03 August 2023

3 great abs exercises that aren’t crunches

03 August 2023

Most of us have been guilty of doing a huge number of crunches in the hope of making our tummies trimmer. Then, two weeks later, we’re disappointed nothing seems to have changed.

“Think abs and we tend to think ‘six-pack’ (visible or not) – the long muscle that extends along the front of the abdomen,” says PT and fitness expert, Laura Williams. “This often makes crunches our go-to move when it comes to the tum. But the abdominal muscles also include your waist muscles – your obliques – and one of your main core muscles, the transversus abdominis.”

Targeting these areas, she says, with a variety of exercises, will help to strengthen all the important muscles of the abdominal area, as well as those in the upper back and hips, helping with everything from a stronger core to preventing injury.

1. Heel Tap

Why: Works core muscles.

How: From a lying position with legs bent above hips, lower one heel towards the floor, then lift back up. Change sides. Do a total of 12 lowers.

Tip: Try to keep your back flat on the mat.

2. Seated Sprinter

Why: Works the waist, hip and thigh muscles.

How: From a seated position, with both legs off the floor, extend one leg out in front of you and bring the opposite arm towards your inside knee. Repeat on the other side. Do a total of 12 twists.

Tip: Keep your torso lifted throughout. Place feet on the floor to make this easier if needed.

3. Pulsing Side Plank

Why: Works the shoulder, hip, thigh and waist muscles.

How: Lying on your side, raise your body into the air with your weight on the side of your foot and your bottom arm. Rest your top arm on your bottom shoulder and lower your body a short way to the ground before pushing back up. Do 15 pulses. Change sides.

Tip: Reduce your range of movement if you fatigue.

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