Abs - Fitness

10 Effective Sit-Up Variations, One Tough Ab Workout

Apr 25, 2017 //

Crunches and sit-ups can be monotonous, to say the least. If you feel like you’ve outgrown the standard crunch, and you’re ready to try a bit of a challenge, you’ve come to the right place with this killer core workout!

These sit-up and crunch variations turn the classic move into something more interesting. Plus, you’ll find that many of these are a bit more difficult than the average sit-up, which means you’ll really carve that six pack.

Try this 10-minute workout featuring 10 sit-up variations, and your abs will feel the burn.

1. Bicycle Crunch

  • This crunch variation is popular because it challenges your balance and coordination while targeting your mid-abs, lower abs and obliques, all at once.
  • Start lying flat on your back.
  • Contract your lower abs so you raise your legs a few inches off the ground.
  • Twist your torso and bend your left knee, while crossing your right elbow across your body, reaching toward the opposite (left) knee.
  • Now switch, twisting to the other side so that your left elbow reaches toward your right knee. Keep alternating sides for one minute.

2. Reverse Crunch

  • Start on your back with your legs straight up in the air at a 90-degree angle. Place your arms alongside your body with your palms facing down.
  • Exhale as you contract your lower abdominal muscles to lift your butt and lower back off the ground. Inhale as you release back to the starting position. Continue for one minute.

3. Russian Twist

  • Start in a crunch position with your feet raised off the ground and your back/shoulders also raised off the ground.
  • Grasping your hands together, twist to tap the left then the right. Continue alternating for one minute.

4. V-Ups

  • Lie flat on the floor with your arms above you head, forming a straight line with your body.
  • Slowly lift your feet toward the ceiling, keeping them together and perfectly straight.
  • At the same time, lift your arms toward the ceiling.
  • Your upper body will naturally raise up as your arms do.
  • Using just your abdominal muscles, pull yourself like this until you form a “V.”
  • Hold for five seconds and then repeat the cycle for one minute.

5. Dead Bugs

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended in front of your shoulders.
  • Bend your hips and knees to a 90-degree angle.
  • Tighten your abs and press your lower back into the floor.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • As you exhale, slowly extend your left leg toward the floor and bring your right arm overhead. Keep your abs tight and don’t let your lower back arch.
  • Slowly return your arm and leg to the starting position.
  • Repeat with your opposite arm and leg. Continue alternating for a full minute.

6. Scissors

  • Begin lying on your back in a crunch position. Raise both legs toward the ceiling, but not too high. Lower your left leg until it’s about six inches off the floor.
  • The lower you keep your legs towards the ground, the tougher the workout on your lower abdominals.
  • Keeping your legs straight, straight, lift your head and shoulders off the floor and grasp the back of your right leg, gently pulling it toward you. Switch legs and repeat on other side, alternating for a full minute.

7. Raised Leg Crunch

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs fully extended toward the ceiling.
  • Crunch toward the ceiling and reach your hands to your feet.
  • Lower your torso to the starting position. Continue this move for one minute.

8. Stability Ball Crunch

  • Choose a stability ball that allows your knees to rest at a 90-degree angle. Support the middle of your back on the ball so that your head, neck and shoulders are hanging off.
  • Contract your abs and curl up off the ball so that you’re almost sitting up straight.
  • Lower back down slowly. Continue crunching for a minute.

9. Side Stability Ball Crunch

  • Similar to the last move, choose a stability ball that allows your knees to rest at a 90-degree angle. Support the middle of your back on the ball so that your head, neck and shoulders are hanging off.
  • Contract your abs and curl up off the ball so that you’re almost sitting up straight, this time turning towards one side to engage your obliques. Lower back down slowly and repeat on the other side. Perform this move for one minute.

 10. Alternating Toe Touches

  • Lie on your back with your back pressed against the floor.
  •  Elevate one leg up in the air while slowly lifting your torso off the ground. U
  • Using the opposite arm, reach over and try to touch your toe (the one that is in the air).  Remember to exhale while perform this part of the exercise.
  • Slowly begin to lower your torso and arms back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Keep alternating the movement on each side for a full minute.
Bethany McIlrath

Bethany McIlrath is a freelance writer who loves sharing tips with her readers to help them to live healthier, fuller lives. Living the busy and sedentary life of a writer, she understands that staying healthy and fit can require creativity. With a passion for motivating others and enthusiasm for food and fitness, Bethany is confident that you can tweak a little here and there in your diet and your routine to boost your health and live more vibrantly.

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