It’s important to note that crunches are effective as the motion activates about 6 different muscle groups, according to Shape Magazine, but they shouldn’t be the only tool in your workout arsenal. If you’re looking for a little more variety, try one of these exercises instead:
Place your forearms on the ground, with their legs stretched behind them (toes down) and push up. Hold for as long as possible.
If you really want to feel the burn, the traditional plank is a good start.
If you’re not quite ready for this, try the same position on a ball. It’s a little less pressure, but it still works well.
The dead bug
Bonus points for whoever came up with the creepy name. This exercise looks simple, but you’ll definitely feel the burn in your abdominals. Lie on your back, with your hands extended straight above you (towards the ceiling). Lift your knees to a 90-degree angle. Breathe out and flatten your back to the floor and squeeze your glutes. (This is your starting position).
Straighten one leg out, and hold it steady just above the ground. (Make sure to keep your back flat) and return to your starting position. Alternate sides until you complete a set.
Alternate arm and leg raise
You’ll get a little balance practice while you work out your abs with this move! Starting on all fours, make sure you are steady, before lifting your left arm straight in front of you. Hold. At the same time, extend right leg backward. Repeat on each side until you complete your sets. Tip: Look at the floor to ease pressure on your neck.
Lying flat on your back, extend your legs in front of you, heels just above the ground. Place your arms behind your head and lift your abs up, like partial crunch. This is your starting position. To do the exercise, alternate lifting each leg and lowering it back to the same position (not touching the ground).
This multi-purpose exercise will work your abs, legs, and back. Grab a dumbbell and hold it by one of the belled ends with both hands. Hold the dumbbell close to your body. Put your feet about hip-width apart and squat down as far as you can go. Your elbows should fall in between your knees. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Pike to Superman
Get into a pushup position and slide a stability ball under your ankles/shins, then adjust so your toes are standing on the ball. Bend your hips and roll the ball forward so your body is vertical to the ground (you’ll look like Superman flying downwards), then roll the ball backward again. Repeat.