7 Awesome CrossFit Ab Workout Ideas
Most people don’t think ab workouts when they think about CrossFit workouts. This is because CrossFit is generally associated with full-body workouts and doesn’t revolve around targeting a particular muscle group the same way that bodybuilding does. This article aims at dispelling the myth that CrossFit ab workouts don’t exist and we’ll take a look at some of the best abdominal and core exercises that there are.
The Benefits of CrossFit
CrossFit is steadily increasing in popularity because of its ability to give you a complete workout in a shorter amount of time. CrossFit essentially combines the greatest exercises – running, strength training, interval training, and anaerobic fitness – and combines them all into one to create a super-sport, if you will. Each of the aforementioned exercises are awesome, so when you combine each of these exercises like CrossFit does, the result is undoubtedly going to be amazing.
If you take a look at CrossFit as a whole, the style of the workouts are designed to incorporate the entire body. In and of itself, CrossFit workouts are built on the basic foundation that athletes need to have a solid core in order to boost their results.
By performing workouts like CrossFit, which are anaerobically based, it comes doesn’t to muscle confusion. Because there are so many CrossFit workouts, you’re able to easily keep the muscles confused, which in turn never let your muscle gains plateau. The main reason that CrossFit is ideal for muscle confusion is because it uses so many different methods to work out the same muscle groups. When compared to other exercises, like bodybuilding for example, there are only so many exercises you can perform with weights to target your biceps or triceps. However, CrossFit is able to incorporate bodyweight exercises and exercises with weights, along with attacking the muscles at various times where your fatigue level varies.
So, to get to the bread and butter of this post, the key question is what do CrossFit ab workouts really entail?
CrossFit Ab Workouts
CrossFit ab workouts begin and end with what we refer to as gross motor movements. Gross motor movements are when you use your body as a whole. This means using your body to perform compound exercises that require multiple joints. Non-compound ab exercises are, such as sit-ups and crunches, are not primary ab exercises when it comes to CrossFit workouts.
Instead, you’re going to want to concentrate on exercises which make you sweat. The following are our 7 favorite CrossFit ab exercises:
- Bicycle Crunches
We said that you wouldn’t be doing the standard sit-up or crunches, but we never promised that you wouldn’t be performing crunches at all. Bicycle crunches are the ideal, next-level crunch which will have your ab burning.
To perform the bicycle crunch, lie with your back firmly on the ground (or on a bench). Place your hands behind your head with your fingers interlocked and bring your head off the floor so that your shoulder blades are still touching. Then, bring your left knee to your right elbow and return to starting position. Then bring your right knee to your left elbow and return to starting position. Your legs should be moving back and forth like you’re riding a bicycle and your arms should be forcing your abs to rotate as your bring your elbow to touch your knee. It’s important to remember to work on your form and not just do as many reps as possible. Slow and methodical movements will produce the best results.
- Flutter Kicks
Flutter kicks are another great CrossFit ab workout that will have your abs on fire. Again, you can perform this sitting on the ground or with your butt placed on a bench. Either way, sit firmly on the ground, and using your arms for support, place your back at a 45 degree angle. Then, alternate between raising your right foot and left foot. Remember, always keep your legs as straight as possible and don’t let your feet return to the floor. Very few athletes will be able to do this for one minute straight when they are starting out as it’s a very challenging exercise.
- Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a fantastic ab exercises. Since we’re physically unable to totally isolate any part of the abs, mountain climbers are a great way to try to target the lower abs. Much like the bicycle crunch, we will focus on performing the same type of twisting motion. However, mountain climbers add slightly more difficulty to the exercises as you’ll need to use your upper body to support your weight throughout the exercise.
To perform mountain climbers, enter the starting push-up position, which is with your arms extended and supporting your upper body. Then, slowly and methodically, bring your right knee to your left elbow then return to starting position. Then, bring your left knee to your right elbow then return to the starting position. Repeat for as many reps as you desire.
Planking may be simple, but it is extremely effective when it comes to building the abdominal muscles. To plank all you have to do is lie flat on your stomach on the ground. Then support yourself with your toes and your forearms by placing your forearms directly under your chest.
You can also try different variations such as the incline and decline plank. In the incline plank, your toes will be placed firmly on the floor, however, your forearms will be placed on a bench or chair. The opposite is true for the decline plank. In the decline plank, your toes will be on the bench and your elbows will be on the floor.
- Window Washers
Window washers are a killer ab exercise. These can be performed on the floor or on a bench. The starting position is the same as it is with flutter kicks. Sit firmly on the ground, or on a bench, and use your arms to put your upper body at a 45 degree angle.
Then make a window washing or rainbow motion and bring your feet from the left to the right, then return from the right to the left, and repeat. Remember to keep your legs as straight as possible and to keep your heals off of the ground.
- Side Plank
The side plank targets the oblique which is great for definition and sculpting the abs. To start, you’ll place one arm on the floor and hold yourself straight up so that you are looking sideways. Your feet will be on the ground and you’ll be slanted at an angle. To increase the difficulty, continuously bring your free hand between being extended straight above and wrapped below your stomach. Repeat using your other hand to target the opposite side.
- Leg Raises
The leg raise is the only exercise on this list that requires equipment. You will need a station such as a pull-up bar or lat station which can keep your bodyweight elevated throughout the exercise. As such, this exercise will also require your upper body because you will have to keep your body weight off the floor.
To start, use your forearms to hold your bodyweight off the floor. Then, raise your feet up as high as you can while keeping them as straight as possible. Then slowly and methodically return to the starting position.
The Best Way to Exercise the Abs
Our favorite way to exercise the abs build upon the same premise as CrossFit – interval training and going balls-to-the-walls for a certain period of time. For example, you can set your goal to perform each exercise for 30, 45 or 60 seconds, then move on to the next exercise. The entire workout could take as little as 3 and a half minutes if you’re just starting out. However, as you progress, lengthen the time to challenge yourself more and keep your muscles growing. You can also cycle through each exercise 2 or 3 times for additional training.
CrossFit is for Everybody
As we alluded to above, the ability to train at your own pace and alter your workouts as necessary makes CrossFit the ideal workout for anyone that wants to improve their health and fitness. Any exercise or routine can be modified to fit your specific capabilities. So, don’t be afraid to get started. As you progress, remember to continue to challenge yourself so that your results don’t plateau. Either train for a longer duration, using more weight, or doing more reps.
Our 7 favorite CrossFit ab workouts will definitely get you started on building and sculpting your abs. The main benefit of this routine is that it promotes muscle growth and has a cardio element that will help you sculpt the abs. So, you get the best of both worlds. But remember, when it comes to working out and building muscle, you need to perfect your diet and consume enough protein to promote muscle growth. And, if you’re ready to take your gains to the next level, remember that we have you covered.