3 Non Crunch Destabilizer Exercises To Build Abs (And Core Muscles)

August 25, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

You’ve heard me say this before and I’ll say it again…

‘Did you know, I can’t remember the last time I performed a single crunch or sit up?’

10 years to be exact!

Of course, I have performed variations of these exercises, such as the decline bench sit ups. But crunches?

NO, NO, NO!!

No more of those for me. No…sirrryy!

Of course, as a newbie that doesn’t yet have abs, crunches will be a great stabilizer exercise to focus on.

(Stabilizer exercise = Exercise that allows you to focus on a specific body part)

But for those of you who have been exercising for 6 months or more, you will know the importance of switching things up every now and again.

  1. Will keep your muscles talking (Shock those babies!)
  2. Will prevent you from getting bored

And I don’t care who you are, performing crunches months on end will get damn boring. So what we do is introduce…

Destabilizer exercises to build abs (And core muscles)

What are these?

Destabilizer exercises are exercises that throw your body off balance during an exercise. This helps recruit other muscles of your body so that they contract and hit deep within the muscle tissue… including your abs.

(Which is how and why I’ve been able to maintain my abs without having done any crunches for such a long period of time)

The Exercises

The Exercise Ball Plank

We all know that it’s all about ripping up your ‘core’ section to obtain the million dollar human ‘look’, and the plank exercise has always been great for that. However, we like to innovate around here!

That’s why we throw in an exercise ball.


Because this will throw you off balance, make your entire body work and of course increase intensity.

How to perform

  1. Kneel down on your knees and rest your forearms on top of the exercise ball
  2. Raise your self up
  3. Push your body up and extend your legs backwards like you do in the standard plank exercise
  4. Balance yourself in that position and hold it for about a minute
  5. Make sure you keep your body dead straight… no arching!

Deadlifts (Single leg)

We all know that the standard dead lift exercise is one of the big daddy killer compound exercises.

(An exercise that works all 4 limbs of your body)

But what we do here is get creative. Like I said earlier, it’s all about throwing your body off balance, as this is how we force the other muscle groups to work… including your abs. However, we can’t go into this exercise with the same mindset as we do with the standard deadlift (Oh, go ahead… try if you will… just know that I did not advise you to do so).

What we do here is trade the heavy weight for a lightweight, which ironically still provides a challenge.


How to perform

Grab a pair of dumbbells or a barbell

  1. Stand straight with both feet together and place them in front of your feet
  2. Reach down towards the bar/dumbbells and extend one leg backwards in the same movement (Make sure both legs remain dead straight throughout the movement)
  3. You can always place a bench behind you and rest your leg on that as you kneel down If you’re just starting out and if your balance isn’t too good
  4. Slowly rise back up and then repeat the movement

Single Leg Raise On Exercise Ball

This is another exercise that takes advantage of increased intensity (Gotta love these exercise balls!).

How to perform

  1. Find and exercise ball
  2. Start by lying on the exercise ball on your lower back
  3. Bring your hips up so that they are parallel to the ground.
  4. Stretch your legs out in front of you, knees bent so that they are at a 90 degree angle.
  5. Make sure your feet are placed well on the ground

Now balance!

  1. While in this this position, lift one leg off the ground and extend it (dead straight)
  2. Hold this position for the one minute.
  3. Then repeat with the other leg.

Stay-Fit Bug challenge

Like many bodyweight exercises… they may become ‘easy’. If this exercise does become easy, do this…

  • Grab a dumbbell and hold it directly in front of you with the opposite arm. Just like with the pistol squats.

Want more of a challenge?

Just keep on increasing the weight!

All of these exercises will help you maintain those abs you worked so hard for and of course, rip the hell out of your core section. I talk a lot about the exercise ball here and in the ebook. And rightly so!


Because they allow for a sh*t load of variation and ROM (Range Of Motion), which of course, is when most exercises will give you the full benefits of the said exercise.

If this is all new to you, be sure to grab both!

The Unique Bodyweight Exercise Ebook

And The Exercise Ball

SPRI Xercise Ball Package With DVD And Pump, 75 Cm Xercise Ball Pack

(Which is used heavily throughout the ebook with exercises like those mentioned above).

Yes… building abs does have a lot to do with your actual diet. But the ratio varies from individual to individual.

Here”s the ratio that probably applies to most of you.

However, this ratio did not apply to me (More like 20% diet 80% gym).

Either way, when it comes to actually maintaining a 6 pac (and your core) you will want to follow everything mentioned here, because boredom WILL strike and shocking muscles is part of the game.

To all our bodybuilding successes..

See you in the comments.

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