3 Great Ab Exercises that Aren’t Direct Ab Exercises

By on December 9, 2014

Instead of the usual abdominal exercises that we see so often with crunches, situps, leg lifts, etc… I want to suggest some options that not only blast your core, but also help you burn calories.

I’m going to show you an example now of one of my preferred “ab workouts” that doesn’t include any direct “ab exercises” at all. This is really a full body routine that works your abs pretty hard indirectly, and fuels a good metabolism boost!

Try these exercises:

1. High Plank Rows with Dumbbells
2. Dumbbell Front Squat
3. Close Grip Push Ups

A good rep scheme to use with this could be 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise. All of the movements can also be done for a time interval (such as 30 seconds) instead of repetitions.

Exercise Videos & Descriptions:

1. High plank dumbbell rows are done starting in a pushup position with the hands on 2 dumbbells. You then row one dumbbell by pulling back at the elbow while stabilizing your body with the other arm. Return the dumbbell back to the ground and alternate the rowing arm while holding yourself up with the opposite arm. Stabilizing during the rows creates unbelievable work for your complete core area. Trust me… you’ll feel it in your abs!

2. Dumbbell front squats are done similar to dumbbell squats, however with the dumbbells held in front of your body at shoulder level instead of hanging to your sides. You stabilize the dumbbells by your shoulders while keeping your elbows out in front of the body.

This takes a little practice at first, so you will want to start with light weight and focus on putting your weight back in your hips. Front squats require extreme stabilization strength from the abs due to the weight being shifted to the front of the body. Even though this is mostly a lower body exercise, you’ll definitely feel this one in the abs too.

3. Close grip push ups are done by starting in a pushup position with hands directly in line with shoulders or slightly narrower and body straight. Keeping your core tight, lower body to floor by bending arms and keeping your elbows in. When your elbows reach a 90 degree angle, push your body up until arms are extended. By not allowing your hips to sink or to be too high, it forces your core to stabilize your entire body.

This will give you one of the best abdominal workouts without even doing any direct ab exercises…. and it will burn a lot more calories compared to average ab exercises… This routine can be used as a stand-alone workout or you can incorporate these exercises into you existing program.