When it comes to toning and strengthening your core, crunches are the classic move. But if you’re bored with the basic crunch – or you want to take your core workout to the next level – try these 5 alternative ways to do crunches.
Do each exercise for one full minute before moving onto the next. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!
1. Cross Crunches
Begin lying on your back in the basic crunch position. Instead of lifting both shoulders off the floor at the same time, lift one shoulder while raising your opposite knee, keeping your leg bent. Rest both and repeat with other side. Do one to three sets of 10 reps.
2. Reverse Crunches
Lie in the basic crunch position. Bring both knees toward your chest until they’re bent in a 90-degree angle with your feet touching each other. Curl your hips off the floor and reach your legs toward the ceiling. Lower your legs, and repeat for one to three sets of 10 reps.
3. Bicycle Crunches
Again, begin in the basic crunch position, and place your hands behind your head. Raise your legs so your thighs are perpendicular to the ground. Bring one knee toward your chest and the opposite elbow down to nearly touch your knee. Switch sides and do one to three sets of 10 reps. Keep your elbows back and be careful not to strain your neck.
4. Knee Crunches
This is similar to bicycle crunches, without as much leg movement. Starting in a basic crunch position, lift your legs to a 90-degree angle. Raise your torso up by contracting your abs. Bring your right arm over and tap your left knee. Lower yourself down without touching the floor and lift yourself up once more to tap your left knee with your left hand. Do one to three sets of 10 reps.
5. Vertical Leg Crunches
Lie flat on your back and lift your legs so they’re perpendicular to your body, crossing your ankles. Don’t make your legs completely straight. Lift your torso and try to touch your hands to your toes or ankles. Don’t let your chin touch your chest, and exhale as you contract your abdominals. Inhale and return to starting position. Do one to three sets of 10 reps.