How to Work Your Abs Without Crunches!

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Question: Due to a medical condition I am unable to do abdominal exercises like crunches or reverse crunches. What can I do to tighten my abs and make them stronger ?
Answer: While crunches and reverse crunches are useful for working the abdominals they are not the only exercises which work. The plank, which is done by assuming the push-up position but resting on your forearms instead of your hands, is an excellent method to strengthen not only your abs but your entire core. Once you are in position, maintain your body posture with your back in a straight line and hold it for 20 to 30 seconds. If you place the plank in a circuit of exercises or in a tandem pairing with another exercise you can get a good ab workout. Increase the duration of your plank every week and work up to a minute of holding the position.
Most free-weight exercises which are performed in a standing position will work your core and abs indirectly as well. Standing squat/press with dumbells, squats, deadlifts, pushups, cleans, all work your core. Another exercise that requires your abs to contract is triceps pressdowns. You have to tighten your core to stabilize your body position during the exercise.
There are numerous options for your training your abs including variations of the plank like side planks that work your intercostals and obliques indirectly.
Use these exercises and stabilize your body’s central core muscles.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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