The 10 Best Exercises to Tone Your Abs (and None of Them Are Crunches)

Add to Flipboard Magazine Add to Flipboard Magazine.

 

The path to a toned, strong abs isn’t doing endless of the same exercises, such crunches, which only target a few of your many ab muscles. The famous trainers suggested combining a lean, healthy diet with a variety of ab moves that stabilize and engage all the muscles in your core.

For all of you who are bored with your sit-up routine, here are 10 effective and fun moves to mix up your workout and tone your midsection!

  1. Laying Overhead Reach

Targets: your shoulders and your abs.

Instructions:

–           Starting position – Lying on your back with your knees and hips at 90-degree angles, pressing your lower back into the mat. Lift your arms, with the dumbbell in each, toward the ceiling, and keep the elbow joint slightly bent.

–           Reaching your arms overhead, bring the dumbbells to tap on the floor above your head, keeping back flat on the floor as your lower the weights.

–           Lift your arms back to the starting position. That completes one rep.

Perform 15 reps to complete a set.

  1. Overhead Circles with Medicine Ball

Instructions:

–           Starting position – standing with your feet hip-width apart with and knees slightly bent. Your spine should be in neutral position and hands overhead with a medicine ball of five- to eight pounds.

–           Circle the ball to the right, trying to make largest circles, maintaining a still and stable torso.

Circle eight times to the each side and perform three sets.

  1. Ball Pass

Instructions:

–           Starting position – Laying on your back, with an exercise ball above your chest and extended feet up toward the ceiling.

–           Exhaling, move your arms and legs away from each other, lowering both toward the floor.

–           Inhaling, bring them toward each other, and transfer the ball from your hands to your legs.

–           Lower your legs and arms toward the floor away from each other.

–           Bringing them back together, transfer the ball back to your hands to complete one rep.

Completing 10 to 20 reps.

  1. Tabletop to Reverse Pike

Targets: tones the arms and burns mid abs.

Instructions:

–           Starting position – sitting on your buttocks, plant your hands eight inches behind you.

–           Bending your knees, place your heels about a foot away from your hips on a hip – width distance apart.

–           Inhaling, raise your hips off the floor bringing your torso parallel to the floor and your arms straight. Increase the stretch by lowering your head behind you.

–           Complete breath, and then keeping arms straight, exhale and lower your hips and straighten your legs in front of you, so your hips are hovering above the floor. Your abs should be completely engaged and spine long while balancing on your heels and hands.

–           When you complete breath, inhale and push yourself back into the starting position.

Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps,

  1. Seated Russian Twist

Instructions:

–           Starting position – Sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your heels about a foot from your butt.

–           Leaning slightly back without rounding your spine at all, keep your back straight, but don’t let it curve.

–           Keep the weight (medicine ball) close to you and progress by moving weight further away from your body.

–           Pulling your belly button to your spine, twist slowly to the left, rotating ribs. Inhale, rotate to the center and continue to the right. That completes one rep.

Perform 16 full rotations.

  1. Flutter Kicks with Resistance Band

Targets: low abs

Instructions:

–           Starting position – Sitting on a mat, loop one handle of the resistance band on either foot, holding it on to the middle of the tube with both hands, laying on your back.

–           Drawing your belly button toward your spine, press your low spine into the floor to protect your lower back, then raise both legs up, almost pointing straight up toward the ceiling.

–           Scissor your legs up and down one at a time, and each time when your right foot lowers down counts as one set. Complete 10 to 15 sets.

  1. Elbow Plank

Targets: the abs. It is harder on the abs than the traditional plank in a push-up position.

Instructions:

–           Starting position – face down on the floor resting on your forearms and knees.

–           Pushing off the floor, raise up off your knees onto your toes, transferring the weight to the elbows

–           Keep torso straight, contracting your abdominals and keeping yourself up

–           Hold as long as you can (20-30 seconds in the beginning) and work your way up to one minute, as you get stronger.

Repeat three times.

  1. Leaning Camel

Targets: your entire abdominal wall and give the quads an active stretch to boot!

Instructions:

–           Starting position – on your knees with your toes tucked, and your thighs parallel holding a dumbbell comfortably with both hands in front of your chest.

–           Inhale deep and as you exhale, using your quad muscles, lower your torso behind you, without arching your back (Camel pose)

–           Inhaling again, return your torso back to the starting position.

Repeat 15 times and complete three sets.

  1. Dead Bug

This is stability exercise that fires up the core, working both the back and front of the body.

Instructions:

–           Starting position – Laying on your back with a neutral spine and your hips and knees at right angles. Your palms should be pressed into your thighs just above your knees.

–           Pulling your abs to your spine, keep your pelvis and ribs, lengthening your right leg and arm out until they are almost parallel to the floor. Your torso and spine should be completely stable as the leg and arms move.

Returning to the starting position, repeat on the left side to complete one rep.

  1. Standing Ab Rollout

Instructions:

–           Starting position – Placing your palms on the ball, stand with your legs wide, about three feet apart. Walking the ball out, come to the position that your back is straight and your hips are in the same line as your ankles.

–           From this position, lean your body forward, while the ball rolls down your forearms and once your elbows reach the ball. Balance on your tiptoes.

–           Then engaging your core, legs and body back, return to the starting position.

Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps.