5 Exercises for Strong, Gorgeous Abs -- No Crunches Necessary

This isn't just a vanity thing. Your abs are the main support system for your spine and the place where almost all movement in your body is initiated. With these easy core exercises, you have no more excuses for weak abs (8 Photos)

Melissa Hendricks on Nov 26, 2012 at 5:45PM

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5 Exercises for Strong, Gorgeous Abs -- No Crunches Necessary

Kenneth Baehr-Photographer

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Skip the Crunches

Many people believe that doing crunches will give them tight, strong abdominals. However, if you think about your everyday movements, there are very few instances during the day when you are actually “crunching.” There are, however, many moments when you are sitting, standing, or moving, and when your abdominal muscles are working to simply hold you upright. Because of this, exercises that allow you to work your abdominals isometrically (by holding a contraction for a period of time) are the most beneficial.

It is also important to work your oblique muscles (the ones on the side of your body that allow you to twist from side to side and turn in a different direction). Practicing exercises to mimic this twisting motion will help you perform everyday activities with greater strength and fewer injuries.

Remember to rest your abdominals between workouts, just like when you’re training any other muscle group. Allow at least one day in between abdominal workouts for your muscles to rebuild and recover.

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