Crunches are great, but for a well-rounded workout, you need to target your abs from different angles. My routine will target your entire range of abdominal muscles with a set of exercises designed to help you flatten your stomach or keep that six-pack!
This workout isn't intended to help you build block abs; instead, I've built it to help you keep them lean and strong for athletic activities. I've used a higher rep scheme with relatively short rest periods to do just that. Get ready to sweat and carve your way to a stellar stomach!
1. Exercise-Ball Tuck
How to: Place your feet on a Swiss ball, putting your hands out in front of you with your palms on the ground so that you're in a push-up position. Pull your knees in and then back out, using your abs to move your body.
Ab-Mazing Benefits: The benefits of this exercise are threefold. Not only does it target your core, but the balance and effort required improve overall muscle strength and concentration. I like tucks specifically because having half of your body off the ground and on a moveable object creates an added challenge.
2. Exercise-Ball Crunch
How to: This isn't your grandma's crunch! I want you to put your hands together and try to touch the ceiling. Focus on feeling that stretch at the top.
Ab-Mazing Benefits: Being supported by a movable ball really activates your core and throws off your stability more than a typical crunch does. Instability adds another training challenge!
3. Exercise-Ball Plank
How to: Place your forearms on an exercise ball with your legs extended straight behind you in a plank position. Be careful not to let your core sag or your hips rise up too high.
Ab-Mazing Benefits: Looking for an added challenge? To increase the difficulty on these, use a single leg, or add some movement to your static plank by rolling the ball out and then back in.
4. Alternating V-Up
How to: Placing your arms behind you for support, sit on a mat and bring your knees to tabletop position. As you bring your chest up, bring your knees in, alternating between bringing them to the left and right side.
Ab-Mazing Benefits: I love these because, again, they really throw off your balance. Switch from side to side, moving your legs as a pair to the left and then the right. Make sure that your core is balanced and that you're not resting at any time during the move.
5. Alternating Toe Touch
How to: Lying flat on your back, bring one leg up and reach for your toes with your arms, lifting your shoulder blades off the mat. Alternate between your left and right legs.
Ab-Mazing Benefits: Make sure you're not resting on every single rep. You want to keep the tension in your core the entire time!