Five Unconventional Abdominal Exercises


A muscular midsection does not always require the attention of countless crunches every-time you step in the gym! It is easy to get caught up in flexing, however; many of us forget that the main purpose of the abdominals is to stabilize! Here are 5 exercises that train your core in an “unconventional” manner…


Knowing that the chief responsibility of the core is to help stabilize the body, it would make sense that all sections of the abdominals would be fully engaged during a movement such as a front squat or back squat. Balancing a weight on your back while standing there is hard enough! Try keeping that weight steady while lowering your butt to the ground and standing back up.


Here is another “basic” movement that if used correctly can really build a strong core! Deadlifts are accomplished by dropping into a partial squat and picking a heavy barbell up off the floor! Seems simple but when done with heavy enough weight it can be incredibly challenging. While pulling the weight up, the abdominals maximally contract to support the lower back.


Ask anyone who trains at The Gym of Avon and they’ll tell you all about this one! Farmers carries are done by carrying heavy dumbbells – one in each hand – for a particular distance. The obliques (the abdominal region found on each side of your torso) are fully engaged throughout this movement in an effort to balance the body while moving.


This exercise is done by using large – 2 inch in diameter – cargo ropes, looped around a fixed object and holding one end in each hand. From there the goal is to lift the ropes, slam them down and lift again as soon as they touch the floor. This movement is done for a certain amount of time and the ropes get heavy fast! Every-time these large ropes are lifted and slammed, your core is forced to engage and stabilize the body!


This last exercise combines a few of the movements above, while utilizing a sand filled medicine ball. You’ll begin by squatting down and picking up a 10-25 pound medicine ball off the floor. Once in your hands, stand up, lift the ball just over your head and then slam it into the ground…then repeat!