Abs and Back
If your goal is to strengthen your abs, you don't just have to do crunches. In fact, there are a variety of other exercises.
See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses
or other conditions and modify any exercise that causes pain or discomfort.
An exercise ball, a barbell and a mat.
- Warm up with a few minutes of light cardio
- Complete 3 sets of of each exercise below, resting for 20-30 seconds
- Keep body stabilized throughout the movement
- Don't swing or use momentum
- Take 4-6 seconds for each repetition
Bridge with Leg Lift
face up on the floor, knees bent. Push body into a bridge position,
supporting your weight on your feet and arms. Straighten one leg
up, heel flexed and slowly lower leg out to the side a few inches
without moving the rest of the body. Use the abs to stabilize your body
and don't hold your breath. Complete 12 reps before switching sides.
Balancing Ab Twist
Begin by lying on your side and push up so that your body is supported by right arm,
feet stacked. Straighten left arm and
balance for a moment, then sweep the left arm down and twist the body,
turning it towards the floor while keeping the rest of the body in
place. Squeeze the abs and hold for 2 seconds, then go back to
Repeat for 12 reps before switching sides. To modify, rest the
bottom knee on the floor.
Place your arms on the ball, parallel to one another. Pulling your belly
button towards your spine and tightening your torso, slowly roll forward
until your chest touches the ball. Keeping form, slowly pull your body
back using your arms and abdominals. Don't collapse as you roll forward.
Repeat for 12 reps.
Lie face up with lower back pressed to the floor. Cradle head in
your hands, elbows out, and bend right knee, pulling it towards your
chest while touching the knee with the opposite elbow. Begin a
slow pedal motion by
touching opposite elbow to opposite knee, alternating each side.
Keep the abs pulled in (don't let them bulge out) and breath
continuously. Repeat for 12 reps (one rep is to the right
Hold a barbell or dumbbells in front of thighs, feet hip-width
apart and abs pulled in. Tipping from the hips and keeping the
weight close to your legs, lower the weight to mid-shin (or wherever is
comfortable) while keeping the legs straight (but not locked).
Lift back to starting position and make sure the abs are pulled tight
throughout the movement. Repeat for 12 reps.
Lie face down with hands either behind the back or lightly
cradling the head. Lift upper body off the ground a few inches,
keeping head and neck in alignment. For a challenge, lift
feet off the ground keeping legs straight (knees don't have to be
together), hold for 2-4 counts and lower. Repeat for 12 reps.