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Get Killer Abs Without Doing A Single Crunch


Who doesn't want to see a beautiful six pack when they look in the mirror? Many of us struggle with our crunches and sit-ups, hoping desperately to see those ab muscles poking through. But what if crunches aren't the way to get a six pack? What if you're actually wasting time doing them?

The Most Effective Ab Exercise

The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy published the findings of a study that discovered crunches are not the most effective exercise for a getting a six pack. The findings suggest that, due to the way it contracts the muscles of your abs and lower back, the Swiss Ball Rollout is the most effective.

Swiss Ball Rollout

  1. Place a stability ball on the floor in front of you, with your feet on the floor and your fists on the ball.
  2. Roll the ball forward, extending your body like a bridge between the floor and the top of the ball.
  3. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds.

It's definitely a tough exercise, but the truth is that it's just one more complex variation of a very simple exercise -- the plank. With the plank, you brace your spine instead of moving it, and the static exercise is actually much easier on your spine than dynamic exercises like crunches. Also with the plank, your abs and lower back muscles are fully engaged, and they are contracted until you release them. Not only does this give you stronger ab muscles, but it also strengthens your hips and lower back. Studies have found that plank variations are up to 25 percent more effective than crunches!

Here are a few more "crunch-free" exercises to help you get those ripped abs in the most effective way:

Plank Hold

Assume the plank position (hands flat on the floor, legs straight, butt down and hips steady). Hold this position for 60 to 90 seconds.

Elbow Plank

Instead of placing your hands on the floor, clasp your hands together and place your elbows on the floor. This variation of the plank is actually a bit more challenging than the regular version.

Renegade Row

Talk about doubling down on the effectiveness! Place two dumbbells on the floor, and assume the plank position. Shift your weight to your left hand, and then use your right hand to pull the dumbbell up to your side in a row. Return the dumbbell to its position and repeat the exercise on the left side.

Stability Ball Jack-Knife

Assume the plank position, with your feet atop a stability ball. Bend your knees and use your feet to roll the ball forward, tucking those knees into your chest. Extend the legs back out to complete the exercise. Repeat 15 to 20 times.

Pistol Squat

Stand with all of your weight on your right leg. Extend your left leg until it's at a 90-degree angle from the rest of your body. Squat without lowering that left leg. Do 12 to 15 reps and repeat with the right leg.

The Ultimate Advantage of Group Exercise Classes

Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise -- he does so six days a week -- and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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