Shape Up: 6 Ways to Crunch

Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time to clean things up… In our fitness routines, that is. Today we’re here with Dr. Hunter Vincent, our resident LaurenConrad.com personal trainer and fitness expert, to give us some fresh ideas for some ab exercises that will clean up your exercise routine and keep your workouts fun this season. Add these six inspired ways to crunch to your regular exercise routine or do them as a circuit to keep your body guessing…

Ways to switch up your classic crunch for a new workout

Hey everyone! It’s Dr. Hunter here. As the weather starts warming up, why not bring your yoga mat to the park and try these six new abs exercises outside in the sunshine? After all, vitamin D is a great way to boost your mood! See below to find out exactly how you should be doing these six crunches and why you should be adding them to your daily exercise routine…

Super crunch variation

Different crunch variations for a killer workout

Super Crunches:

Here’s a little boost to your everyday crunch: While lying on your back, with your hands behind you head, keep your legs straight and lift them just off the ground. Slowly raise your legs bringing your knees towards your chest and crunch your upper body, so your elbows touch your knees. Then slowly unfold, and return to the starting position, with your feet hovering just above the ground.

Crunch variations for a killer workout

"Get Up" Crunch

Get Ups:

Here’s a great core exercise that incorporates the entire body… But, it can take a little getting used to because each limb is doing something different. Start on your back, with your right leg bent to 90 degrees (foot on the ground), and your left leg straight. Now, your left arm extends straight out from your shoulder, with your palm face down. Your right arm is straight overhead. Now, go ahead and crunch up, reaching your right hand toward your left foot, keeping your left arm straight. Keeping your arm straight is the most crucial part! Most people have a tendency to bend the elbow and push themselves up to the top. By keeping your arm straight, you use your arm like a kickstand to help you balance and require a greater contraction through your core.

Butterfly Crunches

Butterfly crunches

Butterfly Crunches:

For this crunch variation, stay on your back, but bring your feet together and let your legs fall open, similar to the butterfly stretch. Keeping your hands behind your head, crunch up, so your body comes straight up between your legs. The key to this ab exercise, is to keep your core tight, and keep it tight the entire time! Try small pulses, and don’t give yourself any rest. You can do it!

Butterfly crunch variation

Tip: If your neck needs a little more support, go ahead and take a small hand towel and place it behind your head, grabbing on to either end while you lift up.

Jackknifes with our trainer, Dr. Hunter Vincent

Jackknife variation to your classic crunch

V-Ups (AKA Jackknife or Suitcases):

Here’s a tough one for you… Keeping your body straight and tall, fold yourself in half from the middle, bringing your feet and hands together at the top. With each crunch, try to touch your shoelaces or toes. Slowly lower your upper and lower halves, trying not to let your arms or legs touch the ground. Then, crunch back up for another rep!

Windmills for a good ab workout

Windmills:

Time to work those obliques! Lay on your back and stretch your arms straight out from your shoulders. Raise your legs so that they point up towards the ceiling. Trying to keep your legs straight, lower your legs directly to the side, just above the ground. Then raise your legs back towards the middle and lower them to the other side. Focus on keeping your arms flat on the ground, and rotating slowly from side to side.

Ab crunch variations to switch up your workout

Ab workout variations to switch up your routine

Ab workout tips from our trainer, Hunter Vincent

Heel Touches:

Here’s a burn out set to finish it off! With your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet off the ground, crunch your chest towards your knees and hold it. Now, quickly reach towards one heel with the hand on that same side, then switch to the other side, performing tiny side crunches. Move your heels towards your hand, to help yourself get into a rhythm.

Now that you know how to do each exercise, here’s a little core circuit routine you can do to get that six-pack just in time for summer. Have fun with it!

Core Circuit: 2 rounds

  • Super Crunches – 50s
    • 10s rest
  • Get Ups – 50s
    • 10s rest 
  • Butterfly Crunches – 50s
    • 10s rest
  • V-Ups – 50s
    • 10 sec rest
  • Windmills – 50s
    • 10 sec rest
  • Heel Touches – 50s
    • 10 sec rest

A big thanks to Hunter for sharing this awesome abs workout with us today! We hope you’ll give it a try…

What abs exercises are your favorite for getting your core in shape?

Let us know if you have any favorite moves below. Also, if you have any fitness blog requests for Hunter, leave them in the comments and we’ll do our best to feature them here on the site!

XO Team LC

Photos: Jessi Burrone for LaurenConrad.com
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