Tired of the same ol’ traditional crunches and bicycle kicks abs exercises?
Then get excited. You needn’t do them anymore, at least, not as often as you may have had to in the past. There is no shortage of great abs exercises and what more, you don’t always need to assume a crunch style pose to do them.
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Complexes are a great alternative when the goal is to target your abs.
Our abs can broadly be divided into four: lower, middle, upper and side (or oblique). Effective ab exercises must touch all these parts. Because complexes are a series of compound movements laced together as one fluid exercise circuit, you are in luck.
The following are great but simple beginner complexes to try for your abs:
- Assume a high plank position
- Then tap each shoulder with the opposite hand
- Return to start position and repeat
This move targets your whole core as it forces you to tense your abs, lower back muscles and also engage your ribcages in one fluid motion.
Down Dog Tap
- Assume a down dog posture (like a high plank but pike your waist)
- Then touch each toe with your opposite hand. Remember to tense the lower abs and stiffen the knee so it doesn’t bend while you do this.
Plank with T-Rotation
- Take a high or full plank position. Keep your feet hip-width apart
- Now, rotate your whole body to the right into a side plank
- Lift your right hand to the ceiling as you drive your hip up
- Return to the start position and repeat for opposite hand.
Reverse Lunge with Front Twist
- Stand alert; with foot hip-width apart
- Take a big step back with your right foot as u bend into a lunge then twist your body to the right
- Return to start position and repeat from the opposite leg
- You may use weights to increase difficulty.
Planks to Dolphin
- Take an elbow plank position, feet placed hip-width apart and palms flat on the mat.
- Lift hips back into the ceiling and a la an inverted V
- Pause for a bit and then return hip back to normal elbow plank position
Down Dog abs
- Start in a Downward Dog with your right leg in the air.
- Bring your right knee under your torso. Pause, then return to start.
- Bring your right knee to your right elbow. Pause, then return to start again.
- Bring your right knee to your left elbow. Pause, then return to start. Make sure you do both sides.
These are just a few alternatives to the traditional crunch exercise. They target all of the core and simultaneously work the shoulders and often legs too. You also don’t need a gym to do them. a space that can hold a yoga mat is just right.
Remember, the secret is to fall in love with the routines and then persist in them. Consistency remains a factor that can’t be ignored if you really care about seeing results.