14 Ab Workouts That Outshine Crunches

14 Ab exercises That Outshine Crunches
14 Ab exercises That Outshine Crunches

Are you tired of the same old crunches that seem to be as effective as a leaky umbrella in a thunderstorm? If so, you’re in luck! In this article, we’re going to delve into the world of fitness and unveil the 14 ab exercises that are way better than crunches. These exercises will not only help you achieve those coveted six-pack abs but also make your core stronger and more resilient. So, bid farewell to the mundane crunches, and get ready to spice up your ab workout routine!

The Crunch Conundrum

Before we dive into the exciting world of alternative ab exercises, let’s address the elephant in the room – the crunch. For years, crunches were the go-to exercise for sculpting abdominal muscles. But here’s the harsh truth: they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.

The Crunching Reality

The reality is that crunches have their limitations. They primarily target the rectus abdominis, neglecting other essential core muscles. Moreover, performing crunches with poor form can lead to back and neck pain, making them a less-than-ideal choice. So, if you’ve been doing crunches religiously and not seeing the results you desire, it’s time for a change.

The 14 Ab Exercises That Are Way Better Than Crunches

Now, without further ado, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this article – the 14 ab exercises that will revolutionize your core workout routine.

1. Plank It Out

Plank It Out

One of the tried-and-true alternatives to crunches is the plank. This exercise engages multiple muscle groups in your core and helps improve stability. To perform a plank:

  • Start in a push-up position.
  • Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms.
  • Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Hold for as long as you can without sagging in the middle.

2. Russian Twists

Russian Twists

Russian twists are a fantastic way to target your obliques and improve rotational strength.

To do Russian twists:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat.
  • Lean back slightly while keeping your back straight.
  • Hold a weight or a household item in your hands.
  • Twist your torso to the right, then to the left, while balancing on your sit bones.

3. Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a dynamic exercise that not only works your abs but also gets your heart pumping.

Here’s how to do mountain climbers:

  • Start in a plank position.
  • Bring your right knee toward your chest, then switch to the left knee.
  • Continue alternating as if you’re climbing a mountain.

4. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle Crunches

If you’re looking for an exercise that targets your entire core, bicycle crunches are the answer.

To perform bicycle crunches:

  • Lie on your back with your hands behind your head.
  • Lift your head, shoulders, and feet off the ground.
  • Bring your right elbow to your left knee while extending your right leg.
  • Alternate sides in a pedaling motion.

5. Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises is a fantastic exercise to challenge your lower abs.

To execute hanging leg raises:

  • Hang from a pull-up bar with your arms extended.
  • Lift your legs while keeping them straight.
  • Bring them as close to your chest as possible, then lower them back down.

6. Dead Bug

Dead Bug

The dead bug exercise is a quirky name for an effective ab workout.

Here’s how to do the dead bug:

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling.
  • Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.
  • Lower your right arm and left leg toward the ground while keeping your lower back pressed against the floor.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

7. Side Planks

Side Planks

Side planks are excellent for targeting your obliques and improving lateral stability.

To perform side planks:

  • Lie on your side with your elbow directly under your shoulder.
  • Lift your hips off the ground, forming a straight line from head to heels.
  • Hold for as long as you can on each side.

8. Swiss Ball Rollouts

Swiss Ball Rollouts

Swiss ball rollouts are a fun and challenging exercise that engages your entire core.

Here’s how to do Swiss ball rollouts:

  • Kneel on the ground with a Swiss ball in front of you.
  • Place your forearms on the ball and roll it forward while extending your body.
  • Roll back to the starting position using your core muscles.

9. Turkish Get-Up

Turkish Get-Up

The Turkish get-up is a full-body exercise that includes a significant ab component.

To execute a Turkish get-up:

  • Lie on your back with a kettlebell or dumbbell in your right hand.
  • Bend your right knee and place your right foot flat on the ground.
  • Use your left hand to push yourself into a sitting position.
  • Stand up while keeping the weight extended overhead.
  • Reverse the movements to return to the starting position.

10. Medicine Ball Slams

Medicine Ball Slams

Medicine ball slams are not only a great ab exercise but also a fantastic way to release pent-up stress.

Here’s how to perform medicine ball slams:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a medicine ball overhead.
  • Slam the ball to the ground as hard as you can.
  • Catch the ball on the bounce and repeat.

11. Hollow Body Hold

Hollow Body Hold

The hollow body hold is a gymnastic-inspired exercise that challenges your core stability.

To do a hollow body hold:

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended overhead.
  • Lift your head, shoulders, and feet off the ground, forming a shallow “U” shape.
  • Hold for as long as you can while maintaining proper form.

12. L-sits


L-sits are a calisthenics exercise that targets your core and requires both strength and balance.

To perform L-sits:

  • Sit on the ground with your legs extended and your hands placed beside your hips.
  • Lift your body off the ground, keeping your legs straight.
  • Hold your legs parallel to the ground, forming an “L” shape.

13. Kettlebell Windmills

Kettlebell Windmills

Kettlebell windmills are an excellent exercise for improving core and shoulder mobility.

Here’s how to do kettlebell windmills:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a kettlebell in your right hand overhead.
  • Keeping your arm extended, hinge at your hips and lower your torso to the left.
  • Return to the upright position and repeat on the other side.

14. Reverse Crunches

Reverse Crunches

Let’s wrap up our list with a twist on the traditional crunch – reverse crunches.

To perform reverse crunches:

  • Lie on your back with your hands by your sides.
  • Bend your knees and lift them toward your chest.
  • Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your lower abs.
  • Lower your hips back down and repeat.


In conclusion, if you’ve been stuck in the crunch rut, it’s time to break free and explore these 14 ab exercises that are way better than crunches. By incorporating these diverse exercises into your fitness routine, you’ll not only sculpt your abs but also strengthen your core from all angles. Remember, fitness is a journey, and it’s essential to keep challenging yourself with new and effective exercises. So, bid farewell to those mundane crunches and say hello to a stronger, more defined core. Your six-pack is waiting!