Crunch-Free Moves for Your Abs


A lot of women still think that crunches and sit-ups are how you build a strong core, but you shouldn’t believe in either and should stop doing them. To really work your core and improve your posture, you need to get off balance and try new things.

Use the following routine that specifically targets your entire core from different angles, to create your strongest, firmest, flattest center yet. For this workout, you need to dust off your exercise ball. Watch those abs pop in no time.

Exercise Ball Roll-Outs
ball-roll-outs

Works your entire core, challenges balance, and strengthens lower back.

Starting on your knees and sitting up tall, place a medium-size exercise ball under your hands while keeping your arms as straight as possible. As you roll the ball out, ensure you keep a straight body by not bending at the hips. Pull yourself back to starting position without bending your arms or hips, exhaling as your contract your center. Aim for 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Lower Leg Lifts with Exercise Ball
pass the ball

Works your lower abs.

Placing an exercise ball between your legs while keeping a 90-degree bend in knees, squeeze the ball as firmly as you can. Engaging your pelvic floor as you squeeze the ball, lift your hips off the ground reaching the ball to the ceiling. (By attempting to engage your pelvic floor as you contract your core, you’ll engage more of the lower abdominal muscles throughout the exercise.) Gently lower hips back down. Repeat for 20 to 30 reps.

High Back Extensions on Exercise Ball
ball-superman

Engages your core, strengthens lower back, and increases balance.

Start by lying on top of your exercise ball, face down, your hips centered on the middle of the ball. Begin by squeezing your glutes. Then, lift your arms and torso as long and high as possible, still squeezing your glutes so as to not overly “crunch” into the lower back. Gently lower down and repeat for 10 to 15 reps, taking breaks as needed. Relax in Child’s Pose when finished to release the lower back.