Comments (0)November 20th, 2009Posted by Dr. Charles D.C. in Everything Abs (Abdominals)

Here are some killer ab workouts that don’t actually involve ab exercises!

One of the primary concerns for most people that want a new exercise regime is abdominal exercises. Traditionally, this means sit-ups, crunches, planks, and leg lifts. Although these will help your abdominal muscles a bit, they do not give you a full body workout and they do not burn fat. These are useful for working out your abs to take punches and decrease back pain, but other than those two benefits, standard abdominal workouts are not very useful to you overall, especially if you want to either burn fat or increase stamina. If you want to work out your abs at the same time as you get a full-body cardio workout as well as strengthen other muscles, you should turn to a selection of exercises that do all of these things. And for some of them, you don’t even need to go to a gym.

One example of an easy to learn, full body workout that focuses greatly on abdominals is an exercise called “mountain climbers.” To do mountain climbers, get in a pushup position with your arms locked. Quickly bring your right foot forward, touch it to the ground underneath your chest, and as you bring it back to its starting position, do the same with your left foot. These should be performed on light feet—meaning you should never rest your weight while doing mountain climbers. Mountain climbers should be done in repetitions of time, and depending on how in shape you’re, you should do them for anywhere between 15 and 90 seconds, running 5-10 reps.

The benefits of mountain climbers are numerous. Not only do they work out your abdominals, which are lifting your legs during the exercise, but they work out your legs, arms, and are a cardiovascular exercise as well. These will aid your lung capacity, heart strength, stamina, and abdominal strength. Rather than doing crunches or sit-ups next time, consider running mountain climbers to get a fuller, more fulfilling workout.

Another example of a workout that focuses on abs but is much better for your body overall than standard sit-ups is renegade rows. Developed by John Davies, renegade rows are a perfect supplement to your workout and work similarly to mountain climbers. Renegade rows are performed by taking two weights—whatever you feel most comfortable with, and holding them beneath your hands in a pushup position. The weights should be kettleballs or dumbbells. To do the exercise, take your right hand and lift the weight, turning your body and stabilizing. Then, do the same thing on the other side. Make sure renegade rows are done on a solid, flat surface—unlike mountain climbers, renegade rows should not be done in places such as fields or on carpet. During the exercise, keep the elbow of the grounded arm locked the whole time. Some variations you can do while using renegade rows are moving your feet closer together, doing pushups in between lifts, or holding the weight for longer.

The benefits of renegade rows, mountain climbers, and other similar whole-body core exercises are very important to your workout. If you can save the time of doing three different exercises by exercising three times as many muscles, you can become fitter and stronger more quickly. Keep in mind these exercises next time you’re feeling slow or weak—they are easy to set up, don’t take too long, and don’t even require you to go to the gym. If you do not have the time for hours at the gym every day, home exercises are perfect—just make sure you do not waste time with inefficient workouts like sit-ups and push-ups.

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Dr. Michael Allen
Fitness Instructor & Fat Loss Factor™ Founder

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