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Increase the Challenge: Crunches on Exercise Ball

If the basic crunches on the fitness ball in my all abs workout are starting to feel less than challenging, don't ditch the exercise altogether — alter the move to make it harder. Here are some simple tweaks to tax your abs more while doing crunches on an exercise ball.

  • Bring your legs together. The closer together your legs are, the harder it is to keep balance on the ball, forcing your abs to work harder.
  • Slow it down. Curl up and lower on a slow count of three. This takes momentum out of the picture, so the work is all in your belly.

Learn three more variations.

  • Add weight. Hold a light dumbbell in your hands in front of your chest to provide added resistance and further challenge your abs.
  • Move the ball. Place the ball under your low back, instead of under the upper or middle portion of your back. With the ball supporting less of your torso, you have to work harder.
  • Increase your range of motion. Try these backbend crunches. This move not only increases the flexibility of your spine, but it also makes your abs work through a bigger range of motion.
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