Toned up Abs without Crunches? – It Is Possible with these 6 Exercises

Got tired of crunches? There is nothing in the world you wouldn’t rather do than them? Well, don’t worry, you don’t have to. Crunches are not the best exercise for toned abs anyway. Here are 6 exercises you can do to tone your abdominal muscles without ever having to do a crunch again.

1. Planks

This is a position that is commonly practiced in yoga, and it engages all of your muscles in the effort to keep your body tight and not touch the ground. Your abdominal muscles have to be squeezed the entire time, and those who do planks regularly have pretty well defined abs. says that most people can’t stay in this position for more than 30 seconds the first time they do this exercise. The best proof that planks are efficient is Shaun T who does a lot of planks but never crunches.

2. Push-ups

Push-ups, similarly to planks, engage most of the muscles in your body, including your abs. An additional advantage of this exercise is that if you increase the speed (but not do it too fast, in order to avoid injuries), you can get your heart pumping and raise this exercise to the level of a cardio workout, which will increase the likelihood of toning your abs because it will help you burn off extra fat from your belly.

3. Lying Overhead Reach

In this exercise, you will be working on your abs and shoulders. Your back will be lying on the floor, and your hips and knees will be at an angle of 90 degrees. Use your lower abs to make sure your lower back is pressed to the floor mat, and lift your arms up, facing the ceiling with your elbows bent a little. Keeping your back tightly pressed to the ground, put your arms overhead and have the dumbbells in your hands lightly touch the ground. Then return to the start position, and that is one rep. You can do this exercise with dumbbells of 5 to 10 pounds.

Doing 15 reps in a set would be ideal.

4. Lying Leg Lifts

When you lift your legs, the muscles in your core engage and your abs tone up. You can lie on a bench or the floor (a bench would be better because when your legs hang off the edge, they can make movements of larger amplitudes), put your hands below your glutes with palms down and don’t bend your knees (if you want to add in some weight, you can hold a dumbbell with your feet). Raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor and stay in that position for a couple of seconds to prolong the contraction, and then slowly return to the start position. If you want bigger muscles, add more weight, but if you just want to define them use moderate or no weights whatsoever.

5. Overhead Circles Using Medicine Ball

Put your feet in alignment with your hips and slightly bend your knees. Your back should be straight, and you should have a medicine ball of 5-8 pounds in your hands. Have it? Good. Now, lift it over your head and move to the right until you make a complete circle, as large as you can. Throughout this exercise your torso should remain stable. Do this 8 times to the right, and then do the same thing, but to the left.

Three sets should be enough.

6. V-sits

Though this exercise might seem simple, it requires quite a bit of effort. What you should do is extend your legs and arms so that your body resembles the letter V. All the balance should be in your behind. This exercise engages all the muscles in your body and what you really need is will power in order to endure. In a seated position contract your abdominal muscles along with your core and then lift your legs so that your body forms an angle of around 45 degrees. Then extend your arms forward while keeping your spine strong and straight. Stay in this position for a couple of seconds for the first time, but when you build up your strength it will become easier, so then do it for longer. Finally, slowly return to the start position and before you touch the floor stay in that position for a couple of seconds, and you will feel all your muscles (including your abs) contracting. Do as many reps as you can. This may be the best exercise for toning up your abdominal muscles.