When one looks for ways to tone down their midsection and earn themselves a flat stomach, then crunches are the number one exercise that practically everyone reaches out to.
But since crunches only target the superficial midsection muscles, we believe it is time to categorize them as a thing of the past in favor of better alternatives.
You see, the transverse abdominis, which are the deeper muscles, require different types of exercises if you wish to do a serious core workout.
Let us give you a bit more information on these transverse abdominis. They run in a horizontal direction starting from the spine and ending at the front.
They run across your abdominals and play a part in almost every movement your body makes. And since they are so important, providing stability for the spine, it is only logical that they need a full body workout in order to function properly.
Well, the workout we are about to offer you is ideal for targeting those deep core muscles as well as strengthening your midsection and toning it.
If you find you do not have sufficient time or energy to do all of these, you don’t have to! Simply incorporate one or two into your daily exercise routine, and you’ll be witnessing the changes in no time!
Of course, for even better results, it would be ideal if you could do all of these. Still, no pressure, it’s up to you to choose how many and which ones.
Either way, you’ll be getting abs which are certainly more strong and stable than they were before you started doing these.
1. Push-Up Burpees
We’re sure you’ve already heard of the magnificence of the almighty burpee. Because honestly, is there some part of the body the burpee doesn’t work? And the fact that it is a full body exercise is exactly why we have included it in our list.
It’s fantastic for strengthening those core abs and really revs you up! Here is the proper way to do it: Starting position should be your feet standing at a hip-distance from each other. Now just lower yourself into a squat and bring your hands to the floor.
Keep them apart at shoulder-width. Next, use your feet to jump back into plank position. This is exactly where your abs’ strength comes into play. But it’s crucial that you don’t let your hips drop.
Lastly, jump back into your deep squat using your lower abs. Stand up or, even better, jump back up. Best to do a series of 10-15 of these.
Other than its fun name, this is a terrific exercise for the obliques. What you need to do is hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in your RIGHT hand. The weight should be precisely over your RIGHT shoulder.
Your feet should be wider apart than shoulder-width. Your LEFT knee and toes should ideally be turned out. Now, press your hips to the RIGHT, sliding your LEFT hand down to the LEFT leg.
Keep your shoulder stable as you press back up using the obliques from the RIGHT side. Do this 15 times and then switch to the other side and do 15 more.
3. Twisting Mountain Climbers
That name is a mouth-full! These are not only great for both your obliques and abdominals, but will also speed up your heart rate. Your starting position should be a plank with your hand supporting your weight.
Drive your RIGHT knee up towards the chest, using your lower abs. Next, twist your knee towards your LEFT elbow. Do this using your obliques. Now just quickly return your RIGHT foot into plank position.
Then repeat by bringing your LEFT knee to your RIGHT elbow. You should complete this particular exercise in about 30-60 seconds.
4. Renegade Rows
There’s no end to the creative names, is there? This is also a full-body exercise which is great for toning the back and arms. But you need a huge amount of strength coming from your core.
The starting position is once again a plank, only this time you should be holding dumbbells. In order to be more stable, best to keep feet apart at about shoulder-width. In order to prevent your hips from moving too much, engage your abs.
Bring the weight to your shoulder by rowing your RIGHT arm up. Next, lower the weight down again and then repeat using your LEFT arm. Your main goal is keeping the hips as steady as you can.
You should complete 20 reps doing one side, then the other.
5. Military Planks
Don’t let the name scare you, they’re not that hard. Once again, this is a full body exercise ideal for toning the abs. But your abs should be the support base for this workout. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart at your starting plank position with your elbows for support.
Start off with the RIGHT side – lift your elbow and put your hand where your elbow initially was. Raise yourself up to a full plank with your hands for support. Do this using by pressing though your RIGHT arm and straighten your LEFT arm.
The next thing you do is lower yourself back down on your elbows using your RIGHT elbow and placing it back where your hand was. Do the same with your LEFT arm.
Do 10 reps of this exercise starting with your RIGHT arm, then simply switch and do the same with your LEFT arm.
6. Leg Lowers
The name is pretty clear here. This one puts the focus on your lower abs, but you are bound to feel it all over your abs and torso. It is a crunch-less exercise. Your starting position is laying on your back and raising your legs in the air.
Now, keeping your lower back glued to the floor, keep control as you lower your legs to the floor, but of course not too far down. The main goal here is to keep your abdominals working. Then just use your lower abs to pull your legs back upwards.
Do 10-15 reps of these.
You are sure to see results concerning the activation of your core muscles. You’ll also improve your strength. Needless to say, you’ll be saying goodbye to those boring ol’ crunches just as soon as you realize all the plus sides from these alternative exercises.