Let’s assume by now you realize that your six pack (or lack thereof) is mostly determined by two things – genetics and diet.
Let’s also assume that you understand crunches (or any direct ab training) won’t crunch away fat from your midsection.
However, if your bodyfat is low enough where your abs can be seen, then you most certainly want muscular and defined abs so they pop like a zit on a 16 year old – and that means training your abs with much more than crunches.
Let’s also not forget too many crunches can lead to lower back issues and some extremely tight hip flexors so be sure to incorporate movements to keep (or get) your body into balance regularly.
Three Move Ab Circuit Without Crunches
What follows is a quick, yet brutally effective ab circuit that doesn’t involve crunches.
Aim to perform this circuit at the end of a workout once a week.
Done properly, it will take around 12-15 minutes and your abs will be hammered.
Perform the following circuit three times through with minimal rest (no more than 10-15 seconds) in between exercises and 60-90 seconds in-between circuits.
If you need to work up to three circuits, that’s fine.
Start with one circuit and build from there – Remember - stimulate, don’t annihilate.
#1 – Barbell Roll Out – Up to 12 reps
A traditional wheel is fine, but skip any of those contraptions that help you balance or perform the movement.
We like the old school barbell version where 25 pound plates are used. The height of the barbell seems perfect for this exercise.
The biggest mistake most people make is to push their hips back, which shifts the emphasis off of your abs and makes the exercise easy.
Be sure to push the barbell as hard as you can into the ground to return to the starting position – this helps to maintain proper technique.
#2 – Inchworm – 25-50 feet
These look so easy right? Wrong!
Inchworms can make the best squatter and bencher in the gym beg for mercy!
The key is to try to get your feet a little closer to your hands each rep and to walk your hands out a little further each rep.
Even another inch will add a world of difficulty – and results!
In addition to really challenging your abs, Inchworms are great for hamstring flexibility and shoulder capsule stabilization.
#3 –Ab Slam – 6-8 slams
Be absolutely sure to use a medicine ball that doesn’t bounce or you’ll drill yourself in the face. We guarantee that’s not going to make you or your abs look better.
This is basically a full body ballistic crunch performed while standing, but don’t think of it that way. This is an athletic movement and the ab stimulus simply comes as a result of performing it properly.
When done properly, these look very violent - you may even jump if you generate enough force!
They are not meant to be wimpy ball drops. They are named slams for a reason.
Stick between 6-8 reps in order to maintain high power output.
This is also a great move to incorporate when you’ve had a bad day at work or elsewhere. It really slams out your frustrations!
There you have it, an amazing ab circuit that doesn’t involve crunches – at least the traditional kind!
Big shout out to John “The Renegade” Davies for popularizing the Inchworm and Ab Slam.
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