Crunches are one of the key exercises that activate the abdominal muscles and can be godsend if you are interested in getting that enviable six-pack midriff. Try these crunches variations that will not only help you burn more, but give you a strong core.

Crossover Crunches

This crossover crunch is a great exercise for beginners, who are interested in targeting the abdominal and oblique muscles, as well as the muscles in the lower back area. It not just helps in strengthening muscles in these areas, but also aids in treatment and prevention of lower back pain. Since it also targets the oblique muscles that run down your sides, it’s a total core workout. Get great looking abs and stabilize your back, reducing and preventing back pain and spasms.

Boat Hold Crunches

Known as the boat pose, this works on your core, which has a positive impact on all your workouts whether it is running, hitting the gym or working out at home. It strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors, and spine, while stimulating the kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines for improved digestion and metabolism.

Half Crunches

We are all obsessed with flat bellies but running is just one way to work those abs and your core. You can reduce your waistline in just a few weeks by regularly doing simple half crunches at home. This one is ideal for beginners as you only have to activate your abs to lift your torso slightly. In a half crunch, you are only 2-3 inches off the floor and it’s a good gateway to some of the more advanced crunches that target the abdominal muscles and obliques.

Air-Bike Crunches

The bicycle or air-bike crunch is an excellent way to build core strength and toning your thighs. Since you are replicating the pedaling movement in the air while doing the crunches, it works on the core and the lower body. The thighs and quads will be on fire after you have performed the airbike crunch properly.

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