Hard Core Workout

The Essential Abdominal Exercise

Crunch your way to a killer midsection, with the help of this underappreciated abdominal exercise.

No-crunch abs! Whether a headline on your favorite fitness magazine or an infomercial touting workouts free of crunching exercises, it seems this old standby move has fallen on hard times.

It makes us wonder, just what is so wrong with the crunch anyway? After all, it is one of the most efficient and effective bodyweight exercises in existence. With little in the way of wasted motion, each rep shortens the distance between your pelvis and rib cage, directly targeting your abs.

In our view, no ab routine is complete without at least some variations on this fundamental body-transforming move. (Well, that and top-notch nutrition). In that spirit, we’ve created the following routine, which targets your entire ab region, including the upper and lower rectus abdominis and the obliques that flank it. Each move save one includes a crunching motion at its core.

Full Abdominal Exercise
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Lower Abs 3 15 Hanging Leg Raise
Lower Abs 2 20 Reverse Crunch
Upper Abs 3 15 Cable Crunch
Upper Abs 2 20 Crunch
Obliques 3 20 Decline Twisting Crunch
Core 2 30-60 sec Plank

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