Using alternatives to crunches instead of crunches will protect your spine and help you get better core muscles.
Whether you are trying to get 6 pack abs or you simply want a strong core, you should know the best alternatives to crunches so you don’t think that this well-known exercise (crunches) is the best exercise for your abdominal muscles. Although they are one of the most basic core exercises, crunches are an overrated exercise and can actually cause injuries as well as they can help you get a better core.
According to a study published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal,
“The abdominal crunch is a well-known exercise performed by general and athletic populations for the purported benefits of improving fitness attributes, sport performance, and core muscle function. Despite the benefits, participation may increase one’s risk for low back pain.”
Fortunately, there are many alternatives to crunches which you can easily use in any of your workout programs.
The Best Exercises to Do Instead of Crunches
Here are the best alternatives to crunches, which can help you get a stronger and healthier core!
1.) Forearm Plank
If you want to directly target your “abs” or core, the forearm plank is the best alternative to crunches. Unlike sit-ups and crunches, the forearm plank activates both your anterior and posterior chain of muscles. Due to this, more muscles are developed, and you can obtain a flat stomach quicker!
The forearm plank also increases your full body strength more, which can substantially help you in your other exercises.
If you can’t do pull-ups, it will be very difficult to have a flat and toned stomach. Not only are pull-ups an incredible exercise for your abdominal muscles and upper body, but they are also a test of your strength -to-bodyweight relationship.
The stronger your body compared to your bodyweight is, the more likely you will be able to develop a flat stomach easily.
Even if you can only do one pull-up at a time, beginning to master this exercise is one of the simplest ways to work towards a flat stomach!
Pull-ups are one of the very best alternatives for crunches because it helps you build a strong core and also helps improve many other muscle groups at the same time.
3.) Glute Bridges
Not only do glute bridges help you sculpt your posterior chain, they are also an excellent exercise to do instead of crunches for developing a flat stomach. The main benefit of using glute bridges is that they build strength and improve posture in your posterior chain muscles, which reduces the appearance of your stomach
Overtime, this additional muscle development and posture will sculpt your stomach muscles!
There are also many challenging glute brdige variations, such as the physio ball glute bridge or the single leg glute bridge.
There are many different types of lunge variations, and all of them are excellent for helping develop a flat stomach. However, most people should start with the traditional forward or reverse lunge.
Lunges are excellent for a flat stomach because they stimulate your entire lower body, and they work your oblique muscles more than other lower body or core exercises.
Check out this video to view a few of the more challenging reverse lunge variations!
Push-ups are undoubtedly going to increase your core strength, and they are a great exercise to do instead of crunches. Although they are a simple bodyweight exercise, you need to go slow with push-ups. Start with a warm-up exercise and then move on to push-ups.
Practice 10 push-ups to start with, and then you can increase the number when you feel that you are comfortable.
6.) Mountain Climbers
The mountain climber exercise is a combination of cardio and strength that will help you with a strong core. You can start slowly with this exercise and increase the intensity once you feel comfortable.
For a more significant challenge, try doing TRX Mountain Climbers, or other TRX Mountain Climber variations like this video:
The deadlift is another exercise that can help you strengthen your muscles. If you have not done this exercise before, begin without any weight and then practice it with weight. Once you feel comfortable, you can practice this in your daily workout.
The deadlift is one of the best posterior chain exercises, and this exercise is much more natural than crunches.
There are many deadlift variations, including:
- Conventional Deadlift
- Trap-Bar Deadlift
- Snatch Grip Deadlift
- Sumo Deadlift
- Dumbbell Deadlift
8.) Battle Rope Exercises
If you are looking for a dynamic alternative to crunches that will help you get an awesome core, battle ropes will give you an excellent workout to challenge your body! Battle ropes have many unique benefits, and you will surely be surprised how difficult of a training tool this is to master!
Battle ropes have the ability to condition your body, strengthen an immense amount of muscles in your body, and be used in a wide variety of unique ways.
Battle ropes provide a dynamic dual force effect, which makes use of the force of gravity and the force that is created by the rope waves. Not only does this type of training amplify benefits with time, but it also improves all human systems physiological response.
When you do battle rope exercises the strength and the endurance of your grip increases, as your ability to produce higher force in your waves increases.
As your waves increase in speed, size, distance and duration, they also increase the force through the rope- which requires a stronger grip to prevent the rope from slipping out of your hands. Basically, the better you get with using the battle ropes; the harder it becomes for your body to use them.
One of the best reasons to use battle ropes is because battle ropes are easy to carry around, unlike many other types of work out equipment that is difficult and bulky to move.
You can easily store battle ropes in a duffel bag, especially since even the biggest size of battle ropes is about 30 lbs.
With battle ropes, you can comfortably put them into your carry-on bag and take them with you to various locations where you can work out while enjoying the natural environment.
Having a battle rope when you get to the beach is an amazing way to work out while enjoying the view!
In my opinion, the best battle rope workout is the Tabata Interval Protocol. The Tabata Interval Protocol involves 8 rounds of 20-seconds of maximum effort repetition, followed by 10-seconds of rest. This intense battle rope workout is my favorite way to burn calories fast!
For those looking for innovative ways to build muscles, battle rope training will provide you with such an opportunity, and it serves those who want to change their work out routine and still maintain or increase their level of fitness.
Battle ropes create forces and tension from angles that are much harder to achieve with basic weight training.
By confusing and surprising your muscles with a new workout, battle ropes help your muscles to make new gains and improvements.
11.) Squat and Press
The squat and press is a great exercise for building muscle mass, improving your conditioning, and getting a flat stomach. Because of how well it works your core muscles and increases your metabolism, it is definitely one of the best alternatives to crunches!
Here is a video demonstration for you:
10.) Goblet Squats
Goblet squats are generally known as a lower body exercise, but they are a fantastic core exercise as well. Holding a heavyweight in a “goblet” position will strengthen both your core and your upper back.
If you want to challenge yourself, even more, you can try doing goblet squats on a BOSU Ball, like in this video:
Concluding Thoughts – Alternatives for Crunches
If you are trying to get six pack abs or a stronger core, there are a lot of alternatives for crunches that are more worth your time. Personally, I have not done crunches at all in years.
Along with the exercises listed above, I also suggest that you use the best supplement for muscle growth for positive results.
If you choose to use these alternatives to crunches instead of crunches, I am confident you will notice the results are much better!