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These Two Workouts Get You Killer Abs Without a Single Crunch or Plank

Amp up your fitness routine with these two abs strength workouts that will have your core looking on point in no time.

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Two abs strength workouts = Twice the fun

When it comes to abs, everyone wants them, but not everyone wants to do the work. I created two abs strength workouts that should show results within three to four months, when done regularly and with gradual increases in challenge (eg. heavier weight or exercise modification). The reason we do strength training to engage the entire core (not just your abdominals) is for fat loss and getting lean. The two abs strength workouts pair upper and lower body, as well as opposing muscle groups, strategically to get the most out of the workouts. (Just be sure you don’t make this big mistake when doing your abs exercises.) Then the workouts end with an Energy System Development, also known as the “finisher.” This is where you will get in your cardio, which makes these HIIT training.

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 1: Walking lunges

3 sets, 20 reps 

• Holding a weight bar at your shoulders, begin with feet together and prepare to step forward. That step should be just a little longer than your normal walking stride.

• Keep the spine tall and long. Make sure the leading foot is fully planted, a common mistake is the heel lifting off. Drive your leading foot through the ground and stand back up.

• Return to starting position and prepare to step with your other foot.

Lunges are one of the best ways to lose thigh fat, too.

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 1: Bentover squat rows

3 sets, 20 reps 

• Attach a band to something sturdy about knee-pelvis height, or get a partner to hold on for you.

• Sit into a half way squat and hold that position. Walk back until there is appropriate amount of tension in the band. Keep your arms lengthened.

• Maintaining a tall spine, pull your elbows into your ribs, performing a rowing/pulling motion.

• Return to starting position.

Just make sure you’re doing your squats correctly, or else you could hurt yourself.

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 1: Kettlebell lifts

3 sets, 10 reps 

• Hold on to the top of the handle with the kettlebell hanging between your legs. Feet should be shoulder-width apart. Toes either point straight or off slightly to the outside.

• Keeping a tall stiff spine, push your hips backwards until the kettlebell drops to shin level. Knees should be bent.

• Return to starting position.

By the way, using kettlebells to work out is one of the exercises that burn more calories than running.

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 1: Pushups

3 sets, 10 reps

• Begin with your body flat on the floor.

• Press your entire body up until you are at the top plank position. Your body should move as one unit. As opposed to upper body raising, and legs raising afterwards.

• Return to starting position.

Best Health Tip: If you can’t manage a full push up, leave your knees on the ground and press your body above the knee into a plank position. (This is exactly how long you need to hold a full plank to flatten your belly.) 

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 1: Band pallof holds

3 sets, 10 reps

• Attach a band to something sturdy about chest height, or get a partner to hold on for you. Note, it should be the height of your chest while you are kneeling.

• Hold the handle close to your chest in a kneeling position. You should face 90 degrees away from the band, and far enough away where there is appropriate tension. Push the handle up in a straight line until your elbows are straight. The band is going to try to pull you off centre, your goal is to keep in midline to the body.

•  Return to starting position.

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 1: Rowing intervals

250 meters, 3 to 6 sets

• Sitting on the rowing machine, strap your feet into the foot pads.

• Bend your knees, so that your body is close to where the pulley begins, and hold on to the pulley.

• Drive your feet through the pad and pull the handle towards your chest at the same time.

• Return to starting position.

Rowing is one of our favorite workouts that burn the most calories.

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 2: Step-ups, suitcase carry

3 sets, 20 reps

•  Stack a set of steppers up to the height of your knees, and stand in front holding a dumbbell in each hand.

• Begin with the right leg on top of the step.

• Drive your feet through the steps and stand on top of the step. Place your left foot beside the right. Step down with the left leg.

• Return to starting position.

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 2: Bentover squat rows

3 sets, 20 reps 

• Attach a band to something sturdy about knee-pelvis height, or get a partner to hold on for you.

• Sit into a halfway squat and hold that position. Walk back until there is an appropriate amount of tension in the band. Keep your arms lengthened.

• Maintaining a tall spine, pull your elbows into your ribs, performing a rowing/pulling motion.

• Return to starting position.

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 2: TRX rows

3 sets, 10 reps

• Set up the TRX band in an elevated position, usually on a rack or wall hook.

• Holding on to the TRX handles, walk forward and lean back until you are halfway between standing straight and lying down. Keeping the entire body straight, you should be in a plank position.

• Pull your body up to the top by driving elbows back towards the ground.

• Return to starting position.

You might also want to check out these exercises that flatten the belly (that aren’t crunches!).

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 2: Pushups

3 sets, 10 reps

• Begin with your body flat on the floor.

• Press your entire body up until you are at the top plank position. Your body should move as one unit. As opposed to upper body raising, and legs raising afterwards.

• Return to starting position.

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 2: Band pallof presses

3 sets, 10 reps

• Attach a band to something sturdy about chest height, or get a partner to hold on for you. It should be the height of your chest while you are kneeling.

• Hold the handle close to your chest in a kneeling position. You should be facing 90 degrees away from the band, and far enough away where there is appropriate tension.

• Push the handle away from your chest until your elbows are straight. The band is going to try to pull you off center, your goal is to keep in midline to the body.

• Return to starting position.

Here’s what your favorite workout routine says about you.

Abs-workoutCourtesy Alyssa Ball

Abs strength workout 2: Rowing intervals

250 metres, 3 to 6 sets

• Sitting on the rowing machine, strap your feet into the foot pads.

• Bend your knees, so that your body is close to where the pulley begins, and hold on to the pulley.

• Drive your feet through the pad and pull the handle towards your chest at the same time.

• Return to starting position.

Originally Published on Best Health Canada