In this post, I’ll share two waist exercises to complete a total body non-apparatus training routine that I’ve outlined throughout my blog. See this link for upper body and this link for lower body for the complete routine.

1)      Basic Crunch
For the basic crunch, you’ll lay flat on your back on the floor in front of a bench or chair. Your knees will be bent at a 90 degree angle with your feet propped on the bench or chair. Be sure that your lower back is perfectly flat on the floor.

When you crunch, ultimately what you’re doing is trying to jam your upper abs into lower abs and groin area. When doing your crunch, you’ll raise your shoulders off the floor about 3-4 inches. This is NOT a sit-up. The crunch is a very short movement, but if you use your fingers to feel the contraction of your abdominal muscles, you’ll understand how effective this movement is. Push your lower back into the floor as your raise your shoulders. You are aiming for control. A tip for the movement is to try to crunch toward the ceiling and not toward your knees. For a more advanced movement, you can reach with your arms and hands toward the ceiling.

The key to crunches is controlled movement. Don’t worry about how fast you’re doing the reps. Once you get the feeling of your back pressing into the floor, you’ll become aware of how your abs are supposed to feel when performing this movement. Don’t let go of that feeling. You’ll be surprised by how such a short movement will end up providing the best contraction.

2)      Leg Raises
For leg raises, you will lay flat on your back on the floor or a bench. You’ll begin by raising your legs until they are perpendicular to the ceiling. Be sure to keep your legs together and straight throughout the movement. If your lower back comes off the floor or bench, you’ve gone too far. Lower your legs back down slowly in a controlled movement. Again, be sure your legs are straight. Don’t allow your legs to touch the ground on the downward movement. Instead, raise your legs again until they are perpendicular to the ceiling. If you need support, you can hold onto a sturdy object to keep your body grounded. Otherwise, simply leave your arms straight down by your sides.

For both ab movements, work toward being able to complete 20-25 reps across multiple sets. Ideally, you’d want to alternate between the two ab exercises performing 20-25 reps for each. For maximum results with these exercises, the key will be CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL. Concentrate on the movement and the muscles that are being worked. Build up reps over time and add sets as you progress. If you do, you’ll love the results.

Until next time, keep training hard.