V ups are a very effective, efficient way of targeting the abdominal muscles. However, not all of us can do them. Perhaps you have a neck or back injury or simply don't yet have the abdominal strength to do them, but still want to work your abs!
If you're looking for the perfect V up alternative, you're in luck because we have them all right here for you to work your way towards those coveted toned abs.
Table of Contents
- 11 Best V Up Alternatives (How To Target The Same Muscles)
- Benefits Of Substitute Exercises Over V Ups
- Frequently Asked V Up Questions
11 Best V Up Alternatives (How To Target The Same Muscles)
We’ve curated the best V up alternatives because they work the same (or even more) muscles. These exercises have enough versatility that you can surely find at least one that works within your physical requirements or preferences, depending on your goals.
Burpees are one of the most effective exercises for burning calories and increasing overall strength. This dynamic movement essentially combines squats, push-ups, and squat jumps, engaging your core throughout the exercise.
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3. In and Out Abs
These are very similar to V ups, but are still a bit easier as you don’t have that full range of motion from laying back down on every rep. They do work your abs, quads, hip flexors, lower and upper abs, though.
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4. Leg/Knee Raises
These are similar to V ups in that you are lifting your legs (hence, the name). However, you keep your back on the floor with this exercise. This fact makes it a bit easier for those just starting out. This is perfect for all abdominals but really focuses on the lower abs and hip flexors.
5. Bicycle Crunches
This one is a nice V ups alternative, placing more focus on the obliques thanks to the twist element of the exercise. Not only that, is it engages the upper and lower abs, along with the hip flexors.
At first glance, these may not look like your typical ab exercise. However, they will force your body to engage the obliques and abdominals in order to stabilize your hips and spine throughout this movement. We love this one for helping to prevent injuries!
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7. Reverse Crunches
Reverse crunches flex your back less than regular crunches, which are easier on the back. They’re also easier than V ups while still activating the transverse abdominis, external obliques, hip flexors, and lower abs. If you’re looking to place more focus on the lower abs, this is a great exercise.
8. Cable Crunches
Cable crunches are absolute killers for the upper and middle abdominals! Even V ups can't target them this well. As you're adding in some weight, it's very challenging but still welcoming to beginners.
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This one is quite a bit different from the others, as it is an isometric exercise! However, it’s a staple in any athlete’s routine as it’s a serious core strengthener!
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10. Ab Rollout
These are pretty difficult and cover the rectus abdominis, obliques, lower back, upper back, and shoulders. It's similar to a plank but more challenging as you're using a ball or ab wheel.
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11. Russian Twists
Are you on the hunt for the perfect oblique V ups alternative? If so, the Russian Twists are just for you. You can use these without weight or add a medicine ball for added difficulty.
Benefits Of Substitute Exercises Over V Ups
Our abdominals are some of the most resilient, versatile muscles in the human body. As they’re designed to be engaged at all times (standing, laying down, moving in any way), you really have to overload them in order for them to become stronger or more developed.
While V ups are certainly an effective exercise, we wouldn't recommend just sticking with that one exercise for your ab routine. The abdominals also need to be "surprised" in a way, and acclimate quickly if you're just performing one ab exercise.
Incorporating alternatives to V ups is essential if you want to maximize results and avoid injuries. Unfortunately, many of us do not have the abdominal strength to perform them correctly, and we always need to prioritize form and control over everything.
These alternatives all engage different parts of our midsection, with some incorporating even more parts of the body. Ideally, you would pick 3 or 4 that you feel most comfortable with and create your own routine by cycling through them.
Frequently Asked V Up Questions
Why are V-Ups so hard?
You already have to have quite strong abdominal muscles to do them correctly. Not only that, but you need to be coordinated enough to sync your legs and arms and be strong enough to move up and down in a controlled motion. With your arms above your head and your legs out, you’re placing a good amount of resistance against your upper and lower abs at the same time.
Do V-Ups burn fat?
It’s important to clarify that no single exercise is going to burn stomach fat, though any type of exercise will burn calories. Burning calories along with a proper diet will help burn fat, however.
What is the easiest exercise on our list?
Planks and crunches are probably going to be the easiest ones. They require little-to-no coordination, and they are perfect for beginners. Not only that, but many people have already done them before, so they're familiar with how to do them correctly.
What is the most challenging exercise on our list?
Ab rollouts and burpees are the most difficult of the bunch. Ab rollouts require an incredible amount of muscular control and coordination – not only in the abs but the entire upper body. Burpees are difficult in that they really get the heart pumping and are an intense cardio workout just as much as they are an effective ab exercise.
We know that V ups are certainly something to work on achieving, but there’s no reason to feel like you can’t get in an excellent ab workout with V up alternatives. In fact, with these selections, you’ll probably get even better results if you remain consistent!
We hope that this has helped guide you in the right direction, and that you now know what to do for your next workouts. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon!
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