Get Abs without Crunches

Crunches are definitely a great way to work out the abdominal muscle and obliques.  Yet, there is always room for variety in any routine. 

Planks are another effective way to exercise your core.  A plank is a traditional move in Pilates and Yoga.  It works all core muscles including the back, hips, chest and even wrists.  Toning these core muscles is essential for a strong, balanced and stabilized body.

Lower back pain is often caused by a weak core.  Having a strong core helps prevent injury by strengthening the back muscles.  Planks are also stress-free on the neck.

The following routine is a variety of plank exercises beginning with the most basic and adding a few challenges.  Start out holding each pose for between 8-12 seconds.

Plank

  • Begin in a push-up position.
  • Next, balance on your toes and forearms (or on your palms for more of a challenge).
  • Pull your belly button into your spine, back straight.
  • Be sure that your lower back does not sag.

*For a modified plank, keep your back straight and lower your knees to the floor.

Plank with knee touch     (Can be done on forearms or palms)

  • Keeping your back straight, and belly button pulled in towards your spine, slowly tap your right knee down to the floor. 
  • Alternate knees.
  • This is a good pose for balance and stabilization. 

*For more of a challenge bring you knee to your chest once you have tapped the floor. 

 
 
 

 

Plank with leg raise           (Can be done on forearms or palms)

  • Keeping your back straight, and belly button pulled in towards your spine, alternatively and slowly raise each leg towards the ceiling. 
  • Do not let your back sag, or you could potentially cause injury to your lower back. 

One leg, one arm plank      (Can be done on forearms or palms)

  • Alternatively extend one leg and the opposite arm for better balance and a stronger core.

 

Walking Plank         (Must be on forearms)  *More challenging*

  • Begin in elbow plank.
  • Ground your elbows directly under your shoulders.
  • Walk 1 inch forward with your right arm.
  • Have you left arm move 1 inch forward to meet the right.
  • Feet do not move.
  • Bring your forearms back to starting position one at a time beginning with your right.
  • Next, move 1 inch to the right with your right forearm.
  • Have your left arm follow, moving 1 inch to the right to meet the right arm.
  • Move back to your starting point moving your left arm first, then the right.
  • Then move your left forearm 1 inch to the left.
  • Have your right forearm move 1 inch to the left, meeting your left arm.
  • Go back to your starting position moving the right arm first.

*To add more challenge, add another step (extra inch) next time you go around.

            Side Plank    (Palm or forearm)

  • Lie on your right side.
  • Have your right palm, or right elbow placed on the ground.
  • Have your left arm relaxed on your side.
  • Tighten your abdominals and glutes, be sure to keep your body in a straight line.
  • Repeat on your left side.

*For more of a challenge, raise your relaxed hand straight up towards the ceiling.  Keep your body balanced and in line.

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About tonicekada

I am a junior print journalism major at West Virginia University. I have two minors in Italian and fitness.
This entry was posted in Workout Routines and Fitness. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Get Abs without Crunches

  1. Thanks for all this information. I do yoga daily, but need to shake it up a little.

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