Getting down on the floor and completing a bunch of crunches, for me, is not fun. If it’s fun for you – keep up the hard work! If you dislike it as much as I do, but you want to strengthen those ab muscles, try some of these creative ideas. For additional creative ideas about exercise, checkout 20 Creative Ways to Get Exercise.
1. Flex it. This one isn’t that creative, but it’s important to remind yourself that you have control over your muscles, and you can work them any time you want! Whether your driving, watching television, or at the computer. You can tighten those abs as hard as you want, for as long as you want, as often as you want. That’s a pretty obvious and easy way to work your abs!
2. Dance. Whether you’re home alone, with a partner, or out at the dance clubs. Move those hips side to side while thinking about your abs, move your but front and back while thinking about your abs. See how many dance moves you can do while using your abs. Dancing is fun and you can do it any time that you’re home.
3. Sit and Stand up Straight. Forcing yourself to have good posture will include pulling those abs in. Plus it makes you look good. Two benefits out of one easy thing. So go ahead, sit up straight – just like your mom has been telling you to do your whole life!
4. Replace your recliner with an Exercise Ball. You know what I’m talking about – one of those giant balls. You know you secretly think they’re a lot of fun. So push your recliner to the side (or out to the garage) and use your ball! You can find plenty of ways to work those abs while your enjoying television or a good movie.
5. Push Ups. Yes, push ups work your chest and shoulders, but they also work your “core” aka your abs! Don’t believe me, get in the push up position, and go down. Now hold it for as long as you can. Feel something in your abs? I thought so. Why are push ups a creative alternative to crunches when you still have to get down on the floor? (because you’re working a BUNCH of muscles out at once, not just your abs)
6. Twist and Punch. I get this one from that intense Tae Bo guy, Billy Blanks. Go into a squat and start punching to the opposite side of your body, but still forward. Use your abs to turn your body. You should be making an “X” with your arms, as your right fist punches left, and your left punches right. Why is this one good? Again, because you’re working multiple muscles: abs, arms, legs. More bang for your buck!
7. Squat and Lean. I got this one from a Pilates/Yoga instructor in college. Get into the squat position, and put your hands on your head. Now lean your upper body to the side, bringing your elbow towards the ground. The lower you go, the harder the workout for your abs. Now do the other side.
8. Colon cleanse. This doesn’t exactly work your abs, but it’s a good way to flatten your abs. The average person carries about 5 pounds of excess weight in their colon. Pretty disgusting, I know. For the visual, I like to pick up my 5 pound hand weight and imagine that stuck in my colon. Gross. If you clean that junk out (which is sitting right under your abs) your abs will look flatter. Plus, you’ll be healthier!
9. Skip the gadgets. Save your money and don’t buy those silly ab gadgets that promise to get you flat abs. The reason they work is because they get you to actually exercise. If you can get yourself to exercise and work your muscles, you will get the same results. Put that money towards something more useful, like #8.
Here’s some good resources:
Get Fab Abs (without crunches) Shows some standing exercises to work your abs, with pictures!
Better Abs without crunches includes some more hard core workout moves, but it’ll work!
Good luck, and I hope you start working those abs (without getting on the floor!).