Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crunch-Free Ab Exercises

I don't know about you, but I pretty much hate laying there doing repetitive movement trying to get to a 100, and creating tension in my neck in the process. Don't get me wrong, crunches work if they are done as part of an overall training routine. But doing crunches every day can get boring. Thankfully, the cruch is not the only way to work your abs. So let's try some other movements.

Knee Lift Twist
Lift your knees like you're running with just high knees. Each step should see your knee coming up to your waist-level. As you lift each knee, don't lean back. Use your core to lift each knee up so it's like you are doing a crunch in the standing position. As you lift your knees, put your wrists in front of your chin and rotate your waist to the same side as the knees you are lifting. This means your elbows should be almost touching our knees.

Oblique Twist with a Reverse Hook 
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your wrists and fingers like you're ready to punch. Leave the left arm beside you, but move the right arm in front of your chest and parallel to the floor. At the same time, move your upper body to the left using just your waist. Punch out straight with the side of your right wrist. As you are punching, move your upper body to the right side. Switch hands and repeat on the left. See the photo below for guidance. You should definitely feel this in your obliques (the sides of your abs).

Scorpion plank 
Get into a plank position. And then bring your right knee towards your left elbow. Repeat the same motion with your left.

Pulsing plank 
Start in a plank position. Then simply start to pulse your pelvic region (small pulses), while you keep your abs tight. You'll notice how much more of a core workout you get from this.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit: Exercise.com, Shapemag.co.za

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