Ditch the Crunches for Your Six-Pack!
Check out these crunchless exercises you can start doing today (along with a core shredding diet) to start chiseling that summer six-pack and into the future! Time to drop the crunches!
Time to work towards that six-pack:
Contrary to what you may have been told, there’s much more to creating a toned tummy than religiously repeating traditional crunches.
In fact, crunches are not always the most effective way to define your abs. Crunches only target the front and sides of your abs, and to achieve a flat stomach, your entire core needs to feel the burn!
Additionally, crunches are ineffective at building core strength. Your core is responsible for your body’s stability and balance, as well as supporting your body as it moves.
Crunches are not sufficient enough to build up this critical portion of your muscles.
Toning your midsection requires multi-muscle engaging exercises that target all regions of your abdomen and blast fat to result in a flat, toned belly.
If you’re ready to ditch the crunches and start an abdominal routine that actually works, Orangetheory Fitness trainer and fitness expert Brooke Geffre has 5 crunchless ab exercises to replace traditional sit-ups in your next workout that are sure to tone your tummy in no time!
Lying overhead reach
To target both shoulders and abs, lie on your back with knees in the air at a 90-degree angle. Be sure to press your lower back into the mat so no extra strain is put on it. Using dumbbells or a medicine ball, raise your arms to the ceiling with elbows slightly bent.
Then move your arms over your head to lightly tap the dumbbells on the floor behind you, remembering not to arch your lower back. Then return to the starting position, which completes one rep. 15 reps are recommended, with 5-10 pound weights or a 10-20 pound medicine ball.
Planks are one of the best ab exercises you can do as they engage your entire core, including your back, as well as your glutes and hamstrings. Planks also support good posture and improve balance! To get into position, start face down on your forearms and knees.
Keeping your forearms about shoulder distance apart, come onto your toes, lifting your knees off the floor.
The most important part of a plank is keeping your body straight, bottom tucked, and your back flat – proper form is the key to an effective plank, and arching or drooping your back is cheating.
Hold for as long as you can; anywhere between 20 seconds and a minute is recommended.
Dumbbell push-up row
Set dumbbells about shoulder width apart on the floor in front of you, and start in a push-up position with your hands on the dumbbells. Lower down and return to the starting position, completing one push-up. Back in starting position, pull one of the dumbbells up to the same side of your chest as the arm you’re using. Lower the dumbbell back down to the floor and repeat on the other side. This is one rep!
15 reps are recommended with 5-10 pound weights.
True to its name, mountain climbers are not a particularly easy move. For this exercise, start in a plank position. Keeping your core engaged, bring one knee forward under your chest, with just your toes on the ground, then return to plank position.
Do the same with the other knee, and continue switching legs and picking up the pace as you go for as long as you’re able to! At least 1 minute is recommended.
Seated Russian twist
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and heels about a foot from your body. Begin to lean back while keeping your spine straight. Using a weight or medicine ball held just below your chest, twist to either side.
Remember to pull your bellybutton in towards your spine so that your core is engaged, and your back is straight.
Completing the movement fully to each side is one rep and 15 reps are recommended, with a 5-10 pound weight.
Now just pair this great workout with a great diet plan to get results!
If you’ve been misled into thinking that crunches are the quickest route to a six-pack, you’re not alone!
Incorporating moves that burn fat (as well as a fat burning diet), as well as tone your muscles, has been proven to be more effective at building your body’s strength and achieving your physique-related goals.
The road to washboard abs is in sight with the right exercises and the willpower to reach it!
Brooke Geffre is currently a trainer at Orangetheory Fitness Arrowhead located in Glendale, Arizona. She is ISSA certified in fitness nutrition and is also an ISSA certified personal trainer.
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