7 Exercises for Abs that Don’t Require a Single Crunch!

Spring is here, which means every magazine headline is touting the latest way to “get that 6 pack for the beach!” in the coming months. We’ve read all of the headlines before, and it’s nothing new to read that we are “counting down to bikini season” with the masses.

If you’ve followed plans before that had you crunching and crunching until you couldn’t move your neck, or had you bored out of your mind because it was the same 2-3 exercises on repeat, then look no further…I’ve got 7 solid exercises for abs that don’t involve a single crunch!

A strong core is developed from being challenged in a number of ways, from all angles and more. As for me and with ALL things fitness, I always have fun, and for me, variety has been key to keeping my mind engaged, my body constantly challenged and getting those results.

Here are 7 of my favorite exercises that will help strengthen, tighten, and chisel the lean, defined abs you’ve always wanted:

Plank- yes, perhaps one of the most basis exercises of them all, but I love them! Why? Because there are SO many different variations of the plank that you’ll never get bored adding them in to your session. Also, while holding a plank position of any kind challenges your core all around, you’re also engaging your upper body (think arms, chest, shoulders) and getting in a bit of a bonus workout doesn’t hurt, right?

My fave types of planks: side planks, one arm planks (alternating each arm with a slight 2-3 second hold in each rep), starfish plank, one arm/one leg plank, plank up downs, plank punches and more! I could seriously write a list of JUST planks, but perhaps I should save that for another workout, hmm?

Pike or knee tuck on the ball

Mt climbers using the TRX (let’s kick the challenge to our cores up a notch from the regular mt climbers, and throw your feet into the TRX handles to really feel the burn)

Overhead med ball slam

Knee tucks or knee pikes using the sliders

Hanging knee raises- another basic one that’s often overlooked

KB Windmill- select a weight that’s not too heavy, but that will still leave you challenged with a rep range of 15-20. Perform all reps on one side, then switch to the other. Repeat!


There are TONS of ways to constantly challenge your core and sculpt your abs without having to do boring crunches all of the time. Switch it up, mix and match the exercises listed here with some that you already do, and results are just workouts away!  plank