I have many personal training clients that find crunches very uncomfortable to do. Try these exercises to flatten your abs without doing crunches.
I would like to share with you a few exercises that will help you flatten your abs without doing crunches. There are a few exercises I do all the time on a fitness ball. The ball is very inexpensive and easy to use in your home.
If you don’t already own a fitness ball, then it should be your first purchase! There are so many ab exercises to do on the ball.
First, it is really important that you use the correct size ball while practicing the exercises. If you do use the wrong size, then your alignment will be off and you could get injured. This post includes affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my disclosure policy here.
I have used and bought several different brands of fitness balls. I truly like the balls that are thicker, tougher material because they feel much more supportive when working on them. The thinner ones are ok, and are probably cheaper but they don’t feel as supportive. For my clients that are already apprehensive balancing on a ball, it can be a negative experience for them. I recommend SPRI products. They are very durable and supportive.
Okay, so now we can get into the good stuff!
Plank with 1 Leg Balance:
Kneeling on the floor and pressing the front of your body on the ball, roll forward and walk your hands out with the rest of your body on top of the ball now. If you are familiar with plank, you are going to be in plank position on top of the ball. The really neat thing about using the ball is that you can choose your level of difficulty. If you roll out only to your knees on the ball then that would be a nice beginning level. If you roll out to your ankles then that would be an advanced level. Anything in-between is great too. Now that you are in the plank of your choice, begin to lift one leg off of the ball and balance. Try to balance on each side for 10 seconds or longer 2 times.
Bridge with Lateral Raise:
Start sitting up on the ball and light dumbbells resting on your hips. Slowly, roll out (face up) into a bridge position. In bridge position, your upper back, neck, and head are resting on the ball while the rest of your body is like a table. Your feet are right beneath your knees (90-degree angle). Once you are in bridge position then straighten your arms up, in-line with your ears. Move your arms from the starting position straight down towards your quads. Then bring them overhead again. Repeat for 1 to 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
Fitness Ball Woodchop:
Start standing with fitness ball in hands and arms extended in front of you. Lift the ball overhead twisting your torso to the right and allow the left foot to pivot to the right (do not lift the foot off of the ground). Move the ball from overhead across the front side of the body, in a diagonal line, over to the left hip. Torso and legs pivot to the left and knees will bend in this position. Repeat 1 to 2 sets of 10 repetitions. Try repeating the same exercise from overhead left to right hip. 1 to 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
If you like these three ball exercises, there are plenty more to try. The fitness ball provides balance and strength training.