Top 5 Ab Exercises Other than Crunches


Who says that crunches are the best exercise for your core? From hanging leg raises to Russian twists, there are plenty of other moves to shape your abs. Whether you want to rev up your workouts or add some variety, try new exercises to build that sought-after six pack.

This may come up as a surprise, but crunches are overrated. First of all, they only target the upper part of your abs. They have a negligible impact on the obliques and lower abs.

Secondly, they don't burn the fat covering your core muscles. Thirdly, they put stress on the spine. Some experts even claim that crunches make your midsection bigger. This isn't what you want, right?

Now let's see the five best ab exercises other than crunches:

Russian twists
If you had to choose just one exercise for the obliques, it should be the Russian twist. This isolation move targets those hard-to-reach muscles in the core region, which are often neglected during traditional workouts. Moreover, it increases isometric core strength, anti-rotational strength, and overall balance.

Depending on your fitness level, you can do this exercise with a weight plate, a medicine ball, a kettlebell, or your own bodyweight.

For instance, if you're working out at home, use a water bottle or resistance bands. Thiswill force your core muscles to work harder. On top of that, you'll burn more calories and boost your metabolism.

Hanging leg raises
The hanging leg raise is one of the best exercises for the lower abs. You can also target the obliques by rotating your legs to the side. For a more challenging workout, wear a weighted vest or chains.

This move hits all the major muscles of the abs as well as smaller muscles used for abdominal contraction. In the long run, it may improve your posture and prevent back pain.

All you need is a high bar to hold on. If you don’t have one, do this exercise on the floor. Simply sit on your back and lift your legs using the core muscles.

Ab rollouts
The ab rollout has emerged as one of the most popular yet challenging core exercises. It targets all abdominal muscles, leading to greater core strength, improved balance, and increased range of motion.

Unlike crunches, this move engages several muscles, such as the rectus abdominis, obliques, hip flexors, and quads. Since it requires a lot of stability and balance, it provides a full body workout and improves physical performance.

A great thing about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere. It can be performed with a barbell, ab wheel, physioball, or your own bodyweight. You can also adjust it based on your fitness level and space requirements.

Even though it's not as popular as the crunch or sit-up, the landmine yields fantasticresults in terms of core strength and sports performance. Due to its intense nature, it revs up your metabolism and torches massive calories. When done regularly, it builds total body strength, increases physical endurance, and sculpts your abs.

If the gym where you're working out doesn't have a landmine, use a barbell. This compound move will boost your functional fitness and help you build ripped abs.

Air bike
You probably remember those TV commercials and video abs featuring the so-called air bike. Also known as the cross-body crunch, this exercise is incredibly effective. It isolates and targets your obliques while building core strength. All you need is a mat to sit on.

Here you go! These core exercises will shape your waistline and make your abs pop. Use them as part of a strength training program and eat clean to burn fat. If you're overweight, add HIIT to the mix.


  • Crunches are not as effective as most people think. They only target the upper abs and put stress on the spine. 
  • The hanging leg raise, ab rollout, air bike, and landmine are safer and more effective than crunches. 
  • These exercises build core strength and improve functional fitness. 
  • A strong core makes daily activities easier and reduces injury risk.