10 Moves To Tone Your Tummy

Want a toned core, but hate crunches? No problem! Try these no-crunches exercises by UR.Life Studio Fitness Coach to get a stronger and toned midsection.

By URLife Team
08 Apr 2023

These exercises are curated by Syed Ismail, Fitness Manager of UR.Life Gym, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad. He has 18 + years of experience in the fitness industry.


Flaunting a flat, toned, and chiselled abdomen is what most of us dream of. If you want to sculpt your core, then it goes without saying that you need dedicated training. But not everyone is a fan of crunches—the standard exercise for sculpted abs. If you want to achieve a strong flat tummy without crunches, you need to look at your overall diet, activity levels and perform core workouts that target all the muscles in your core such as transversus abdominis (muscles within abdomen), rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles), obliques (two sets of muscles at the side of rectus abdominis), and pelvic floor.


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The good news is that one can do a core workout to build abs without any special equipment or crunches, for that matter. All ab exercises will tone, sculpt, and strengthen core muscles in your abdomen, pelvis, lower back, and hips. When you work out your core muscles, you also improve balance and stability.


Related story: Bulking And Cutting: How To Get More Muscle Definition


10 Moves To Do For Toned Tummy Without Crunches

1. Abs Wheel

Equipment: Ab wheel and a yoga mat

Target area: Strengthen and tone up the muscles of your core

Goal: 3 sets and 15 reps

  • Begin on both knees on the mat and place the ab wheel just in front of the body on the floor. Hold on to the abs wheel handles.
  • Tighten the abdominal muscles and extend your arms completely. Slowly, roll the wheel forward until your body is parallel to the ground.
  • Now, again engage your core, keeping back straight, roll yourself back to the starting position and repeat.


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2. Plank Jack

Equipment: A yoga mat

Target area: The hamstrings, abdomen, glutes, spinal erectors, rhomboids, rear delts, forearms, biceps, triceps, front deltoids, and pecs (chest muscles)

Goal: 30 seconds

  • Kneel on the mat and place your hands on the floor. Bend your elbows, your forearms resting on the floor. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Extend your legs behind you and tuck your tailbone slightly to make your pelvis perpendicular to the floor. Squeeze your glutes and core, ensure your body is straight and your back flat.
  • Keeping your body in a straight line, slightly bend at the knees and hop both feet out to the sides as if doing a jumping jack.
  • Get on your toes again, bend your knees slightly and then hop your legs back to the first position.


Related story: 4 Easy Ways To perfect The Plank


3. Quadruped Thoracic Rotation

Equipment: A yoga mat

Target area: Focuses on abs and increases T-spine mobility

Goal: 3 sets and 15 reps

  • Get on your four limbs into a quadruped position by placing the knees underneath the hips and the hands under the shoulders with the spine straight.
  • For the first position, place one hand (right) on the back of the neck without putting pressure on the neck.
  • Start rotating your head along with the hand on the neck downwards as far as possible down toward the hand. Similarly, rotate your head upwards as far as possible. Make sure you are leading with your eyes at every moment.
  • Maintain a position of the opposite arm with the elbow extended while moving in both directions and keep lumbar, thoracic, and cervical aligned during rotation.
  • Repeat the exercise with your left hand in the same position.


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4. Russian Twist With Weights

Equipment: A yoga mat and weight

Target area: Strengthens the core (abs) and lower body

Goal: 3 sets and 25 reps

  • Sit on the floor with knees bent in the sit-up position.
  • Lean back slightly at a 45-degree angle so your torso and legs form a V-like shape, bracing your abdominal wall to engage your core. Keep your heels in contact with the floor.
  • Engage your core and squeeze your glutes. Rotate the dumbbell over your body from side to side, keeping it just an inch away from the floor.
  • Balancing here and keeping your legs fixed, Remember to move slowly and breathe.
  • Keep your chin tucked in, head moving in line with the shoulders. Rotate at the waist and twist your torso from side to side. Avoid rounding your spine. Keep your chest up and open.


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5. Inchworm

Equipment: A yoga mat

Target area: Entire body

Goal: 3 sets and 10 reps

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Relax your shoulders and engage your abdomen.
  • Take a breath in, then as you exhale, look down and start reaching your hands toward the end of the mat in front of you. Bend your back forward and start rolling down slowly on your palms. Bend your knees slightly, as needed, to enable your hands to reach the ground.
  • When your hands are directly under your shoulders, you should be in a full plank position with your core, chest, quads, triceps, and shoulders engaged.
  • Exhale as you step forward. Bend your knees slightly if you feel pain from the stretch on your hamstrings.
  • Return to standing by rolling your back up from the hips, straightening the back slowly. Inhale as you go and stand again.


Related story: 5 Fun Workouts To try At UR.Life Studio


6. Bird Dog

Equipment: A mat

Target area: Abs, glutes and hip flexors

Goal: 3 sets and 25 reps

  • Get on all four limbs. Ensure your hands are placed under the shoulders and the knees under the hips.
  • Extend one leg (right leg) and the opposite arm (left hand) at the same time.
  • Pause for 3 to 5 seconds, return to the starting position, and switch sides.
  • Continue alternating sides until the set is complete.


Related Story: How to Perfect the Downward Dog?


7. V-Sit Tucks

Equipment: A yoga mat or a bench

Target area: Core

Goal: 3 sets and 15 reps

  • Lie faceup on the yoga mat with legs straight, feet lifted, and toes pointed forward.
  • Engage your core while sinking the lower back into the floor. Look straight ahead. Then immediately bring your chest forward along with your hands straight.
  • At the same time raise your legs at a 45-degree angle and with your hands and shoulders off the floor.
  • Straighten your legs and slowly lower your torso back to the floor.
  • Repeat until the set is complete.


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8. Side Plank Knee To Elbow

Equipment: A mat

Target area: Abs, glutes, hip flexors, obliques and shoulders

Goal: 3 sets and 10 reps each side

  • Get in a plank position with your arms resting on the floor and lower body straight and supported by toes. Look straight down at the floor, pull your shoulders down and back, and brace your core. Tighten your quadriceps and glutes.
  • Bend one leg and draw your knee up to the outside of your elbow and touch it lightly. Stretch your leg and bring it back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement on the opposite side slowly and smoothly. Continue alternating legs till 10 reps.


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9. Side Jackknife

Equipment: A mat

Target area: Abs

Goal: 3 sets and 10 reps

  • Start by lying with your left side on the floor and your left leg above the right.
  • Keep your right hand on your torso and your left hand behind your head.
  • Lift your left leg as you bring your chest towards your leg contracting your abdominals, as they get closer together.
  • Squeeze tightly and hold for a few seconds then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat this exercise for as many repetitions as needed.


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10. Standing Oblique Sides W/Extended Leg

Equipment: None

Target area: Abs

Goal: 3 sets and 25 reps

  • Stand with your knees slightly bent, your feet hip-width apart, and your hands behind your head.
  • Keep your chin tucked in throughout the movement.
  • Bend your left knee and shift your weight to the left. Then, crunch to the right side and bring your right knee up toward your elbow.
  • Return to the starting position by lowering your right leg.
  • Switch your leg and repeat.


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