Anyone reading who absolutely LOVES abdominal crunches? Anyone especially love getting down on the floor; struggling to relax your neck (kind of an oxymoron, I know); and crunching until your abs burn or your arms get tired of supporting your head? I mean really love crunches?

I broke-up with crunches months ago and here’s why. They’re uncomfortable; it’s relatively easy to do them incorrectly and hurt yourself; it’s relatively easy to do them wrong and have them be almost completely ineffective as an exercise; they don’t really target the deep core muscles (the ones you need to be strong in order to prevent back issues and to support your body in the motion of daily life); they hurt my neck; they are not fun but are very boring. Other than that, I think they’re great 🙂

This would be a bummer of a post, except for the fact that there are so many awesome exercises that work your core better than floor crunches. Yay for good exercise news! I won’t list them all here, but here are my 5 current favorites, making their way through my current workout rotation.

The Woodchopper. I just think this one is so much fun. Not sure why. But I love it.

Dead Bug. Terrible name. Awesome exercise.

Forearm Plank. I love to add knee-drops or hip drops for variety. But make sure you’ve got the basic plank form down pat before adding anything fancy.

Bird Dog. Great name. Great exercise.

Standing Mountain Climbers. Can make these harder by holding a dumbbell in your hand.