No More Crunches: Five Core Muscle Exercises That You Can Do At Home With Minimal Equipment

There’s Only So Many Ab Crunches a Person Can Do

I’ve created a brief video that demonstrates five crunch-free core muscle exercises that you can do at home in about 10 or 15 minutes a day.  The only equipment needed is a five or six pound ball or dumbbell and a set of gliding discs or paper plates.

Lateral Lunge with Side Sweep: The first exercise, a lateral lunge with side sweep, uses a small weighted ball or dumbbell and incorporates all major muscle groups including the oblique’s that are located on each side of the rectus abdominis.  To start, complete one set of eight lateral lunges with sweep on one side, followed by the knee strikes.  Then repeat on the other side.

Knee Strikes

Notice on the knee strikes, the ball is being pulled down towards the outside of the knee to further utilize the oblique muscles.  I recommend doing eight slow knee strikes followed by eight at double tempo.

Burpees with Gliders:  Putting a gliding disc (or paper plate) under each foot, slide the legs out to a wide position, pull both knees into the chest, take legs back out, then come into downward dog position.  Start slow, making sure to keep the core muscles engaged in each position.  Work up to eight repetitions.  Exercises such as this one engage the entire body, including the core, as opposed to lying on the floor doing abdominal crunches.

Plank Walk: This exercise is more difficult than it looks. In order to tap the knees slowly down to the floor the core must be engaged fully throughout the workout.  Try a set of alternating eight slow sets followed by eight at double tempo.  Take a stretch back in between the two sets if needed.  Using the mental image of pulling the navel to the spine will help keep the correct position.

Bicycles with Weighted Ball (or dumbbell):  This is one of my favorite core exercises.  The correct position is to be on the ‘sit bone’.  The core must be contracted to maintain balance while holding the feet off of the floor.  Again, this is an exercise where looks can be deceiving.  Maintaining balance while exchanging the position of the legs to tap the ball to the knee takes considerable core strength.  Start slow and progress up to a set of eight on each leg.

This crunch-free workout will help you streamline your core workout so that you’re not spending a lot of time doing exercises that don’t utilize the entire abdominal muscle group.  Plus, the exercises also use legs and arms and will help develop strength in those areas as well.

Thanks to The Design Studio for doing the video and for allowing me to use the royalty free “Ironman” music track.


  1. GREAT video Karen!!