Tone your abs on a mat: 5 moves better than crunches

Tone your abs on a mat: 5 moves better than crunches

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The mat is a great place to sculpt sexy abs. What’s not so great? Only doing crunches which utilize just a portion of your core muscles to tone up. So we put together five intense and efficient core-strengthening moves that target all the regions of your abs. Here’s how to torch calories and cinch your waistline, no crunches required. 

Weighted Russian Twist
With both hands, hold the ends of a dumbbell, the sides of a weight plate, or a medicine ball. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Hold your arms straight out in front of your chest with your palms together. Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor (A). Brace your core, and rotate your torso to the right as far as you can (B). Rotate to the left as far as you can (C). Return to the starting position. That’s one rep.

Modified V-Up 
Lie faceup on the floor with your legs straight and your arms at your sides (A). In one movement, quickly lift your torso into an upright position as you pull your knees to your chest (B). Lower your body back to the starting position. That’s one rep.

Foam Roller Reverse Crunch with Dumbbell
Lie faceup on the floor and hold a foam roller between the backs of your ankles and thighs. The fronts of your thighs should be facing your chest. Grasp a heavy dumbbell that’s set on the floor behind you (A). Raise your hips and bring your knees to your chest (B). Return to the starting position. That’s one rep.

Foam Roller Reverse Crunch with Dumbbell
Lie faceup on the floor and hold a foam roller between the backs of your ankles and thighs. The fronts of your thighs should be facing your chest. Grasp a heavy dumbbell that’s set on the floor behind you (A). Raise your hips and bring your knees to your chest (B). Return to the starting position. That’s one rep.

McGill Curlup
Lie faceup on the floor with your right leg straight and flat on the floor. Your left knee should be bent, and your left food flat. Place your palms on the floor underneath the natural arch in your lower back. (Don’t flatten your back) (A). Slowly raise your head and shoulders off the floor without bending your lower back and hold this position for 7 or 8 seconds, breathing deeply the entire time (B). That’s one rep. Complete the prescribed number of reps, then do the same number with your left leg straight and your right bent.

womens health mag