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Get Flat Abs: 10 Crunch-Free Moves

Posted: 12/12/2011 7:20 am

This abs workout, created by fitness expert Jessica Smith, star of the Yin Yang Fusion Workout DVD, combines the best of kickboxing and Pilates to challenge your abs in new ways -- without a single crunch.

For best results, perform each move back to back without rest, and depending on how much time (and energy) you have, repeat the full circuit up to three times total.

And remember, great abs start in the kitchen, so make sure to pair this routine with a healthy diet.

Cross Knee Strike
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The twisting motion of this abs exercise is a great way to functionally strengthen your core, since we're constantly twisting and turning our upper body during daily activities. Performing this move on one leg is also a great way to develop balance and coordination. It's a great 'warm up' for this circuit.

How to do it: Start standing with your knees slightly bent, arms bent into your body, and your hands in fists by your chin (this is called "on guard" position). Shift your weight onto your right leg, leaving just the toes of your left foot on the floor. Brace your abs and lift your left knee up towards your right shoulder while you turn your right shoulder into your knee. Lower left toes back to the floor, keeping your balance on the right leg. Repeat 20 times with the left leg and 20 times with the right.

Bonus tip: Focus on your breath to deepen the contraction of your abs: exhale as lift your knee and imagine you're pressing the air out of your lungs with your abs. Inhale as you lower your leg back down.

More from Shape.com:
How to Stick to a Weight-Loss Plan
The Best Foods for Flat Abs
Ask the Celeb Trainer: How Can I Get Rid of Love Handles?

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Filed by Sarah Klein  |