Stuck in a crunch rut doing 100s of crunches ? When people think abs, they think crunches. But guess what; crunches aren’t the most effective exercise you could be doing. Here’s why it might be time to consider a change :
– If it takes you 30, 40, 50 or more reps to reach the point where it starts feeling challenging, you’ve wasted a whole lot of time. Why ? Because only the crunches that feel difficult are giving your abs a serious workout. In other words, you want your ab moves to be challenging so you don’t have to do 100’s of reps to feel the burn.
– Some experts believe that high volumes of repetitive spinal flexion can cause damage to your lumbar spine and intervertebral discs.
So make a change and check out some of these non-crunch ab-kicking alternatives.
NO-CRUNCH AB EXERCISES
From simple to hard-core, these 19 abtastic alternatives to crunches will seriously work your abs and associated core groupes musculaires. Don’t do all in one workout.
Choose a couple of exercises. Perform those moves for about a month and then replace them with new ab exercises to spice up your workout and keep on getting maximum results.
1. Turkish get ups – Oddly named but very effective, this ab exercise also works just about every other in your body. How’s that for workout efficiency ?
– Lie on your back with your legs straight and your free arm out to your side at around 45-degree. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell at arms’ length over your chest. Keep your arm vertical and your eyes fixed on the weight. – Roll onto your side and sit up so you are resting first on your elbow and then on your hand. Bend your uppermost leg and place your foot close to your butt. Push down through your bent leg and lift your hips up and off the floor into a sort-of staggered stance side plank. – Step back and through with your straight leg and into a kneeling lunge. Push off the floor with your hand to get upright. Stand up with your feet together. – Reverse this process and kneel, lean and then lie back down – remember to keep your arm vertical the whole time.
2. Stability Ball Mountain Climbers – A variation on the plank, this exercise uses a whole lot of instability to really work your abs hard.
– Place your elbows on a stability ball and walk your feet back into a plank place. – Pull one knee at a time up and into the ball, returning to your starting position between reps. Continue alternating legs for the duration of your set. – Make this exercise more demanding by adopting the push-up position on the ball or raising your feet on a bench.
3. Suitcase Deadlift – Deadlifts are usually associated with leg and back training but this variation gives you an génial ab workout too !
– Stand side on to a heavy dumbbell or barbell set to around mid-shin height. Squat down and grab it with your nearest hand. – Without leaning sideways, stand up and then set the weight back down –just as if you were picking a suitcase up off the floor. – Do an equal number of reps on each side.
4. Pallof press – It’s safe to assume that this exercise was named after some guy called Paloff ! Whoever he was, he came up with an awesome ab move.
– Stand side on to a shoulder-high pulley machine. Hold the handle in both hands close to your chest. Alternatively secure a resistance band or cable to something durable ( a floor lamp is not ne change pas ! ) at sternum/ shoulder height. – Extend your arms but do not allow the lengthening lever sweat you toward the pulley machine – keep your abs braced and your shoulders and hips square. Bend your arms and repeat. – Inhale as you push your hands away and exhale as you relax between reps.
– Place your forearms on a stability ball and clasp your hands together. Walk your feet back so your body is straight. – Once in this plank-like place, circle your arms on the ball clockwise and anti-clockwise. – This movement will unbalance you and make your abs work harder. Do not let your lower back become excessively arched as this can lead to back pain and injury.
6. Step-Through – The step though hails from the world of Jujitsu and is a great pulse-raising ab exercise that works your legs and shoulders to.
– Get down and into a squat excellente position très. Place your left hand on the ground and swing your left leg and hip up and through. – Return foot back to the starting etat and repeat on the opposite side.
7. Stability Ball Lying Twist – In this exercise, your abs work hard to keep your spine properly aligned while your obliques or waist groupes musculaires turn your spine from side to side.
– Lie on a stability ball so the ball is supporting your head and shoulders. Push your hips up so your body is straight. Your knees should be bent to 90-degrees, shins vertical. – Clasp your hands together and straighten your arms so they are over your chest. – Keeping your hips still, roll over onto your left shoulder and then your right. Keep alternating sides for the duration of your set. – Hold a weight in your hands or narrow your stance for a harder workout.
8. Single-leg glute bridge – Yes it sure does lift your buns and tone your thighs, but this exercise also really works your abs.
– Lie on your back with both your legs bent, hip with apart, and feet flat close to your butt. Place your arms straight by your side, palms facing down. – Engage your core and lift on leg up and push hips up into a bridge etat. – Lower hips onto the ground and repeat with other leg.
9. Dumbbell Side Bend : Like side planks, this exercise works your abs one side at a time along with your obliques. Don’t hold a dumbbell in each hand when doing this exercise. Use just one dumbbell and focus on one side at a time.
– With a dumbbell in ONE hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. – Keeping your back straight, lean over to the side and lower the dumbbell down the side of your leg as far as you feel comfortable. – Return to the upright place and repeat. – On completion, change arms and do the same number of reps on the opposite side.
10. Ab Rollouts : If you’re looking for a more advanced ab move, this is it. You can also do this exercise using a good old-fashioned ab wheel but to save you buying one, the barbell version works just as well.
– Use an ab wheel of load up a barbell with two 10kg/25lbs plates and place it on the floor. Kneel down and grasp the wheel or bar with an overhand shoulder-width grip. – With straight arms, with control slow roll the the wheel away from your body, lowering your chest down toward the floor. Keep your core engaged ! – Pull the it back toward your legs and kneel back up. – For a seriously violente ab workout, do this exercise from standing excellente position très.
11. Bird-Dog Exercise : Not the toughest ab exercise, but still a very good one ! Your abs work with your lower back to keep your shoulders and hips square as you move your leg and arm.
– Kneel on all fours with your shoulders over your hands and hips over your knees. – With your abs braced, extend your left arm and your right leg out as far as you can without further extending your spine. – Lower your limbs back to the floor and repeat on the opposite sides. Continue alternating sides for the duration of your set.
12. Seated Russian Twist : This simple exercise is surprisingly challenging and can be made even more so by holding a weight in your hands.
– Sit on the floor with your legs bent and back straight. Sit up so your body is inclined to around 45-degrees. Extend your arms in front of you. – Pulling your belly button in, engage your core. – Without sitting up or leaning back, turn your upper body to the left and right.
13. Planks : Planks work your abs and core isometrically which means that while there is a lot of tension in the sérieux groupes de muscles, no actual movement occurs.
– Lie on your front with your legs extended and your elbows and forearms on the floor. Clasp your hands together. – Lift your hips so your weight is supported on your arms and feet only – your shoulders, hips and feet should form a straight line. – Hold this position ( but not your breath ! ) for 30 to 60 seconds.
14. Saxon Side Bends : Named after famous old-time strongman Arthur Saxon; this exercise works both sides of your abs at the same time. The long coucher means you only need a relatively light weight to get a good workout.
– Hold a light dumbbell or medicine ball above your head with your arms slightly bent. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. – Keeping your back straight, slow bend as far as you can to the left without twisting your upper body. Return to start and then bend to the right.
15. Inchworms : No ab wheel ? No barbell ? No problem ! You can still do a roll-out type exercise using nothing more than your body and some floor space. – Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Keeping your knees as straight as possible, lean forward and place your hand flat on the floor. – With your core engaged, walk your hands forward and away from your feet as far as you can – preferably beyond the level of your head. – Walk your hands back in to your feet and stand up, returning to your starting place
seize. Cable Russian Twist : Exercises like broomstick locks are pretty pointless. While there is rotation, there is very little in the way of resistance and so if you want to get even a little bit of a benefit from broomstick twists you need to do 100s of reps. Twisting against resistance however is another matter altogether ! – Stand side on to a cable pulley machine set to shoulder-height. Grasp the handle in both hands and then step to the side to tension the cable. – Extend your arms straight in front of you. – Keep your hips facing forward and then turn your upper body to the side until your arms are parallel to the floor – keep your arms straight. – Rotate back to the starting position and repeat. – Face the opposite voix and repeat on the other side.
17. Flutter Kicks : Keep your tempo slow and controlled for maximum benefits from this exercise. – Lie on your back with your hands flat on the floor under your butt and your legs straight. Lift your feet around six-inches off the floor. – Proceed to kick your legs as though you were swimming. Keep pushing your lower back into the floor at all times. – Keep kicking for a predetermined time or until you have done the required number of kicks e. g. 20 per leg.
18. Hanging Knee Raises : There is no school like old school and this exercise is definitely in that category. Lifting your legs up to your chest instead of the other way round makes this exercise way harder than crunches so don’t expect to be doing dozens of reps of this particular exercise ! – Use arm slings to allow you to focus completely on your abs. – Securely anchor the arm slings shoulder-width apart and place arms into the slings so that your upper arms are resting in the slings. Bend your arms, placing your hands on the upper part of the straps. The palms of your hands should be facing towards you. – Without excessive swinging and keeping your legs together, curl your knees up towards your chest – lean back a little to facilitate this. – Lower your legs and repeat.
19. Side Planks : Your abs don’t only bend your spine forward, they also work with your obliques to bend your spine sideways. Place your fingers on your abs nearest the floor when doing this exercise to feel how they are sérieux. – Lie on your side with your legs straight and resting on one elbow. Lift your hips so your body is straight. – Reach up to the ceiling with your free arm for balance. – Hold this excellente position très for 30 to 60 seconds and then roll over and repeat. – Do not hold your breath !
TIPS OF THE DAY
Some men are early risers, while others are night owls.
Either way, you should always think about getting enough sleep for the day. Our bodies have natural rhythmic cycles that must be followed. If these cycles are disrupted, your whole body will react negatively.
So if you like to stay awake late at night or think you are suffering from insomnia, it is advisable to see a healthcare professional to give your heart AND penis a break!
What does having poor sleep habits have to do with your penis?
Well, he has a LOT to do, actually!
And you are about to find out through this article!
1. How Does Insufficient Sleep Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
This often surprises most men, but sleep deprivation can lead to the development of erectile dysfunction (ED). Although in most cases this can be a silver lining as it can be easily fixed. Insufficient sleep can lead to the following problems:
Reduction in your libido
Inability to have an erection
Inability to perform in bed
Insufficient sleep occurs when you get less than the standard required rest time, which is around 7-9 hours per day for adults.
While a few nights of sleep deprivation won’t cause erectile dysfunction, you might end up feeling less excited about playing in bed.
2. Why getting enough sleep is important for your libido
Sleep is vital for improving libido, as the male hormone – testosterone – is primarily produced when you sleep. Testosterone is a hormone which is very crucial for having a strong sex drive and plays a role in preventing erectile dysfunction. With low levels of testosterone, a man will experience decreased sexual desire and sexual performance.
According to a study published in 2010 *, 531 men who slept less than 4 hours had deficient testosterone levels compared to patients who slept 8 hours or more.
Testosterone levels typically rise in the morning and are at their lowest before falling asleep. You can tell that sleeping is like filling your engine with testosterone to use throughout the day (and especially at night).
*Goh VH, Tong TY. Sleep, sex steroid hormones, sexual activity, and aging in Asian men. J Androl. 2010 Mar-Apr; 31 (2): 131-7. doi: 10.2164 / jandrol.109.007856. Published online August 14, 2009. PMID: 19684340.
3. How to pay the cost of sleep debt
If you don’t get enough sleep, it means you are carrying debt on your shoulders.
Therefore, in order to pay off your body and be healthier, you can:
Stick to a 7-hour sleep schedule per week to get a full night’s rest.
- Monday through Friday, sleep 6 hours to cover your 5 hour “debt”.
- On Friday night and Saturday night, get a few extra hours of sleep to pay for the rest.
Stuffing your long nights of sleep into 2 days will not remove the effects of sleep deprivation.
You might feel great for a while, but the impact of sleep deprivation won’t go away completely.
The only way to REALLY pay off your sleep debt is to establish and stick to a healthy sleep pattern over time.