Although the basic crunch is still popular, by now it’s pretty well known that this outdated exercise not the most effective way to flatten and strengthen your abs. It simply doesn’t activate your core muscles to the extent that other exercises do, it can hurt your back, and the small motion doesn’t do much by way of calorie burning.
So why are you still doing crunches?
Better Than Crunches #1: The Plank
To perform a plank, place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders, and your arms parallel to your body shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your core and pay attention to keeping your back flat. Focus on pulling your belly button in as you hold the position for 2 minutes.
Better Than Crunches #2: Scissor Kick
To perform a scissor kick, lie with your back into the floor and your arms extended to the sides with your palms facing down. With a slight bend in your knees, lift your legs so that your heels are 6 inches off the ground. Lift your left leg up to about a 45-degree angle while your right leg is still lowered until your heel is about 2-3 inches from the ground. Switch movements by raising your right leg while lowering your left leg. Squeeze your midsection and focus on your breathing as you perform 60-90 seconds of the exercise.
Better Than Crunches #3: V-Ups
To perform a v-up, lie down on your back on the floor and extend your arms behind your head. The back of your hands should lightly touch the floor while your palms face the ceiling. Keep your feet close together and point your toes toward the ceiling. Lift your legs up, keeping them straight at the same time that you raise your upper body off the floor and reach for your toes. Exhale and squeeze your abdominal muscles as you reach for your toes before slowly lowering yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat a series of 15-20 repetitions.
Better Than Crunches #4: Reverse Crunch
To perform a reverse crunch, lie on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and hands down by your sides. Press your lower back into the floor and pull in your belly button as you lift your feet off of the floor. Keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and pull into your chest so that your tailbone raises off of the ground, and at the same time lift your shoulder blades off of the floor. To make it a little easier, extend the legs to the ceiling. Focus on squeezing your abs to perform the movement. Slowly lower your hips and legs to the starting position, keeping your feet just above the floor. Repeat the movement for 15-20 repetitions while squeezing your abs and focusing on your breathing.
Better Than Crunches #5: Russian Twist
To perform a Russian twist, sit on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle while your upper body is in a reclined position, with a straight spine. Exhale while you twist your torso from the right to the left side with your arms extended out in front of the navel. Pull your belly button in and squeeze the obliques, Repeat these twists for 60-90 seconds.
There you have it, 5 modern, results-driven abdominal exercises that you can perform anywhere! Aim to work your abs at least twice a week for the best results.
It’s worth noting that while strengthening your abdominal muscles is a great way to tighten your waist, most of the amazing muscle tone will not show if your body fat is above 20 percent. In order to shed the fat and get that amazing six-pack, join my fat burning fitness program designed to get you into the best shape of your life.
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