Our no-crunch system targets your abs in a whole new way to give you the leanest, firmest torso ever!
For those hoping to whittle their middle, doing crunch after crunch has always been ab-solute gospel. But experts are now shunning the traditional crunch in favor of a new, "functional" approach: to work the abs in ways similar to how the body naturally moves. The goal is to develop what is known as "core stability," or strength in the abs as well as other muscles in the back and torso. Core exercises take ab workouts to a whole new level, because instead of targeting the uppermost muscle (the rectus abdominis) and the obliques, you focus on deliberately contracting your transverse abdominis. The key to targeting the transverse and firming up your core is to flatten the lower abdominal area while doing balancing exercises. We asked Juan Carlos Santana, a conditioning specialist in Boca Raton, Florida, and Paul M. Juris, director of Equinox Fitness Training Institute in New York City, for their best crunchless moves to give you the ultimate ab workout. Here is one of the moves. For the entire workout, see the June issue of FITNESS.