How to Strengthen Your Abs Without Crunches: 6 Alternative Exercises

1. Vertical Toe Touches

Lie on your back with your legs extended straight up. Use your abdomen muscles to lift your torso off the floor as you reach your hands towards your toes. Return to starting position, and repeat.

2. Mountain Climbers

Start in push-up position. Bend on leg and bring the knee to the opposite elbow. Return to push-up position, then switch legs and repeat. Try to avoid bowing up your back.

3. Windshield Wipers

Lie on your back, legs extended vertically in the air, arms resting on the floor in T position. Keeping your back on the ground as much as possible, lower your legs together down to one side. Return up to center, and then lower to the other side. Repeat.

4. Dead Bugs

Lie on your back, legs extended with feet pointed and heels floating above the floor, arms straight and extended above your head but close to your ears, hands floating above the floor. Curl your body in by bending the legs into the chest, reaching for the feet with the hands, and tucking the chin down. Extend back out to starting position, and repeat.

5. V Twists

Get in V sit position, balancing on your buttocks. Twist your torso from side to side in this position, being sure to use your core as you make the twist motion and try to keep your lower body still. Hold a dumbbell or medicine ball to increase difficulty.

6. Chops

Start in standing position, feet spread wider than hip width. Holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in your hands, reach your arms up and diagonally to your right until they are completely extended. Keeping your feet in place, now reach down and diagonally to your left. Repeat this motion, slowly going back and forth, crossing your body diagonally. After several reps, switch directions and go the opposite way.

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