If you think you need to do thousands of crunches to tone your abs, think again. There are plenty of ab exercises you can do to feel the burn quickly and possibly be more effective than standard sit-ups. Below are 4 crunch free ab workouts for a flatter belly!
1. Ballerina Twist. This one is for beginners. Sit on a mat with your legs extended and toes pointed. Squeeze your abs, and lean back placing forearms on the mat. Lift your right arm overhead and twist your torso to the left while leaving your left forearm on the mat. Return to center and switch arms. Alternate 25 times, rest, and do one more set. (see example above)
2. Ballerina Leg Lift. This one is similar to the Ballerina Twist above, but at intermediate level. Start in the same position as the Ballerina Twist. With your right arm, twist and reach your arm to the left while also lifting your left leg 45 degrees. Keep your core engaged and shoulders down. Alternate between left & right sides 20 times. Do this set 3 times.
3. Plank Twists. Start in plank position, and move your waist left to right. Keep your bottom still so that it doesn’t bounce up and down. Also, keep your legs touching (this will work your inner thighs as well). Alternate twisting 20 times for 2 sets. Tip: Suck in your abs, as if you’re trying to fit into tight jeans, to really feel the burn!
4. Russian Twists. Yes, more twists! Create a V-shape using your thighs and torso, with your lower legs touching and lifted. With your hands lifted and abs contracted, twist your torso to the right until your forearms are parallel to the floor. Twist left to right, and keep your legs as still as possible. Maintain that V shape! Do 3 sets of 15 twists. Tip: If you want to make it harder, hold onto a medicine ball or dumbbell.