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Variations of Crunches on an Exercise Ball

7 Ways to Get a Sleek Midsection

Doing crunches on the ball is one of the most effective ways to tone your core, but the basic move can get a little stale. Mix things up and work your abs harder with these challenging variations.

  1. Bring your legs together. The closer your legs are, the harder it is to stay balanced on the ball, which means the better the ab workout.
  2. Slow down the movement. Count 1-2-3 up, and 1-2-3 down.
  3. Add a little weight to your torso by holding a light dumbbell in your hands in front of your chest. This will provide added resistance and further challenge your abs.
  4. Roll the ball so it's just above your hips instead of under the upper or middle portion of your back — crunches are much harder in this position.
  5. Lower your torso all the way back into Wheel Pose in between crunches to make you abs work even harder.
  6. Add a twist to really target your obliques (love handles), touching your elbow to the opposite knee as you crunch up.
  7. Work your upper body at the same time. Place the ball under your shins while in plank position, and do a Knee-Tuck Crunch.
Image Source: Shutterstock
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great tips!!!
doogirl doogirl 9 years
Spectra, those "circle crunches" are hard! But I can tell that they work! Thanks for the tip!
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I love doing crunches on my ball! I think the lady in the picture needs to inflate her ball a bit more, hehe!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I do "circle crunches" on the ball...I lift my left shoulder off the ball, slowly pull my abs to the right side of my body and raise up. I slowly rotate my upper body as I bring my right shoulder up off the ball too. I keep rotating and slowly press my left shoulder back into the ball and then my right shoulder until I'm back to the start. Those REALLY work your abs.
rpenner rpenner 9 years
Great tips! I love the "twist"
marcella marcella 9 years
great tips!
toodledoo toodledoo 9 years
I was just thinking that it's time to buy a new ball.
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
Really good post! Im always looking for ways to make them more effective. Thanks Fitsugar!
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