Add This Crunch-Free Ab Series to Your Gym Routine

Strengthen and tone your core with these five moves.

We’ve got some good news for you: You can strengthen and tone your abs without resorting to boring old crunches. These five moves challenge your balance and stability, while strengthening your core. Add them to your regular gym routine, especially when those abdominal crunches just aren’t doing it for you anymore. (Um, were they ever?)

Complete the entire circuit three times, and use the below playlist to get you through.

Reverse crunch 

Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, palms facing down. Extend your legs straight up and point your toes. Use your core to lift your hips off the floor. Keep your legs straight and perpendicular to the ground. Do 15 reps.

Plank jacks 

Begin in plank position, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet hips-width distance apart. Maintain stability in the upper body, core, and hips while jumping the feet in and out, as if you were doing traditional jumping jacks. Do 20 jacks.

High to low plank 

Start in a high plank position, balancing on your hands. Lower onto your forearms, one arm at a time. Return to your hands to complete one repetition. Do 10 reps, alternating the arm you place down first.

Russian twist with punch 

Sit down and bend your knees. Lift your legs up and bring your shins parallel to the ground. Lean back so that you feel your core engage and your quads and torso form a V shape. Bring your hands into fighting position. Punch your right arm across your body while twisting from the core and dropping your left elbow toward your left hip, then repeat with the other arm. Do 20 twists.

Side lift 

Lie on your right side. Prop yourself up on your right forearm, and place your left arm in front of you for support. Inhale, then on an exhale, lift your legs to balance on your hip. Angle your legs slightly ahead of your hips. Do 10 reps.