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6 Step Ab Circuit that Isn’t Crunches

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I'm a mom of two boys living in Denver. The Fox & She is where I share my easy outfit ideas, style tips, beauty hacks and wellness tips for inspired, happier living—everyday.

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hip raises

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I used to think the only way to strengthen your abs was to do a gazillion crunches. They’re great, but there are so many other ab exercises out there that aren’t crunches and can strengthen different areas of your core.

These focus on total core strength and some exercises target your obliques and lower core—that stubborn area below your jeans that’s really tough to get flat.

There’s no equipment required for this, so do them in your living room while your baby naps or during commercial breaks of your favorite show. You can also add it to the end of any full body workout for some extra ab work!

Side Plank Hip Raises

hip dips

Start in side plank with hips in line with your spine. Lift hip up to the sky and then dip back to even. Do this 12 times and then switch sides! This one is amazing for your obliques!

Arm Crawl

ab crawl

My trainer made me do these across the gym which is pretty funny looking, but they are killer! Start in a table top position. Hover your knees above the ground an inch or two.

ab workout

Hold your core in strong, and crawl across the room and back. Aim for 20 steps/crawls per set.

Oblique Twists

quick ab workout

Start flat on your back with your arms on either side with your knees at a 90 degree angle. Dip side to side, going as low as you can for 12 reps per side.

core workout

Circular Leg & Hip Raises

ab roll outs

Okay, can I be honest? I have NO idea what these are called, so I made up a name, but basically, it’s a circular motion, so I just wanted to make that clear. Start with your legs straight up like the above photo, then lower them to hover above the ground like the next photo.

ab roll outs
ab roll outs

Pull your knees towards your body then use your abs to lift your lower hips off the ground like the photo below.

ab roll outs

Place hips back down on the ground and straighten legs and do it again. Aim for 15 of these per set.

Scissor Kicks

ab scissors
ab scissors

You can also do these laying down, though sometimes it’s hard on my lower back. Resting on your elbows is just as good as a workout. Alternate lifting and lower your legs. Do 20-30 per set.

Knee-in Planks

ab planks

Start in a plank position. Lift one leg up behind you like the photo above, then pull your knee towards your chest without letting it hit the ground. Repeat for 12 reps on the same side before switching.

plank crunch

You can also pull your knee across to the opposite elbow for an oblique workout.

When it comes to working out, I prefer to work hard and get it done quickly. This ab circuit is just that—quick and challenging! Let me know if this was helpful and any other workouts you’d like to see!

BTW, why I like working out in the morning, and 3 months of Pure Barre and why I love it!



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