So, what abs exercises are better than crunches?
Crunches target the superficial muscles in the midsection. The deeper muscles, known as the transverse abdominis, require different exercises for a serious core workout.
These exercises have been chosen by Paleo Hacks (go follow their YouTube account) and will help you carve out a stronger, healthier, better looking and more injury resistant core.
6 Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches
Add these into your training.
- 6 Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches
- 1. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Push Ups Burpee
- 2. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Windmills
- 3. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Twisting Mountain Climbers
- 4. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Renegade Rows
- 5. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Military Planks
- 6. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Leg Lowers
- Video – Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches
- Muscles of the Core and Abs
- Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches
1. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Push Ups Burpee
“What doesn’t a burpee work, honestly? This ultimate full-body exercise really revs up core engagement, working and strengthening the abs. Start by standing with feet hip-distance apart. Lower into a deep squat, bringing your hands to the floor, shoulder-width apart. Engaging your abs, jump your feet back into a plank. This is where the strength of those abs comes in, so make sure your hips don’t drop. Use those lower abs to jump the feet back into your deep squat and stand or jump back up. Perform 10-15 burpees.”
2. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Windmills
“These ab exercises are amazing at targeting the obliques. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in your RIGHT hand, with the weight directly over your RIGHT shoulder. Feet should be wider than shoulder-width apart and your LEFT knee and toes turned out. Hinging at your hips, and pressing your hips to the RIGHT, slide your LEFT hand down the inside of your LEFT leg. Using your RIGHT side obliques, press back up, keeping your shoulder stable. Complete 15 repetitions and then repeat on the LEFT side.”
3. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Twisting Mountain Climbers
“These mountain climbers not only get your heart rate up, but will tone your abdominals and really target the obliques. Starting in a full plank position on your hands, use your lower abs to drive the RIGHT knee in towards the chest, then twist the knee over to the LEFT elbow, using the obliques. Quickly place the RIGHT foot back to the plank and repeat, bringing the LEFT knee to the RIGHT elbow. Complete these ab exercises for 30-60 seconds.”
4. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Renegade Rows
“This full-body exercise will really tone the arms and back, but also requires a great amount of core strength. Start in a plank position holding dumbbells in your hands. Your feet can be about shoulder-width apart for a more stable base. Engaging the abs to prevent the hips from moving too much, row the RIGHT arm up, bringing the weight to the shoulder. Lower the weight back down and repeat with the LEFT arm. The goal is to keep the hips as steady as possible. Complete 20 repetitions alternating side to side.”
5. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Military Planks
“Again, this full-body workout will tone the arms, but the abs are the support system for this exercise. Begin in a plank on your elbows with feet shoulder-width apart. Starting with the RIGHT side, lift the elbow up and place the hand where the elbow was. Press through the RIGHT arm to raise up to a full plank on your hands and straighten the left arm. Lower back down to the elbows by placing the RIGHT elbow back in the place on the hand, and follow with the left arm. Repeat for 10 repetitions leading with the RIGHT arm, then switch and complete 10 with the left.”
6. Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches – Leg Lowers
“This crunchless ab exercise really focuses on those lower abs, but as you perform this exercise you will feel all over those abs and even feel the muscles in the back help stabilize your torso. Lay on your back and raise your legs into the air. With control, lower your legs towards to floor but keep the lower back glued to the mat. You don’t have to go down too far, just be sure to keep the abdominals engaged. Use the lower abs to pull those legs back up. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.”
Video – Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches
Muscles of the Core and Abs
The core is the center of your body. It’s made up of the muscles that hold you upright and support your spine, chest, abdomen and pelvis. The core musculature is responsible for providing stability to maintain a neutral posture while standing or sitting, as well as performing daily tasks — such as walking, bending over or reaching overhead — without straining any other part of your body.”
The abdominal muscles are the muscles that make up your core. They include:
- Transverse abdominus (TVA)
- Internal oblique (IO)
- External oblique (EO)
- Rectus abdominis (RA).
The rectus abdominis is the most superficial of the abdominal muscles and can be seen as a long, flat muscle that runs down the front of your abdomen. This muscle flexes and rotates the trunk, so it plays an important role in many daily activities like bending over or twisting. It’s located in the anterior region of the body.
External Abdominus Muscles
The external obliques are on the sides of your body, and they help to twist your torso. They also assist in bending your torso forward and back, rotating it to the side, as well as lifting up against gravity.
When you’re working out or playing sports and want to protect yourself from injury, remember that these muscles play a big role in stabilizing your spine. If you’re working out on an unstable surface (like sand), strengthening these muscles will help prevent injuries like sprained ankles or knee pain from slipping on wet surfaces!
Now that we’ve covered all of these great core muscle groups that should be trained regularly – let’s talk about some ways we can do just that!
Internal Oblique Muscles
The internal oblique muscles are the deepest layer of the core, located between the rectus abdominis and external oblique muscles. The internal oblique muscle is responsible for lateral flexion of the spine, as well as rotation and bending of the trunk.
In addition to stabilizing your spine when you bend forward or twist, these muscles also help you perform hip flexion (bringing your legs up toward your chest), lateral flexion (bending side-to-side), thoracic extension (arching back) and spinal rotation.
Transverse Abdominus Muscle
The transverse abdominus, commonly referred to as the “core muscle”, is a thin sheet of muscle that lies beneath your rectus abdominis (the “six-pack abs”). It wraps around your entire torso and helps to support your spine and internal organs by creating an internal girdle.
The transversus abdominis helps stabilize the spine during movement by increasing intra-abdominal pressure. When this muscle contracts it flattens your abdomen, compressing internal organs and making it harder for them to move around inside you. This contraction also serves as a natural corset helping to prevent injury by stabilizing your spine during flexion or extension movements like bending over at the waist or running.
Transversus Muscle in the Back
This is a thin, flat muscle that runs vertically from the lower ribs to the pelvis. It is part of the diaphragm and helps to compress your abdominal cavity during inhalation.
The transversus abdominis is also known as transverse abdominal muscle, with its fibres being arranged in such a way as to spiral around your midline. This means that when it contracts it pulls your sides inwards, making you appear smaller on the outside while strengthening your core muscles internally.
When working out this muscle group, you should focus on slow movements over an extended period of time so that you build up strength endurance rather than simply working out for short bursts of energy
The erector spinae are a group of muscles that runs along your spine. It’s also known as the erector spinae. The primary function of these muscles is to extend the spine and keep it upright, but they also play a role in rotation and lateral flexion.
The following are some important facts about the erector spinae:
- They’re located at the back of your body, extending from pelvis to neck.
- There are several subdivisions within this muscle group, including longissimus dorsi, iliocostalis lumborum and spinalis cervicis (also called iliocostalis). These three subdivisions extend from pubic bone to skull; their fibers run obliquely across one another so that when one moves up or down, another moves left or right respectively).
Quadratus lumborum’s four origins are the last four ribs, the anterior surface of the transverse processes of the third to fifth lumbar vertebrae, and a fibrous band that runs across the upper portion of each side of your pelvis (called an aponeurosis). It attaches on its other end to your vertebral column between T12 and L1, creating a wide muscle that spans from just below where your shoulder blades meet in back to just above where your hips meet in front.
This muscle flexes and rotates your trunk at the waist; it also helps support the low back and pelvis during movement. The quadratus lumborum works with two other core muscles: iliopsoas (the front part) and psoas major (the rear part). Together with these two deeper muscles, quadratus lumborum stabilizes lower-back posture during forward bending or twisting motions as well as when you lift something from a low position like bending over to pick up something off the floor—even though both motions involve shifting weight forward onto one leg rather than two legs at once
These are all the Muscles of your Core
The core is the centre of your body. It’s made up of many muscles, including those in your back and abdomen, which support and move your spine. The core helps you maintain good posture and balance, as well as support the weight being lifted during a variety of exercises (like moves that require you to hold a plank).
Abs Exercises that are Better than Crunches
Experts recommend developing a strong core by practicing simple exercises like the movements described in this article and video on a regular basis.
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- Abs-exercises-marcus-steph: Photos Courtesy of CrossFit Inc / Deposit Photos