ab exercises

8 Ab Exercises That Are Better Than Sit-Ups

Get your strongest core yet.

By: Noah Lehava
Photography: Alec Kugler

We can all breathe an audible sigh of relief, because consensus says that doing hundreds of sit-ups (à la Britney Spears circa 2001) isn’t necessarily the most effective or efficient way to work out your core. Or the most exciting. So we caught up with L.A.-based trainer Chase Weber, who counts Naomi Campbell and David Beckham as clients, to switch things up and show us eight core-strengthening moves that reap great results. Follow along with him below.

 


Move #1: Half Russian Twist

“When doing this exercise, you want to use a medicine ball or a dumbbell. For those with back issues, keep your feet on the ground. But if you are able to keep your feet elevated, do so! Take your shoulder to your chin, and reach to the side. Do 15 reps each side on these.”

 


Move #2: Elevated Side Elbow Planks

“This movement doesn’t necessarily need to be on a foam roller, but can be done on a Bosu Ball or stability pad for a similar result. When you [rise] up, make sure that your hips are aligned with your shoulders; stick your chest out, and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Do a 45-second hold on each side.”

 


Move #3: Kneeling Band Trunk Rotations

“Be sure to rotate towards the leg that is elevated. Keep your arms straight, and interlock your fingers on the band. The rotation should be from 12 [o’clock] to 2 [o’clock] and back to 12. The more you get comfortable, the more you can make this movement exponentially harder by raising your back knee two inches off the ground. Do 20 on each side.”

 


Move #4: Plank Kettlebell Pull-Throughs

“Be in a full push-up position with your hips square to the ground. When pulling the kettlebell through, it’s imperative to keep your hips down. With each pull it’s important to breathe—don’t forget that. Do eight on each side.”

 


Move #5: Hollow Rocking Abs

“These are great for working your lower abs. Think of a seesaw—you are essentially rocking on your bottom. With this movement you should really focus on breathing and pushing the belly button back to the spine. Do a set of 20.”

 


Move #6: Lateral Ball Throws

“You can do this movement while kneeling or elevated, like the one I’m showing here. Grab a medicine ball and toss it against the wall while still keeping your balance. You will keep your balance by engaging your core and anchoring down. Side note: Make sure you have your feet underneath you, and don’t get too wide. Do 10 each side.”

 


Move #7: Bosu Ball Knee Crossovers

“Center yourself on the Bosu Ball and simultaneously crunch the knee to the elbow. Make sure that you keep proper form, and keep your knee and your chin tucked. Do 12 on each side.”

 


Move #8: Bosu Knee-Ups!

“When aligning yourself on the Bosu Ball, make sure your bottom is closer to the edge. It’s important that when you lean back, you send your heels down to the ground and keep your toes dorsiflexed. For balance purposes, have your hands to the side of the Bosu to keep yourself centered. I like sets of 25 for these.”

 

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