Here are four non-crunch core exercises that’ll get you the washboard abs every guy wants.
By Joe Vennare; illustrations by Chris Philpot
You’re not the only one wishing your gut would go away. Your girl would love it if you lost a few pounds. Tightened up a bit. Hit the gym every now and then.
Except there’s not much she can do about getting you in shape. She’s too much of a sweetheart to come right out and say anything. Instead of making a scene, she takes to cooking healthier meals, using all-natural ingredients, and even hitting the gym herself.
You, being the ever-perceptive partner that you are, think she’s insecure. That she’s not comfortable in her own skin. You’re into her sexy little body, sure. But you’re not picking up what she’s putting down. The healthy hints are going unnoticed. So, too, are subtle suggestions that you should get your ass in shape.
And then one day it happens. You’re sitting around watching football, scarfing down homemade chili, and pounding beers. She’s in the kitchen, drinking a green smoothie and pinning things to her “sexy guys” board, when you hear her mumble something under her breath. Did she just say “fuck me”?
Thinking she’s talking to you, you turn and look. Except she’s not talking to you. She’s staring out the window at your neighbor. This fucking guy? Again?! He’s out there cutting the grass. He’s shirtless, sweaty, and apparently all sorts of sexy. That asshole, you think. Then you make the fatal mistake and ask, “Do you like what you see out there?”
The answer doesn’t matter because you know she does. And all at once it hits you like your neighbor just punched you in the dick: This whole time, all of the healthy shit wasn’t about her—it was about you.
Gut Check: It sucks, doesn’t it? She’s eye-fucking another guy because your gut sticks out over your jeans. If only you had the ever-elusive six-pack. And now, after that fiasco, you promise yourself you’ll get one. Or at least you’ll get damn close to it. That’s great. What’s not so great is that you don’t know where to start. Like most amateur exercisers, you’re thinking that crunches are the core cure-all. You’re going to do one million sit-ups a day for the next month. Not so fast, friend. That approach won’t result in anything more than a bad back and a sore neck. As it turns out, crunches aren’t the best method for getting a six-pack. Especially when you have to lose weight along with building muscle. So save yourself some time, and prevent soreness, by staying off your back en route to shrinking your stomach. If you’re really interested in having washboard abs, hack your six-pack with these four exercises.
Grip the handle of the bell with both hands. Sink into a squat, allowing the weight to hang between your quads. Keep your chest upright, your core flexed, and your arms loose. At the bottom of the movement, shift your weight back onto your heels. Drive through the heels while using the hips and legs to swing the weight repeatedly between your legs and back up to shoulder height, resisting the urge to pull with your arms.
Barbell Land Mine
Work the obliques, along with the entire midsection, by placing one end of a barbell on the floor in a corner (for support). Lift the opposite end of the barbell to chest height. Lace your fingers around the end of the barbell and extend your arms away from your chest. With arms extended, rotate your upper body to the right. Return to the center position before rotating to the left.
Begin by hanging from a bar with hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing out. Start the pull by squeezing the bar to engage your upper body and core. Try pulling your elbows down to your sides while pulling your chin up to the bar. Slowly lower yourself down and repeat.
This last exercise requires a piece of equipment known as an ab wheel, a small wheel with two handles. Kneel on the floor with your knees under your hips. Your hands are on the handles of the ab wheel, under your shoulders. Begin by slowly rolling the wheel forward, allowing your hips to follow your hands. Engage your core and keep your back flat as you extend your arms and hips. Once you reach full extension, contract your abs and pull your hips back to the starting position.
From the March 2015 issue of Penthouse