Are You Toning Your Abs all Wrong? Here’s How to Get Abs Without Doing A Single Crunch

Because, doing crunches is definitely not the only way to get toned and defined abs.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Deep breaths, this one may be shocking…but, we may all be toning our abs wrong. You know those crunches that we’ve all been told at some point or another are the best “go to” abdominal exercise? Well, as it turns out, you can most definitely get those defined abs of your dreams without having to do a single crunch…(phew!)

Can we all just take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief? I mean, crunches aren’t really the most fun way to tone the abdominals, and they can get pretty repetitive, and downright boring. And, here at FitOn we think fitness needs to be fun, because let’s face it, if it’s not fun, you’re less likely to stick with it. So, let’s just do ourselves the favor of making sure whatever we put our time into when it comes to fitness is something we enjoy and can do at least a few times per week. This my friend, is the secret sauce to fitness success.

So, now let’s talk toned and defined abs. How do we get those? Ah, the answer everyone wants to know, and guess what? We got it for ya.

But first, let’s get real for a sec and talk about why crunches may be doing us a disservice if they are the only exercise we focus on to tighten up those ab muscles.

Why We May all be Toning Our Abs Wrong

Ok, so it’s not that crunches are bad, it’s just that if we get caught up on only focusing on crunches as our sole way of working on our abdominal muscles, we may quickly plateau and not see the results we want. This is often due to a couple of things.

Number one being improper form, and number two is the fact that we need to diversify our workouts and work on different muscle groups to get desired results. When it comes to our abs, we can’t forget about those obliques, and crunches just aren’t going to target those as well as some of other exercise options will- read on to learn which ones are best.

The Best Way to Tone Your Abs Without Doing Crunches

So let’s get to it and talk about what we all want to know. If you aren’t doing crunches, then what are you doing?

Here are some of the best workouts for those tight abs and defined obliques.


Planks are a sure fire way to get some total body definition. With the right form, you can tighten your arms, booty, and abs without doing a single crunch! So, drop and do some planks every time you workout to target various muscle groups.

Mountain Climbers

Similar to a plank, but with some added movement, mountain climbers can help tone those abs, strengthen your obliques, and work those arms all at the same time. Talk about a total body workout!

Stability Ball Workouts

Who knew you could get tight abs just by using a stability ball? If you don’t have one, you can find these online for a super reasonable price, and they make a great addition to a number of different workouts, so we think they are well worth the investment! Try using a stability ball to tone your abs instead of doing hundreds of crunches. Try exercises like the stability ball rollout, or pike-ups. Trust us, your abs will be shaking within a matter of minutes!


Getting into a regular Pilates routine is one of the best ways to get some total body definition, and you can tone your abs without doing those dreaded crunches. Want to get a kickbutt Pilates workout in? Workout with trainer Cassey Ho using our FitOn app right from the comfort of your own home. Our virtual fitness classes are open 24/7, so press play whenever you catch some time for self-care.


High intensity interval training is another ideal way to target various muscle groups for total body definition, chiseled abs, and defined obliques. Plus, you can get a quick workout in 20 minutes or less. Check out one of our FitOn HIIT classes with trainers Bree Branker or Danielle Pascente for an ultimate sweat sesh.

Get Challenged!

Ready for a challenge? Try one of our FitOn app 4-week challenges to target those abs and get some seriously defined oblique muscles. Try our metabolic ab smash or our full body strong and defined challenge to target various muscle groups that help support a strong core.

The Bottom Line

If crunches aren’t your favorite form of exercise, we totally get it. They can become monotonous, and if you only focus on this way of toning your abs, you may quickly plateau and not see the results you are after. So, switch things up! Try adding some Pilates and HIIT to your fitness routine, get out the stability ball, and drop down into a plank to target various muscle groups to strengthen your core. And, while these exercises are bound to have you feeling the burn, we promise you will thank us later!