When you’re trying to get physically fit, there’s that one part of the whole body that’s the most stubborn, hard to tone, and keep in shape: The abdominals (aka abs).
Not only that, most people who aren’t the biggest fitness buffs will tell you that ab exercises (crunches and sit-ups, in particular) are kind of difficult and not really that fun to do. Unfortunately, those chiseled, firm, and head-turning type of abs don’t just appear by themselves. You have to work for them.
The good news is that you can get great-looking, enviable abs without doing all the neck-straining, slow fat-shredding crunches that you probably think you need for your regular workout. Remember, fitness is supposed to fit YOU, not the other way around.
This mantra is what the TRU Muscle lifestyle is all about. We’re here to customize YOUR goals.
People tend to shy away from developing a fitness regimen because they think it isn’t fun. Have no fear, help is here. Check out these three fun ab exercises that are cool, comfortable, and work better than crunches do.
1. Perform circular movements over your head with a medicine ball.
To do this workout correctly, you start with setting your feet as far apart as your hips are from your body. Keep your spine in a neutral position. Lift a medicine ball over your head that weighs about five to eight pounds. Then circle the ball eight times to the right making the largest circles you can.
While doing this, keep your body still and at rest from the waist up. Repeat the eight circular motions to the left next. Do three sets of left and right circular motions holding the medicine ball above the head for a full ab workout.
2. Do the Leaning Camel workout.
Performing the Leaning Camel workout requires you to stand on your knees. If needed, make sure you’re kneeling on a mat or a cushioned surface to avoid pain. Your toes should be tucked and your thighs should be lateral prior to doing this workout. After that, hold a five to eight pound dumbbell with both of your hands while resting them on your chest area.
Breath in deeply and as you’re breathing out, use the muscles in your quadriceps to bend your upper body backwards. You have to keep your upper body in a straight position, so don’t arch your back as you’re bending. As you’re inhaling, return your upper body to the upright starting position.
Do three sets of fifteen of these motions for a complete Camel workout routine.
3. Exercise with a rollout ab ball.
The spherical shape of a rollout ball can really enhance your ab workout. To start, place the palms of your hand on the ball and stand with your legs around three feet away from each other. Roll the ball out and make sure your back is straight. Also, keep your hips and ankles lined up straight with one another. Then, lean your body forward and let the ball roll down on your forearms.
Once the ball reaches your elbows, stop rolling once you’re on the tip of your toes. Using the muscles in your core and legs, move your body rolling ball back to the position you started with. Be sure to keep your ab muscles locked in during this whole workout. Perform three sets of about 12-15 reps for this exercise.
If you think of ab exercises and crunches like you think about food, crunches are like an additive you have after a meal, like desert. Crunches are not really a main course because doing them doesn’t burn as many calories as other exercises. Also, you don’t have to do them every day. Remember, when you’re trying to shred fat, you must burn calories. These three exercises are great calorie-burning activities.
Finally, keep in mind that you also have to live a healthy lifestyle to accommodate your workout routine. If you’re drinking 12-packs of beer in one sitting after a good day at the gym, you’re defeating a great purpose. Surround yourself with people who will keep you motivated and on point. Forget the turn-up. The pump-up is real with the TRU Muscle lifestyle. You have to train to live in shape. Health is wealth, peeps.