Crunches are exercises that can do a lot to flatten your core, but when it comes to strengthening your abdomen, they are not the best choice. In essence, crunches only target a small portion of your abdominal muscles, which does not guarantee that the rest of your core will be strengthened if you limit your training to only them.
The recommendation of many fitness instructors is to do planks or exercise with a medical ball instead of crunching, simply because they target your entire core.
Here are 5 best ab exercises:
Side Plank Crunches
This variation of plank targets also your obliques.
– Starting position – side-plank position, one foot on top of the other, keeping your abs and butt tight.
– Bending your top arm, bring your top knee toward your top arm in a side crunch
– Move to the starting position and repeat 10 times
– Switching sides repeat the move 10 times.
Perform 3 sets of 10 reps per each side.
Medicine Ball Twists
This Russian twist with a medicine ball will do wonders for your core.
– Begin lying on your back, with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
– Holding the medicine ball to your chest lift your torso to a 45-degree angle from the floor
– Bringing the medicine ball to one side, try to touch the floor if you can, twisting as far as possible
– Repeat the same moves on the other side, increasing your speed while alternating sides
Perform 2-3 sets of 20-30 reps per side.
Medicine Ball Jackknives
They are some of the most effective exercises for strengthening core in a very short time.
– Begin lying down with your legs straight and holding a medicine ball above your head
– Keeping your legs as straight as possible raise them up and bring the medicine ball toward them.
– Lower legs down slowly, then repeat.
For those who find it difficult at first, it is recommended to bend the knees toward the chest instead of keeping the legs straight
Perform 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per side, which will make your abs burn.
Mountain Climber Crosses
As a variation of the classic mountain climber exercise, it targets the entire core including your shoulder muscles.
– Starting position – plank position, with your shoulders right above your hands
– Tightening your core, bring one knee toward your opposite hand across your chest.
– Return to the starting position
– Repeat the same with your other knee, increasing your speed as much as you can while alternating the sides. Al the time keep your core tight.
Perform 3 sets of 50 reps.
Split Leg V-Ups
This is just another effective ab exercise that does wonders on your abs. This exercise is far better than crunches.
– Starting position – lying on your back with your arms straight above your head
– Pulling your belly button toward the floor, raise your right leg and bring your foot as close to your arms as you can
– Return leg to starting position Repeat moves with another leg
Perform 3 sets of 10 reps per side.