked. The crunch only affects a small part of the core, repeatedly bends the spine, and burns few calories.
Try this no-crunch abs workout instead. Perform this workout one to three times, resting for 30 seconds between each time.
1. Figure Eights (You’ll need one lightweight.)
- From a sitting position, lean back slightly so that your abdominals are engaged. Lift your feet so that your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Hold the weight in one hand.
- Reaching through the legs, bring the weight underneath the opposite leg. Grab it with the other hand and bring it over that leg and underneath the other to mimic a figure eight pattern. This is one repetition.
- Perform eight to ten reps at a steady pace.
2. Plank Up-Downs
- Begin in a plank position with your elbows on the floor and your body straight from neck to feet. Lift your right elbow off the floor, and then lift your left elbow so that you’re in a hand plank position.
- Lower your right elbow back to the floor, and then lower your left elbow so that you’re back in elbow plank position. This is one repetition.
- Perform eight to ten reps at a steady pace, keeping your hips aligned with the rest of your body and your abdominals tight. As a modification, you may perform this exercise on your knees while keeping your hips down and in line with the rest of your body.
- Lie on your back with your arms outstretched. Raise your legs up and to the left, keeping your knees together.
Inhaling, slowly lower your legs, sweeping them down and to the center.
- Exhaling, sweep your legs up and to the right, and then back over to the left, creating a circular movement. This is one repetition.
- Perform eight to ten reps at a slow, steady pace. Repeat, moving your legs in the opposite direction.
4. One-Legged Traveling Planks
- Begin in hand plank position. Lift one leg while keeping the rest of your body aligned from your neck to your feet.
Slowly begin travelling by moving one of your hands sideways, and following with the other hand. Repeat this sideways movement twice more, for a total of three sideways movements.
- Return back to starting position by moving your hands three sideways movements in the opposite direction. This is one repetition.
- Perform five to eight reps. Repeat again for five to eight more reps with the opposite leg lifted and your hands traveling to the other side. You may modify this exercise by keeping both legs on the floor.
- Begin in an elbow plank position, keeping your body aligned from neck to feet and your abdominals tight.
Exhaling, lift your hips, pausing in this raised position for one second.
- Inhaling, return to starting position, remembering to not to dip your hips too low and keeping your body straight. This is one repetition.
- Perform eight to ten reps.