A six-pack brings all the girls to the yard… but core strength can change your life. “The core is composed of much more than just the abs,” explains Joe Holder, founder of Ochosystem, fitness trainer at New York City’s S10 and Nike trainer. “It’s the connection between your upper and lower halves and is needed to support the body for various movements, especially athletic ones.” So add these Holder-endorsed moves to your routine and not only will your abs look better, but also your overall strength and performance will shoot through the roof.
1. Spiderman Planks: Come into plank position on floor, hands on ground stacked directly under shoulders, legs extended behind, core tight, body in straight line from head to toe. Without shifting, lift right leg and bend knee up towards right elbow. Lower back down. Repeat with left leg. Continue alternating for 12 to 15 reps with each leg.
2. Bus Drivers: Hold empty barbell with both hands at a 45-degree angle in front of you. With core tight, twist and lower bar towards your right hip. Then twist and bring it back up and over to the left. Continue alternating side to side for 12 to 15 reps on each side.
3. Plank Rope Slams: Get into plank position on floor, hands on ground stacked directly under shoulders, legs extended behind, core tight, body in straight line from head to toe, battle ropes in front of you. Without shifting, take right rope in right hand and slam rope into floor. Continue for 12 to 15 reps, then switch arms.
4. Hollow Body Rocks: Lie on floor on your back, extending legs out straight and arms up overhead. Bracing your core, lift legs and arms off ground, creating a hollow position with your body. Slowly rock back and forth for 30 seconds.
5. Linear Acceleration Wall Drill: Stand facing wall and place hands on it, leaning body at a 45-degree angle, feet together. Bracing core and glutes, lift right knee up towards chest, pause for a second, then drive it into ground as you pick up your left knee. Continue alternating for 30 seconds.
6. Single Arm Dumbbell Sit-Ups: Lie on your back, knees bent, feet planted on ground in front of you, dumbbell in right hand, palm facing away from body. Extend right arm up towards ceiling. Keeping dumbbell overhead, brace your core to sit fully up. Slowly lower back down. Continue for 12 to 15 reps, then repeat with left arm.
7. Medicine Ball Push-Up to Mountain Climber: Get into plank position on floor, hands on a medicine ball, stacked directly under shoulders, legs extended behind, core tight, body in straight line from head to toe. Bend elbows and perform a push-up. When you return to extended plank, lift right leg and bring knee up towards nose. Quickly switch to bring left knee up towards nose. Continue alternating for 6 reps total. Then repeat. Do 12-15 reps. Lead photo: @criene via Twenty20