Situps suck. Crunches are no different. First of all, they’re too easy. I used to do 100’s of situps in Karate. It was a piece of cake. I was just moving my body up and down. What you really need to train your abs is more difficult variations.
Second, they don’t strengthen your core. To really strengthen your core you need to perform stability-type movements. So, do movements that:
- Involve a stability ball
- Include placing your body in a pushup position
- Have you contracting your abs from a hanging position
Finally, situps hurt your lower back. This has been proven by study after study that situps and crunches damage your lower back. So why are we still doing them? Here are 7 alternative exercises to situps:
Stability Ball Jacknife
The stability ball jacknife is one a beginner abdominal movement that will teach you how to train abs properly. The movement targets your entire abdominal region, including your lower and upper abs.
Stability Ball Rollout
You’ve probably seen this movement with an ab roller. You can do the same movement with a stability ball. With this movement you will feel your entire abdominal wall stretching with each repetition.
Hanging leg Raise
The hanging leg raise is a brutal lower body movement. The idea is to keep your legs perfectly straight through the entire movement. You can do them by hanging off a pullup bar, or by using a special apparatus.
Stability Ball Plank with Leg Raise
This variation of the stability ball plank takes the original to a different level. By raising one leg off the floor, you place greater stress on your abdominals, hence working them twice as hard. Beginners should start off with regular stability ball planks.
Stability Ball Side Plank
To target your obliques, you can take a stability ball and place it up against a wall. I personally like to place it on top of a tire to hold it steady. If you are unable to maintain balance, then simply perform regular side planks.
If the stability ball version was too hard, then perform regular side planks. Side planks on their own are a brutal movement, and will accomplish the same thing as the stability ball side plank. However, make sure you focus on diet and interval training to really blast off the fat off the side.
Stability Ball Jackknife/Pike Ups w/ Pushups
This is a super tough movement that allows you to train your upper body and abs at the same time. Between each set of jacknives or pike ups, perform a pushups. The pushups themselves do a great job of working your abs.
End your reliance on situps and crunches!