No Crunches Allowed: 9 Abs Exercises You'll Actually Enjoy


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  14 comments   :  32,435 Views

From the editors of FITNESS, we share nine abs exercises guaranteed to tone and tighten--with nary a crunch in the bunch! They've included exercises that are guaranteed to get results, whether you're a beginner or an old pro looking to shake up your abs routine.

Beginner: Funky Abs
Our model Sarah, a trainer in New York City, keeps her abs tight by running intervals and biking and swimming regularly.
Targets: Abs, lower back

  • Stand with feet about hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, shoulders down.
  • Engage abs and tilt pelvis forward so back is rounded.
  • Return to center and then reverse the motion -- tilt pelvis backward so butt is sticking out. Do 15 reps; 2 sets.

Beginner: Ballerina Twist
Targets: Obliques, abs

  • Sit on mat, with legs extended, toes pointed, thighs together and abs engaged.
  • Lean back, placing forearms on mat, palms flat, fingers forward.
  • Leaving left forearm on mat, lift right arm overhead and twist torso to left. Return to center. Switch arms and twist right. Do 20 alternating reps; 2 sets.

Beginner: Twist and Drop
Targets: Arms, abs, obliques, legs

  • Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Hinge from hips and place hands on floor about 1 foot in front of feet.
  • Keeping head down, engage abs and lift left foot.
  • Sweep left leg in front of right as you turn right foot out to side, bending right knee.
  • Lower hips toward floor, keeping left leg straight.
  • Return to start.
  • Switch sides and repeat. Do 12 alternating reps; 2 sets.

See the rest of the exercises here.

What is your favorite abs exercise?

Provided photos

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    I'd rather do crunches - 2/7/2012   5:44:31 PM
  • 13
    one word for the best abs in town: ZUMBA! - 5/12/2011   12:17:11 PM
  • 12
    My Favorite Ab exercise is Hip Flexors. I don't like crunches even though I may do them and I enjoy the scissor too. - 4/25/2011   12:33:49 PM
  • 11
    Kettlebell exercises. - 4/24/2011   1:43:50 AM
  • 10
    I'm thinking video of these would help a lot - the text descriptions are a little hard to follow. Trying to do the twist and drop in my cubicle didn't seem to go quite right. - 4/22/2011   12:44:29 PM
  • 9
    Nice! I just saw your ad in their mag, now I know why they've been mentioned so many times lately on DailySpark! I liked the ad, BTW. - 4/22/2011   9:29:51 AM
  • 8
    I love my yoga workouts for my abs & I also take a class at my gym that is just core workouts. I will try out some of the one on the blog for sure thank you for sharing. - 4/22/2011   8:59:16 AM
  • 7
    Planks and wood chop. Also some of the yoga moves - 4/21/2011   1:12:41 PM
  • 6
    I love Pilates style standing crunches (similar to funky abs above, except you just lift from the belly button to the sky while standing), and do them all the time in the office when I'm thinking. Plank twists are a new fav for hitting my lazy obliques....tho hard to get away with in the office.

    Kayaking is my new favorite upper/core exercise. Best part is it doesn't feel like exercise (until the day after)! - 4/21/2011   12:12:36 PM
  • 5
    I think I'd rather do crunches. - 4/21/2011   11:57:01 AM
    What are my favorite AB exercises ? Push ups and plank. Can't beat 'em. - 4/21/2011   9:11:29 AM
  • 3
    I do a lot of construction on the house we are building. All the lifting is giving me BIG BELLY LIKE RUSSIAN WEIGHT LIFTER! I think muscles on a gal look sexy, but THAT's ridiculous. I'm hoping these exercise will counteract the effect! - 4/21/2011   9:10:22 AM
  • 2
    I don't like floor exercises, so a lot of these are going on the backburner for me. The standing ones, though, have definitely piqued my interest. - 4/21/2011   7:46:13 AM
  • 1
    I think if I tried that third move...well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty and I might hurt myself! LOL - 4/21/2011   6:56:39 AM

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