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The 3 Best Abdominal Exercises that Are Not Traditional Ab Exercises

A unique ab workout that doesn’t contain your typical boring stomach exercises – no crunches or situps here..

Article by Mike Geary – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author of best seller: The Truth about Six Pack Abs

Instead of the typical ab routines that we see so often with crunches, situps, leg lifts, etc… I like to give my readers better options for metabolism-boosting high intensity workouts that work their entire body while also working their abs… thus building rock hard abs & core, but also creating a much better fat-burning workout than a typical ab workout.

I’m going to show you an example today of one of my favorite “ab workouts” that doesn’t include any direct “ab exercises” at all. It’s in a tri-set format

(similar to a super-set but alternating between 3 exercises).

Here goes:

1a. Renegade Dumbbell Rows
1b. Front Squats with Barbell
1c. Mountain Climbers on Floor

A good rep scheme to use with this could be 3-4 sets of 8 reps for each exercise, or more sets for less reps, such as 5 sets of 5 reps of each exercise.

Mountain climbers can be done for a time interval (such as 30 seconds) instead of “reps”.

Exercise Pics & Descriptions:

Renegade dumbbell rows are done starting in a pushup position with the hands on 2 dumbbells. You then row one dumbbell up while stabilizing your body with the other arm. Bring the dumbbell back to the ground and alternate the rowing arm while stabilizing with the opposite arm. This stabilizing effect during the rows creates incredible work for your entire midsection core area. Trust me… you’ll feel it in the abs!


Front squats are done similar to back squats, however with the barbell in front of your body on the front of your shoulders instead of resting on the upper back as in back squats. You stabilize the barbell on your shoulders by crossing your arms and pushing your fists into the bar against your shoulders while keeping your elbows out in front of the body.

This takes a little practice at first, so you will want to seek a professional trainer at your gym to help you with the form. Front squats require extreme stabilization strength from the abs due to the barbell weight being shifted to the front of the body instead of the back. Even though this is mostly a leg exercise, you’ll feel this one in the abs big time!


Mountain climbers are done by starting in a pushup position and then shuffling your feet in and out so that your knees are moving in under your chest and then back out to starting position. It sort of resembles climbing a mountain but flat on the floor. If you want an advanced version, you can also shuffle your hands 8-10 inches forward and backward in addition to the leg movements. This really makes it a full body exercise and MUCH more difficult than standard mountain climbers.


After finishing each exercise, rest about 30 seconds before starting the next exercise. Rest about 1-2 minutes after completing each “tri-set” before repeating.

This will give you one of the best ab workouts you’ve ever had without even doing any direct ab exercises. You’ll see what I mean after you try it!

This is just a sampling of some of the killer ideas you’ll discover in my internationally best-selling ebook program, The Truth about Six Pack Abs, currently the #1 most popular abs program on the internet (as ranked by clickbank.com) with over 200,000 users in over 150 countries.

If you don’t already have a copy be sure to pick one up today…

Not only will you receive a complete blue-print for challenging full-body workouts that will thoroughly define your entire body in addition to your abs (can be adjusted to beginners or advanced levels), but you’ll also gain a thorough understanding of what types of nutritional strategies and other lifestyle aspects that it takes to reduce your belly fat to the level where your abs are visible. Remember, nutrition and mindset are MORE important than just the workouts!

Check out what other users are saying about their results with the Truth about Six Pack Abs program

Don’t be lazy… Be lean.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder – TruthAboutAbs.com & Busy Man Fitness.com

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4 Comments

  1. KING ARTHUR USA
    Posted August 8, 2010 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    My concern is the full squat exercise. People with weak knees could do further damage to the meniscus, cartilage. ligament. The knee fully bent leaves the joint open and weak.
    Carrying extra weight IMO opinion may damage the spine too

  2. //Ann
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    My PT said NO NO NO squats or deadlifts with my herniated disks. (And WOW are those some MAJOR barbells! Makes my back ache just looking at them!) But yeah, I CAN see where this would be a bonzer abs workout for someone with a healthy back! Mike looks pretty ripped! :)

  3. KGB
    Posted August 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Just read a frightening report about 12 boys on a football team that all ended up in the hospital with “”compartment syndrome,” which caused soreness and swelling in their triceps and high levels of creatine kinase, a protein that can harm the kidneys. Three players had surgery to relieve swelling.Authorities said the cause was not yet known, but the condition can be the result of exercise or the use of certain medications. All but one of the players who became ill worked out last Sunday at the high school’s wrestling room, where one player says the temperature reached 120 degrees.” What a bad decision that was by the 1st year coach.Please be judicious and proceed slowly if you have not been exercising in a while. If you take too much of a jump up in your exercise regimen, your body will break down a lot of muscle at once. The result will be the release of too much broken down muscle particulates into the blood stream. This can clog the kidneys and cause Rhabdo.

  4. Belly Fat Guru
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I agree that those 3 exercises are excellent at building the core, but just make sure proper techniques are followed as always to avoid and reduce risk of potential injury.

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