Ab Exercises Without the Hamstring

Get your abs ready for swimsuit season.

Get your abs ready for swimsuit season.

Little can give you more confidence to slip into a swimsuit than toned abs. But it can also be a challenge to exercise if you have an injury or have already exhausted certain muscles. Some ab exercises work the hamstrings, which should not be done if your hamstrings are injured or sore. However, some ab exercises do not use the hamstrings at all, so forget the excuses and don’t miss out on a chance to chisel those abs.


Place an exercise ball about 2 feet away from a wall. Lie on the exercise ball on your back. Bend your knees 90 degrees and put your feet on the wall. Your calves should be parallel with the floor. Place your hands behind your head.

Raise your head upward, contracting your abs.

Lower your head back down.

Repeat 20 times.

Side Wall Crunch

Keep the exercise ball near a wall. Put your left side on the ball, between your armpit and your hips.

Extend your left leg forward and your right leg backward. Place both of your feet against the bottom of the wall, near the floor. Place your hands behind your head.

Twist your upper body so that you are looking at the ceiling. Lift your upper body upward.

Twist back to the side and bring your upper body back down onto the ball.

Repeat 15 times on both sides.

Seated Medicine Ball Trunk Rotation

Sit on a mat with your feet extended forward and knees slightly bent. Your heels should be on the floor.

Hold a medicine ball with both hands out in front of you with your upper arms at your sides.

Twist to the left and come back to the center.

Twist to the left and come back to the center.

Repeat 20 times.

Russian Twist

Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

Straighten your arms and reach toward the ceiling.

Reach your arms farther upward, lifting your shoulders off of the mat while contracting your abs.

Move your arms to the right side and then to the left.

Bring your arms back to the center and lower your shoulders onto the mat.

Repeat 15 times.

Items you will need

  • Exercise ball
  • Medicine ball


  • Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

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About the Author

Though constantly traveling the world, Julia Williams is based in Chicago and has been writing since 2006. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting. She is also a licensed fitness instructor, specializing in Pilates since 2003 and has written hundreds of articles on exercise and health.

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