Looking for the ultimate core workout to sculpt summer abs? Start now with these crunch-free abdominal exercises designed to tone your waistline. You’ll have beach-ready abs in no time!
Get Summer Abs Without the Crunch
We’ve all heard the phrase, “abs are made in the kitchen.” And while that may be true, it’s also important to mix in abdominal exercises that train the deep muscles of the midsection—the transversus abdominis (TA).
Doing 100s of crunches doesn’t quite cut it. To target those deep muscles of the TA, you must train your ab muscles properly. Proper nutrition mixed with exercises that pull your abs up and in as you work them from all angles is the trick to a flatter belly. Here are three effective abdominal exercises to add to your training regimen. No crunches required!
#1 Toe Taps
Nothing says summer like a six-pack! Sculpt your core with this easy and effective exercise you can do from anywhere. Toe taps target the deep muscles of your lower abdominal region.
- Lie faceup with your feet off the floor and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Lower your toes to the ground and touch them briefly to the floor (keep the 90-degree angle at the knees). Ensure your lower back is pressed to the floor at all times. If you struggle to keep your lower back pressed to the floor, place your hands under your glutes to relieve tension.
- Slowly bring your feet and knees to the original start position and keep repeating until time expires or reps are completed.
Tip: To increase the difficulty level, at the top of the movement, raise your tailbone/hips off of the ground and then lower back down slowly.
#2 Knee Tucks
Look and feel your best all summer long! Knee tucks are an extremely effective Pilates-based core exercise, working both the upper and lower abdominal muscles. If performed correctly, knee tucks are ideal for building deep core strength.
- Sit up at a 45-degree angle with your hands placed directly behind your outer hips for balance.
- Straighten your legs and raise them off the ground until they are parallel with the floor. Keep your heels together and toes pointed upward.
- Pull your knees into your chest while keeping your chest open, shoulders back, elbows wide and hands on the ground. Your hand placement should provide stability for the movement.
- Extend your knees and straighten your legs to the original start position. Keep repeating until time expires or reps are completed.
Tip: To increase the difficulty, lie flat on your mat with your legs extended. Raise your legs off the ground approximately 2 inches and place your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows wide. From this position, bring your knees towards your chest and your elbows towards your knees to meet at the centerline of the body. Touch your elbows to your knees and return to the start position.
#3 Side Plank Crunches
Now, it’s time to focus on your obliques for the beach! While “crunch” is associated with the name of this exercise, this move is nothing like the normal (and boring) crunches you’re accustomed to. Planks are one of the best bodyweight exercises you can do for your core. Add this advanced move to your workout routine to reap all the benefits of planks, plus the extra contraction of your obliques to develop deep core strength.
- Raise yourself up into a right side plank with your feet stacked (left foot on top of right) and right forearm on the ground (right shoulder and elbow stacked). Your body should be in a straight line and your hips should be raised off the floor. Extend your left arm above your head, parallel to the floor.
- Bend your left knee and bring it towards your midsection. At the same time, crunch your left elbow to meet your left knee.
- Return to the start position by straightening your left leg and placing it gently on top of your right and extending your left arm above your head. Repeat until time has expired or reps are completed. Then, switch sides.
Tip: For an easier variation, place your left leg on the ground in front of your bottom (right) leg. Pull your left elbow and left knee together, so they crunch right above your hips. Lengthen your left arm and left leg to the start position and repeat. Then, switch sides.
If you’re new to fitness or just starting back up, start with 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps for each exercise. Add more sets or reps each week.
Break an Occasionally Sweat?
If you’ve been working out 1-2 times a week, shoot for 3 sets of 12-15 reps for each exercise. Add more sets and reps as the weeks progress.
If you work out 3 or more times per week, go for 3 to 4 sets of 20-25 reps for each exercise. Keep challenging yourself week after week by adding additional sets and reps.
More Tips for Beach-Ready Abs
- Add HIIT training to your workout routine to burn more calories in less time.
- Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 liters of water each day.
- Eat nutrient-dense foods and try to limit fried foods and sweets from your diet.
- Intake lots of fruits, veggies and lean sources of protein.
- Incorporate 2-3 full-body workouts into your weekly training regime.
Looking for a complete core program? Try our ab sculpting Six-Pack fitness program in the Gymondo app. In just five weeks, you’ll comprehensively train all of your core muscles to produce a perfectly sculpted six-pack