10 exercises to tone your abs right at home without doing sit-ups or crunches

I'm not particularly fond of crunches or sit-ups. They hurt my back and honestly, they're boring (unless I do them on a balance ball and have to focus on not rolling off and smashing my face on the ground...) I prefer to work my abs with a few other exercises.
It's important to note that crunches are effective as the motion activates about 6 different muscle groups, according to Shape Magazine, but they shouldn't be the only tool in your workout arsenal. If you're looking for a little more variety, try one of these exercises instead:
1. Plank
If you really want to feel the burn, the traditional plank is a good start. Place your forearms on the ground, with their legs stretched behind them (toes down) and push up. Hold for as long as possible. If you're not quite ready for this, try the same position on a ball. It's a little less pressure, but it still works well.
Skill level: Moderate
2. The dead bug
Bonus points for whoever came up with the creepy name. This exercise looks simple, but you'll definitely feel the burn in your abdominals. Lie on your back, with your hands extended straight above you (towards the ceiling). Lift your knees to a 90-degree angle. Breathe out and flatten your back to the floor and squeeze your glutes. (This is your starting position).
Straighten one leg out, and hold it steady just above the ground. (Make sure to keep your back flat) and return to your starting position. Alternate sides until you complete a set.
Skill level: Easy
3. Alternate arm and leg raise
You'll get a little balance practice while you work out your abs with this move! Starting on all fours, make sure you are steady, before lifting your left arm straight in front of you. Hold. At the same time, extend right leg backward. Repeat on each side until you complete your sets. Tip: Look at the floor to ease pressure on your neck.
Skill level: Easy/Moderate
4. Scissors
Lying flat on your back, extend your legs in front of you, heels just above the ground. Place your arms behind your head and lift your abs up, like partial crunch. This is your starting position. To do the exercise, alternate lifting each leg and lowering it back to the same position (not touching the ground).
Skill level: Easy
5. Goblet squat
This multi-purpose exercise will work your abs, legs, and back. Grab a dumbbell and hold it by one of the belled ends with both hands. Hold the dumbbell close to your body. Put your feet about hip-width apart and squat down as far as you can go. Your elbows should fall in between your knees. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Skill level: Moderate
6. Ballerina twist
Sit with your legs extended, thighs together and toes pointed. Lean backward and place your left forearm on the mat. Raise your right arm over your head and twist left. Return to your starting position and repeat on the other side. Make sure to focus on keeping your abs engaged!
Skill level: Easy
7. Twist
Sitting on a mat, lean backward to engage your abs. Place your feet flat on the mat in front of you, knees bent. Using a dumbbell or weighted ball, twist slowly from side to side. Focus on keeping your abs engaged the entire time.
Skill level: Easy
8. Mountain climbers
Start in a plank position with your hands flat on the ground, shoulder-width apart and legs behind you (balancing on the balls of your feet). Pull one knee up and in towards your chest, return to starting position and repeat with the other knee. If you're just starting, you can do these slowly. More advanced exercisers can squeeze in extra cardio by doing this at a fast pace.
Skill level: Moderate
9. Barbell rollout
You can create a makeshift ab-wheel with a bar loaded with a 10-pound weight on each side. Place the bar on the floor. Sitting on your knees, lean forward and grab the bar shoulder-width apart. Slowly push the weighted bar away from you until you feel like your hips are going to fall, then slide the bar back towards you. Repeat. Tip: You can adjust the heaviness of the weights for your strength level.
Skill Level: Moderate
10. Pike to Superman
Get into a pushup position and slide a stability ball under your ankles/shins, then adjust so your toes are standing on the ball. Bend your hips and roll the ball forward so your body is vertical to the ground (you'll look like Superman flying downwards), then roll the ball backward again. Repeat.
Skill level: Advanced.
Next time you want to work up a sweat, try one of these awesome ab exercises to spice up your routine. Make sure to share these ideas with your friends on Facebook!
Resources Fitness Magazie, Shape, and http://www.prevention.com/fitness/strength-training/the-no-crunch-ab-workout/slide/2
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