There is no doubt that doing crunches can help strengthen your core but doing the same old routine can have adverse effects to your body especially when you’re aiming for stronger and ripped abdominal muscles. Going through crunches as fast as you can doesn’t really mean that you’re going to get washboard abs quickly. If you really want to put your core to the test, going for quality instead of quantity is better. With that being said, here are five ab exercises that will really challenge your core.
This may look a bit weird at the start but if you’re aiming for that toned abs, here’s how to do this workout. Sit on the edge of a chair (make sure it’s sturdy) and place hands on the edge with your fingers pointed towards your knees. Engage your abs and lift your toes about 2 to 4 inches off the floor. Raise your butt off the chair as well. Lower yourself back to your first position then repeat. Do this workout for 1 minute.
Spiderman Plank Crunch
The plank is one of the best workouts that really engage the core muscles. In this exercise, you should go in a plank position with forearms to the ground and your legs extended behind you. Bring the right knee towards the right elbow then back to your first position. Do the same step with the left knee. This is considered as 1 rep. Do repetitions for this exercise.
Opposite Arm and Leg Raise
This workout not only strengthens the core but also improve your sense of balance. Start by going on all fours. Make sure that your wrists are directly underneath your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Slowly raise your left arm forward and your right leg behind you. Hold this for 2 counts before going back to all fours. Extend right arm forward and left leg backward. Again hold for 2 counts. You should do 15 to 20 reps.
Bicycle crunch targets three main muscles in your core. Start by lying on your back with hands placed behind the head and legs bent and raised to 90 degrees. Bring your left elbow to your right knee then hold for two counts. Repeat with your right elbow to your left knee. It’s important that you hold the pose for 2 counts before releasing to really build up the muscles in your core.
Squat Thrust with Twist
Start slowly with this workout to get a feel for it and to avoid unnecessary strain on your muscles. Stand up straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart with your hands extended before you. Lower yourself to a squat with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Twist your upper body towards the left. Go back to your first position then repeat the exercise going to the right. Make sure that your knees are faced forwards as you twist your upper body from side to side.