Get the Basics...
  • Shake up your workout routine with these six variations of a basic crunch!
  • Use a mix of mobile equipment, machines, and your body weight.
  • Get stronger abs and obliques.

If you want to strengthen your core, ab workouts are the way to go. But if you get bored with basic sit-ups or crunches, don’t despair! Add some workout flair with six different twists on a basic crunch. With these variations, your core will get the deeper, well-rounded workouts it craves. Plus, the excitement of trying something new will keep you motivated to reach those ab goals!

 
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#1 – Weighted Crunch

The weighted crunch uses a weight plate to work your abs. You can perform this exercise by holding the plate on your chest while you move into crunch mode, or you can lift it above your head instead. Either way will get the job done, but the following video demonstrates the latter:

 

#2 – Swiss Ball Crunch

In a swiss ball crunch, you do a crunch on a fitness ball. Not only are you focused on crunching, but you also have to stabilize yourself on the ball, which contracts your abs from all angles.

 

#3 – Weighted Swiss Ball Crunch

To kick things into extra-high gear, you can combine this exercise with the previous one for a weighted swiss ball crunch. You can hold a weight plate, dumbbell, or medicine ball — it doesn’t matter, as long as you carry some extra pounds. I guarantee you’ll feel this one the next morning!

 

#4 – Decline Crunch

For the decline crunch, you’ll need access to a decline bench. Lying down at a decline will create more resistance as you propel your upper body into the crunch position. For each rep, be sure not to touch your shoulders all the way down.

 

#5 – Cable Crunch

Using resistance from a gym’s weighted cable machine, the cable crunch will give you some deep ab work. Be careful to position your neck, back, and hips just right, so as not to cause any unwanted strain!

 

#6 – Oblique Crunch

When working the core, it’s important not to forget your obliques, which are the muscles located on either side of your abs. Round out your ab workouts with the oblique crunch, remembering to switch sides so that both your right and left obliques get equal attention.

 
Track your ab progress and more when you sign up for our PRO Annual Plan. With our advanced stats in a convenient app, it’s never been easier to stay motivated and meet your fitness goals!