By fusing the latest science with a bit of hard graft, your core will be stronger and more defined in time for boardies season.
Duration: 25 minutes
Results in: 4 weeks
For your first workout, you’re working one side of your body at a time – or “unilateral training”, should you want to sound a bit geekier.
“Not only will this make you look cool as hell on the gym floor, but it will also activate your core and obliques twice as much as regular abs movements,” says PT Michael Jennings.
The moves are paired in supersets to keep your heart rate up. Schedule this workout for Mondays and Thursdays. Let’s get cracking.
1. ONE-ARM PARALLETTE ROW
4 sets of 10 each arm
In a high-plank position with arms straight, grip a parallette in one hand and hold a dumbbell in the other. Your body should be straight with your legs out behind you (A). With the weight just above the floor, row up to your hip, thinking about pulling with your elbow (B). Hold, then lower. Switch sides after 10 reps, then go straight into your swings.
2. KETTLEBELL SWING
4 sets of 15 each arm
Stand tall with a kettlebell in one hand between your legs. Start the move by hinging at your hips, with your chest up and a slight bend in your knees. Keep your back straight (A). When your torso is almost parallel with the floor, drive the weight up by pushing your hips forward (B). Switch sides after 15 reps, rest for 60 seconds and go back to the rows.
3. REVERSE LUNGE
4 sets of 10 each leg
Stand tall with one kettlebell extended above your head (A). Stepping back with the opposite leg, drop your knee to touch the floor (B) before pressing back to standing. Keep your core tight at all times and your arm extended. After 10 reps on one leg, switch sides before going immediately into your loaded carries.
4. MIXED SUITCASE CARRY
4 sets of 20 metres each
Hold a kettlebell above your head and a dumbbell by your side (A). Keep your shoulders back and tense your core as you take the weights on the move (B). After 20 metres or so (the distance travelled is really up to you), switch arms and repeat. That’s one set. Rest for 60 seconds before your next round of reverse lunges.
Strength forged, this workout will fire up your metabolism and hit your abs in different (and devilish) ways.
“By switching between pulling and pushing, you’ll delay fatigue in your muscles, so you can work at a higher intensity for longer,” says Jennings. “You’ll call on your abs in every one of these moves to keep your balance.”
Do this workout on Tuesdays and Fridays, and rest on Wednesdays. Off you go, champion.
1. SEATED BAND ROW
4 sets of 10
Sit down with your legs straight out in front of you and wrap a resistance band around your feet, holding the other end of the loop in both hands (A). Contract your back and biceps to pull the band towards you and hold, briefly, a couple of centimetres from your chest (B). This is the hardest part, so keep your core tight and back straight. Reverse slowly and repeat.
2. ALTERNATING MED BALL
4 sets of 12
Set up in a push-up position – this time, though, grip a medicine ball (or wall ball) underneath one hand. Perform your push-up as normal, keeping your back flat and your core tight (A). However, when you come back to full extension of your arms at the top (B), roll the ball across and underneath to your other hand, ready to go immediately into your next rep.
3. DUMBBELL THRUSTER
4 sets of 12
Standing tall holding a pair of dumbbells to your shoulders, drop into a squat, keeping your core tight (A). As you explode back up through your quads, press the weights above your head, fully extending your arms at the top (B). Bring the weights to your shoulders, just before you drop straight back into your second squat. Houston, we have lift off.
4. WALK OUT TOE TAP
4 sets of 4
Start the rep by folding forward and extending your hands to the floor (A). Walk your hands out until you reach a high plank. From here, reach back with your left hand to touch your right foot (B), then repeat with the other hand. Walk your hands back and return to standing to complete your first rep.