It was my birthday recently, and one of my gifts was “Modern Warfare 3”. I’m still a kid at heart. It’s actually still in its packaging because I promised myself not to play it until I completed certain goals. One of them is telling you kids about 6-pack exercises (or as I like to call “weapons”) that actually work while saving your lower back and improving core performance. They also chisel your abs. So here I am, at a nice little place called “Panera Bread”, putting together this 6-pack abs weapon cheat sheet for you. It’s almost like a walk-thru to completing your mission of eye-popping abs.
It’s funny, but playing Call of Duty or any other war game is just like getting the abs you deserve. If you go into the mission with the wrong weapons, you will inevitably fail. In one of the previous missions, you are supposed to find 4 spots to lay down some explosives to bring down a building. So naturally, on my weapons screen, I chose C4’s for the building and a M-16 to protect myself from the bad guys. If I had gone into it with boxing gloves and firecrackers, I would have failed my mission. Also, the bad guys would have been thinking, “what the heck is this freak wearing boxing gloves for? That’s weird. And firecrackers? Ohhh, I get it. I’m being punked.” I would then have to start over, frustrated and annoyed. But I’ll never get anywhere if I continue to use the same weapons.
The same goes for your 6-pack mission. If you continue using those silly ab machines, crunches, sit-ups and side bends, you will not only fail your mission of defined abs, but you will also wreck havoc on your lower back. You would then see that it’s not working, but you continue to use the same non-effective weapons over and over. You will end up frustrated and annoyed.
I’m here to tell you what weapons to choose for your mission of 6-pack abs. These moves will not only define your stomach more effectively, but they are much safer for your lower back. It’s time to go to your ab weapon screen and put away the sit-ups and crunches. It’s time to get serious and use the most effective weapons available, proven by science.
Top Weapons for Your 6-Pack Abs Mission
Weapon # 1 – The Ab Wheel or Stability Ball Rollout
The more difficult of these two is the ab wheel rollout, however don’t misjudge the stability ball rollout. You will feel your abs work hard on this one. Once you feel a slight stretch on these, be sure you use your abs, and not your arms, to bring yourself back
Weapon # 2 – The Variety of Planks
Planks improve core endurance better then silly sit-ups or crunches. Lower back guru, Dr. Stuart McGill says that you should be able to hold a regular plank for 2 minutes for signs of a very healthy back. When performing the plank, be sure not to let your hips sag and to keep your abs embraced the entire time (as if you’re about to get punched in the gut). There are several varieties of planks you can perform to work your core like it’s supposed to be worked. Here are some:
V-Plank (extending the arm and the opposite leg)
Push-up Plank – Keeping your abs embraced, you hold a push-up position. The lower you go, the harder it is
Stability Ball Plank – this type of plank works your abs approximately 30% harder than a standard plank
Rocking Plank (also known as a body saw) – Simply start in the plank position, and while you keep your abs embraced and maintain a straight line, you shift forward and back. Do this 8-15 times, depending on your fitness level.
Batman Plank – this is just like a regular plank, except you actually picture yourself as Batman. This was thrown in to just see if you’re paying attention.
Side Plank (much better for the love handles then those silly side bends)
With the variety of planks, you work your entire abdominal wall instead of the first layer. You improve core endurance and improve stability, which means “awesomeness” for the lower back. Your back will appreciate it.
Weapon # 3 – The Stability Ball Jackknife
The tricky part with this one is to not let your shoulders round out, as well as not let your hips sag during the movement, especially as you fatigue. Simply put your feet on a stability ball and your hands on the floor in the push-up position. Be sure you start in a straight line. Using your abs, being the ball in by bending your knees in towards your chest and keeping your abs embraced. Then return to the starting position, pushing the ball back out using your feet. You want to get crazy? Throw in a push-up between reps. That would be the stability ball jackknife push-up combo and it’s “good times”.
Weapon # 4 – The Cable Core Press
I have fallen in love with this ever since the book “The New Rules of Lifting for Abs” came out. The reason I love it so much is because it is just as effective for a beginner as it for a fitness veteran. You simply adjust the weight. Kneeling down on one knee, simply bring in a cable (with resistance) using a narrow-grip handle towards your abs. Hold that position for 30 seconds to a minute, keeping your abs embraced. This one can be tough to explain, so here is a video:
Weapon # 5 – Cross Body Mountain Climbers
This has been a staple for just about all of my clients ever since I discovered it through Turbulence Training. It looks easy on paper, but when done right, it can shred your 6-pack in no time. Start in the push-up position. Not letting your hips sag, bring one knee in towards the opposite hand. Return and repeat on the other side. Do 8-12 reps for each side. The key to this exercise, like most of them, is to keep your abs embraced so they work harder.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to chisel out your 6-pack. These are the weapons you will use. Complete the mission and get your six pack abs.
This is General Mike Whitfield, over and out.
Certified Turbulence Trainer