Everyone knows it’s great to have great abs. Nobody seems to mind a strong, flat stomach! But more than that, there are so many benefits to having a strong group of core muscles. Core muscles make all another exercise easier because you have a center of stability. A strong core can reduce injury, and, of course, your mother will be proud of how much a strong core can improve your posture. There’s even recent research that suggests that good posture can actually help improve your mood. Seems pretty worthwhile.
But ab work can be such a drag. Ever tried this routine? Start with Planks. Then move to Side Planks. Then move to One-Legged Planks. Then Hold-And-Twist. Zero-Gravity Fingertip Planks. Spinning Drop Twist Super Plank. At what point do we need to throw out the exercise that needs a hundred iterations to engage the whole core? Enter a new contender: the Crab Twist.
The Crab Twist integrates the movement of a traditional Crunch and Bicycle Kick with the balance of a holding Plank. By fusing these two exercise types, we get a single exercise that really rocks those core muscles. The arms and legs get a little bonus support work too.
To do the Crab Twist, find a soft but grippy surface, such as a yoga mat. You don’t want to slip, but if you do, make sure your landing will be soft!
To start, get into a reverse tabletop position. The easiest way to do this is to sit on your mat with your legs out in front of you, about hip or shoulder-width apart (go with what feels more stable). Then put your arms behind you, and lift your butt off the mat. Make sure you keep your core engaged to take support weight off of your arms and legs.
Next, put your left hand behind your head and raise your right foot, doing a diagonal crunch where you bring your left elbow and right knee to meet in the middle. Feel that working your abs! Repeat this for 30 seconds at a steady pace, then switch sides.
It’s that simple. Your whole core has been worked. Add more reps if you feel like you need more work, but with any new exercise, don’t overdo it.
If you need to adjust the Crab Twist, you can lengthen the time of your sets, or hold the diagonal crunch position (elbow-to-knee) for a few seconds during reach rep. Or to make it easier for an introductory workout, eliminate the arm portion and simply bring your knees diagonally to the middle.
Enjoy those abs. Enjoy that posture. And enjoy the shot of confidence that comes from both.