You are here

No Crunches: Ab Exercises for Every Level

  • Chris Fanning

    Beginner: Funky Abs

    Our model Sarah, a trainer in New York City, keeps her abs tight by running intervals and biking and swimming regularly.

    Targets: Abs, lower back

    • Stand with feet about hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, shoulders down.
    • Engage abs and tilt pelvis forward so back is rounded.
    • Return to center and then reverse the motion — tilt pelvis backward so butt is sticking out. Do 15 reps; 2 sets.
     
  • Chris Fanning

    Beginner: Ballerina Twist

    Targets: Obliques, abs

    • Sit on mat, with legs extended, toes pointed, thighs together and abs engaged.
    • Lean back, placing forearms on mat, palms flat, fingers forward.
    • Leaving left forearm on mat, lift right arm overhead and twist torso to left. Return to center. Switch arms and twist right. Do 20 alternating reps; 2 sets.
  • Chris Fanning

    Beginner: Twist and Drop

    Targets: Arms, abs, obliques, legs

    • Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
    • Hinge from hips and place hands on floor about 1 foot in front of feet.
    • Keeping head down, engage abs and lift left foot.
    • Sweep left leg in front of right as you turn right foot out to side, bending right knee.
    • Lower hips toward floor, keeping left leg straight.
    • Return to start.
    • Switch sides and repeat. Do 12 alternating reps; 2 sets.
     
  • Chris Fanning

    Intermediate: Core Circles

    Targets: Abs, lower back

    • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, abs engaged.
    • Place palms on thighs, fingers pointed toward each other. Circle torso in clockwise direction — push rib cage toward left hip, then do a half circle to right; continue the circle back to start.
    • Do 15 reps. Switch directions and repeat. Do 3 sets.
  • Chris Fanning

    Intermediate: Ballerina Leg Lift

    Targets: Obliques, abs, legs

    • Sit on mat with legs extended, thighs together, toes pointed, and abs engaged.
    • Lean back, placing forearms on mat, palms flat, fingers facing forward. Leaving left forearm on mat, raise right arm overhead.
    • Twist torso to left while lifting upper body and left leg 45 degrees.
    • Return to center and switch sides. Do 20 alternating reps; 3 sets.
     
  • Chris Fanning

    Intermediate: Drop with Lift

    Targets: Arms, abs, obliques, legs

    • Repeat "twist and drop" move from the Ballerina Leg Lift.
    • Holding this position (left leg straight and extended, right knee bent, both palms on floor in front of you), lift left leg toward right knee, then lower. Do 5 leg lifts, then return to start.
    • Switch sides and repeat. Do 12 alternating reps; 2 sets.
  • Chris Fanning

    Advanced: Egyptian Core Circles

    Targets: Abs, lower back

    • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, abs engaged.
    • Lift arms overhead, palms together, elbows slightly bent, shoulders down.
    • Circle torso in clockwise direction — push rib cage toward left hip, then do a half circle to right hip; continue the circle back to start. Do 15 reps.
    • Switch directions and repeat. Do 3 sets.
     
  • Chris Fanning

    Advanced: Double Ballerina

    Targets: Obliques, abs, legs

    • Sit on mat, with legs extended, thighs together, toes pointed, and abs engaged.
    • Lean back, placing forearms on mat, palms flat, fingers forward.
    • Leaving left forearm on mat, raise right arm overhead.
    • As you twist torso to left, lift both legs 45 degrees.
    • Return to center, then lower and repeat to right. Do 20 alternating reps; 3 sets.
  • Chris Fanning

    Advanced: Drop/Arm Lift

    Targets: Arms, abs, obliques, legs

    • Repeat "twist and drop" move (left leg straight and extended, right knee bent, palms on floor).
    • Raise right arm overhead and lift left leg toward right knee; lower.
    • Do 5 leg lifts, then return to start.
    • Switch sides and repeat. Do 12 alternating reps; 3 sets.

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2007.

     

Love it? Share now!

Comments

Loading comments...