A solid, strong, ripped core can be built on a flat bench if you are using it to complete bench suitcases, also known as bench crunches. This is truly one of the most forgotten, but arguably the most effective abs move out there.
Bench suitcases are a taxing core exercise that helps you add definition and depth to your abs. It’s more effective than a regular floor crunch because of the position of your torso which must stay fixed at about a 45 degree angle. Maintaining this angle forces you to keep tension in your abs and lower back throughout the duration of the entire set.
The time that your abs stay under tension forces them to work overtime and forces them to grow because of the strenuous nature of the exercise. However, when it comes to well-developed abs – no pain no gain!
Make sure you sabotage your abs regularly! This exercise can even be used as your “rest” between other bench exercise sets on arms day.
How To Do The Bench Suitcase:
- Sit on the end of a bench so that your body is parallel with the bench.
- Extend your legs off of the bench in a straight line.
- Your torso will be at a 45 degree angle with your hands by your sides. You will be balancing on your glutes.
- Bend your knees and raise them toward your chest as you simultaneously move your torso toward your knees. Your legs will do most of the “moving.”
- Lower your legs without letting them touch the floor. They will move diagonally toward the floor.
- Complete the prescribed number of repetitions of this targeted abs move.
Make It Easier: To make the exercise easier, you can place your hands behind your glutes and hold on to the sides of the bench. This helps you brace yourself. You can work up to letting go of the bench.
Make It Difficult: Hold a dumbbell between your feet so that you are “crunching up” additional weight and working even harder against gravity with this abs move!
Sample Exercise Plan:
- Bench suitcase 3 sets of 12-15
- 6 inches 3 sets of 45 seconds (30 seconds rest between)
- Standing oblique plate crunch 3 sets of 12 on each side
- Crunches 3 sets of 15
- Reverse crunches 3 sets of 15
- Barbell roll out 3 sets of 10
- Mini windmills 3 sets of 12