Heart to Hartman

Health Guide for Congenital Heart Disease

Hate Crunches? Try these core exercises!

Posted by in Exercise

Are you looking for some exercises to help your core, and are tired of or do not enjoy crunches? You are in the right place. The abs actually do not initiate movement, they control movement by stabilizing and transferring force. So even if you enjoy crunches, if you want to work the abs in the way they were meant to be worked, try these exercises.

Time: Start your timer and try to get 20-30 seconds of each exercise. Rest as needed before going to the next exercise. Go through all the exercises at least once before starting a second, third or fourth round. You can also pick and choose which exercises you would like to try and add to your current routine.


  • Stability ball
  • Medicine ball, or dumbbell
  • Don’t have a stability ball? You can do all these without the ball, just use the ground. The ball just adds an extra challenge.
This a 43 Second video of the exercises

Exercise 1

Half kneeling chop with a weight 30-45 second or 8-15 reps

Works core and shoulders

Start in a half kneeling position holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in both hands. Concentrate on keeping your hips and shoulders square. As you lift the weight from the hip on one side toward the shoulder on the other side, do not rotate. The work for the core is in fighting the rotation. Complete all reps on one side before changing to the other side.

Exercise 2

Stability ball plank with a knee drive 30 Seconds or 8-12 reps per knee

Works the core and chest

Start with your weight supported on your forearms on the ball and your feet on the floor. If you do not have a ball, start in a high plank position. Once you are stable and are driving your weight through your arms, and more on one leg, lift the other leg and bring the knee toward the ball. If you want an extra challenge, pull your knee hard to the ball hitting it forcefully to force your upper body to hold the ball still. Return the foot to the start position and switch knees. The key is to make sure most of your weight is on one foot before lifting the knee.

Exercise 3

Stability ball plank with feet on the ball and a knee drive. 8-12 reps per knee

Works core chest and shoulders

Plank with your feet on the ball. It is easy to get on the ball if you kneel, hold it close to you, and then roll over it, supporting your weight on your hands as you walk out. When you are in your plank, bring one knee toward the same side elbow. Return to the start position and switch knees. The key is to push down on the ball with one foot to stabilize your body before moving the other knee.

Exercise 4

Stability ball saw 20 total reps

Works the core

This is one of my favorites. If you do not have a ball, you can use a chair. Sit up straight and tall on the ball. Bring your hands up in front of you with your arms straight. Start by tilting your pelvis back first as if you are trying to take the curve out of your low back. The ball should roll forward a little. Lean back until you feels your abs engage. Then, reach back and with one hand and follow the hand with your eyes to make your body turn a little. Return to the start position. Repeat on the other side.

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Heart to Hartman

Health Guide for Congenital Heart Disease


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