STRENGTH TRAINING

Accessorized Abs

Photo Credit: Nicolas Smith
Tube Crunches on Stability Ball
Take a fitness tube and loop it around a stable post—something that will not move no matter how hard you pull on it (if you do not have access to tubes, you can re-create this exercise using a dual-cable machine. Place a stability ball in front of the post, in a straight line with the tube. Lie on your back on the ball, with the ball between your shoulder blades and lower back. Do not place the ball too high up, or you will not be able to lift your shoulders without falling. Take the tube, which is behind you, and place one handle in each hand, with the tube running over your shoulders. Extend your hands forward with palms down and arms straight, until your hands are over your pockets (or where pockets would be). Generate your basic abdominal contraction, bringing your belly button toward your spine. From this position, extend your arms further forward—think of sliding your fingertips over your thighs from your pockets to your knees. As you do so, your shoulders will rise in a crunch action. From the lifted position, release by sliding your hands back up your thighs to return to your pockets, as you lower your shoulders back to their starting position, resisting the pull of the tube as you go. Do two or three sets of 30 tube crunches, depending on your fitness level.

Additional Abs-Crunching Exercises
If you love to crunch until the proverbial cows come home, try some of these favorite core-crunching exercises:
Floor Crunches
Stability Ball Crunches
Weighted Stability Ball Rollouts
Single Medicine Ball Crunches

Accessorized Abs Quick Links
Abdominal Contractions Overview
Stability Ball Knee Lifts
Tube Crunches on Stability Ball
Tube and Bar Oblique Lunges
Medicine Ball Crunches on BOSU Ball