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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM, KELSEY TUREK) -- Many people think that in order to achieve six-pack abs, you need to do hundreds of crunches each day. The truth is, you need much more than crunches to achieve those abs and you'll burn more calories and get a better workout in when you stand while you do those ab exercises. Not to mention it takes the pressure off your neck and back, works your balance and stability, challenges more muscles than just your abs, and can be done anywhere!

Exercises:

*Complete 12-20 total reps per exercise (per side) and complete 3-4 total sets of each exercise

-Standing bicycle crunches: Stand with hands by ears/behind your head, feet hip-width apart. Lift and twist your left knee up toward your belly button as you twist your right elbow to meet your left knee. Continue, alternating side each time. Complete 12-20 total reps, 3-4 total sets. Make it harder by holding small weights in your hands.

-Knee repeaters: Stand with your feet slightly turned toward your left side, arms reaching overhead. With your left foot on the ground, continuously lift your right knee toward your belly button and bring your arms down to meet the knee each time. Make it harder by holding a weight in your hands and going faster.

-Woodchops: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and with one weight or a ball in your hands. Squat and reach the weight toward your right knee. As you lift out of the squat, twist the weight up and across to the left side of the body, twisting your right foot. Continue on this side and then complete a set starting at the left knee and twisting up to the right.

-Standing front and side crunches: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and with your right arm overhead, left foot slightly turned out for balance. As you balance on your left foot, lift the right knee up in front of your body, bringing your elbow down to meet it. Return the foot to the ground and then bring that right knee up to the side of the body, bring your elbow down to meet it. Continue alternating front and side until the set is complete and then repeat on the other side. Make it hard by holding a weight in your hand and trying not to let your foot touch the ground in between reps.

-Kickboxing kicks—front, side, back: Kick forward with each leg, leading with the knee first then extending the leg. Continue kicking forward, alternating legs until the set is complete. Next, alternate the kicks to the side, hinging from side-to-side and slightly turning the opposite, plant foot so it's diagonal for balance. For your last round, alternate the kicks backward, pushing and driving with the heels.

Benefits:

-Practical because trains abs in multiple planes—forward, backward, side-to-side—and you most often use your abs while standing

-Less strain and pull on the neck and back

-Engages more muscles at once

-Improves postural support, balance, and stability

-Burn more calories than traditional crunches

-Can do them easier and anywhere!

For more information on Kelsey, visit her website Strength and Sweat.

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