Abdominal Exercises Other Than Crunches & Sit-ups

Nowadays, crunches and sit-ups are often called, by exercise enthusiasts, old techniques to bring out the shape of the abs. These are often called overrated exercises, and there are several other exercises that could offer the same or better results than these two.

Practical word is that, many people face inconvenience and sprain on their back, while performing these two exercises. However, it’s not that they don’t work; they are good for the abdominal muscles but people nowadays don’t enjoy doing them much.

So, some people have opted for other exercises involving the abdominal muscles. Some of these other exercises are given below. See if you’re at an advantage with these.

Side Bends

Side bends are great exercises to work on abdominal muscles, especially on the obliques. You may do this exercise with weights, or without, and/or while sitting down or standing up. Stand straight with the legs, shoulder width apart and both hands freely hanging by the side.

If you want weights involved, have the dumbbells in your hands. Now lift the left hand, from side and let it slowly drop on the right side, over your head. While doing this bend your upper body towards the right. You’ll notice a pressure and tension on the sides.

Leg raise

This is a very good exercise to work on the lower abdominal muscles. Lie down straight on your back, with your legs stretched out and your hands on your sides,the palms down-faced. Slowly, as you exhale and contract the abdominal muscles, lift up the legs in unison, as much possible.

Then bring them down to the height where they are about 2 inches away from the floor. Stay in the position for a few seconds and rest down. Do a repetition of 10-12 and a set of 3.

Leg Lift

It is highly similar to Leg raise. Lie down in the same posture as the Leg raise; then, slowly lift the legs to a height of 2 inches above the floor. Keep the posture for a few seconds, and then release and go back to original form.

Photo Credit: bemingled.com

Inclined Plane

This is one fun exercise. If you have an exercise ball with you, it’s best to use it; or else you can do with a chair too. Lie down straight on your back, hands by your side, palms facing the floor. Have your legs, the ankle part on the foot, on the ball/ platform.

Now, slowly, while exhaling, contract your abdominal muscles and lift the lower body up, so that the body forms a straight inclined plane. Your shoulder plates and head should not move.

Keep the position for a while, and slowly descend. Remember that you should not be pushing your body up with the help of the hands, but your abdominal muscles. Repeat for 8-10 times, and a set of 3.


Get to a push-up position, with the legs shoulder width apart, and your back straight. Now, while exhaling, contract the abdominal muscles and bring one leg’s knee towards the other hand’s elbow. Stay in the posture for a while, then go back to original position. Perform the same routine with the other leg.

Repeat for 7-8 times, for each leg and set of 3.Abdominal exercises are nothing but putting high resistance on these muscles, so innovate and surprise yourself.