Here's a secret about six-pack abs: you don’t actually need six cubes of muscle in your abdomen to live a happy and productive life. You do, however, need an all-around great core workout if you want to fix your posture, avoid injury, and, oh yeah, look pretty damn good on the beach. That’s where Peloton Tread instructor Andy Speer, comes in.
Perform this workout as a circuit. It's best when performed three times a week, with heavyweight workouts in between (think deadlifts, squats, pull-ups and bench presses). In weeks 1 and 2, do each move for 30 seconds, then rest 15; do 3 rounds. In weeks 3 and 4, work for 45 seconds, then rest 15; do 4 rounds.
1. Two-Step Getup
Lie on your back, a dumbbell in your right hand directly over your chest, right knee bent. This is the start. Press the bell upward, propping yourself onto your left elbow. Pause. Push your torso off the floor. Pause. Return to the start. Do 1 set on each side before doing the next move. Never take your eyes off the dumbbell. This will help you keep the weight (and your shoulder) stable.
2. Ab Runner
Lie on your back, hands touching your head, feet together. Sit up and simultaneously bring your left knee toward your chest; try to touch it to your right elbow. Pause and squeeze your core, then return to the start. That’s 1 rep. Repeat on the other side; gradually try to pick up speed on each rep.
3. Weighted Hollow Hold
Lie on your back, feet together and arms extended behind you, holding a light dumbbell. Raise your arms off the floor; simultaneously raise your legs two inches off the floor. Contract your abs, driving your lower back into the floor. Hold until time is up. Too hard? Ditch the dumbbell, but keep your arms extended. Your main focus should be keeping your lower back pressed to the floor. Can’t do it? Bend your knees and bring your arms closer to your torso.
4. Side Plank Leg Lift
Set up in a left side plank, legs straight and feet stacked; your left elbow should be directly below your left shoulder, core tight. This is the start. Maintaining this position, lift your right leg as high as you can, pause, then return to the start. That’s one rep. Do one set on each side before doing the next move.
5. Inverse Crunch
Lie on your back, hands by your sides and feet together. Raise your legs so your thighs are perpendicular to the floor, then bend at the knees. This is the start. Tighten your lower abs, lifting your hips off the floor; focus on driving the contraction with your abs as you do this. Lower back to the start. That’s one rep.
Set a timer for eight minutes. During odd-numbered minutes, do a set of the first exercise as quickly as possible with good form, then rest until the end of the minute. During even-numbered minutes, do a set of the second exercise, then rest until the end of the minute.
1. Renegade Row
Set up in pushup position with your hands on dumbbells that are directly under your shoulders. Do a pushup. After you return to the start, brace your core and lift the right dumbbell off the floor; row it to your right rib cage. Return it to the floor and repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do 4 to 5 reps per set.
2. Dumbbell Swing
Hold a dumbbell by its head at your hips, feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your core tight, let it swing down through your legs. Now explosively drive your hips forward, standing up and squeezing your glutes; the momentum should drive the dumbbell up to nearly chest level. That’s one rep; let the momentum of the dumbbell carry you into your next rep. Do 15 reps.
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