Check out this classic workout from our previous issues.
Cable Crunch: 4sets 12reps 30 seconds rest
Hanging Leg Raise: 4sets 12reps 30 seconds rest
Hanging Leg Raise with Twist: 4sets 10reps 30 seconds rest
Decline Sit-Up: 4sets 10resp 30 seconds rest
Dumbbell Oblique Twist: 4set 12reps 30 seconds rest
Woodchopper: 4sets 12reps 30 seconds rest
Side Plank 4sets 45-seconds-reps 30 seconds rest
Start: Using a rope attachment, set the cable pulley to a high position. Kneel on the floor supported by your knees and calves, facing the apparatus. Grasp the ends of the rope using a neutral grip, bring your hands to the sides of your head, and bend your arms 90 degrees. Keep your back straight and your head in line with your spine.
Execution: Keeping the rest of your body steady, flex from the waist in a crunching manner while your hands keep the rope in a fixed position. Make sure you don’t use your arms to press the rope in a downward direction. In the finish position, hold the crunch for a second, then raise slowly back to the start.
Tip: With some exercises, feel is a very useful tool. If this action seems a little uncomfortable at first, tell yourself “touch my sternum to my belly button.” Your body may instantly adapt properly.
HANGING LEG RAISE
Start: Stand underneath a chin-up bar and spread your arms about 1.5 times the width of you shoulders. Leap upward and grasp the bar with an overhand grip in each hand. Keep your back straight, your head level, and let your legs hang fully extended. You may find yourself swinging gently for a second, but when your body remains still, you’re ready to perform the move.
Execution: Focus intensely on keeping your entire upper body still. Flex through your lower abs and raise your fully extended legs in front of you with feet together. When your legs become parallel to the floor, hold for a second to break gravity’s pull, then lower in a controlled manner back to the start.
Tip: This is an exercise that’s notorious for sneaking up on you. The first few reps may seem easy, but they get tougher quickly. Don’t feel bad if you run out of steam early in your set; just don’t sacrifice good form.
HANGING LEG RAISE (with TWIST)
Start: As an extension of the preceding move, perform the original hanging leg raise until you’re in the finish position.
Execution: From here, making sure to keep your torso steady even longer, draw your legs in until there’s a 90-degree flex in your knees, then twist to your left until you evoke a comfortable stretch. Without pausing, swing your legs (still in a bent position) across in front of you over to your right side until you again reach a good stretch in your obliques. Return your legs back in front of you, extend them fully, and then lower to the bottom position. This sequence constitutes one rep.
Tip: When your first try this move, the momentum of your lower half may cause your torso to follow it from side to side. Make sure to keep your torso facing forward; this is how you set the basis for the resistance in your obliques.
Start: Set into position on the apparatus with your feet hooked under the rollers and your hips and glutes on the pad. Your legs should be almost fully extended but with a slight flex at the knees. Keep your back straight and raise your arms such that your upper arms are perpendicular to your torso and your forearms are bent back with your fingers adjacent to the side of your head.
Execution: With the sit-up, the flexion comes more from the hips than the waist and, in technical terms, the primary mover is the iliopsoas rather than the rectus abdominus. Keep your legs steady and use the rollers just to support your feet rather than using your bottom half to perform the move. Rotate forward as you would with a traditional sit-up, hold for a half second, then lower back to the start.
Tip: Once you become proficient with this move, adjust the apparatus so the angle of decline is increased; you’ll find this a further challenge, but it means you’re making gains!
DUMBBELL OBLIQUE TWIST
Start: Stand upright with feet about shoulder width apart. Grasp a dumbbell with both hands together using a neutral grip, arms bent about 90 degrees, and hold the weight in front of you around the height of your waist. Keep your back straight, your legs fully extended and your head level.
Execution: Your focus here is to keep your elbows in tight to your body and your head facing forward. Keeping the weight fixed in your hands, rotate over to one side (the range of motion here is rather short). Hold for a half-second, then reverse the direction and rotate back in front of you over to the other side. Hold again for a half-second, then continue the action back and forth.
Tip: Hold the dumbbell immediately under the top of the weight, rather than in the middle. You’re not concerned with working your forearms here, but rather using the weight to hit your obliques.
Start: Attach a D-Handle to the cable pulley and set it to a high position. Stand straight, perpendicular to the apparatus with feet about shoulder-width apart. Reach up and to your right side to grasp the handle with both hands using a neutral grip. Take a step away from the apparatus to ensure there will be constant tension throughout the movement. Bend your knees slightly for stability.
Execution: Keeping your vision fixed in a forward position, swing the handles across in front of you, preserving extended arms during the range of motion. Bring the handles from a high position on your right across to a low position on your left. Return the pulley in a controlled manner back to the start. After completing the prescribed reps, turn around and switch the movement to the opposite direction.
Tip: Contract through your core before you begin the motion and sustain the tension throughout, only releasing it between reps.
Start: Get into position on your side on the floor, with your feet together and back straight. With one arm on the floor, flexed at 90 degrees, support your torso and then raise your opposite arm directly above you, fully extended. Keep your head in line with your spine and prepare to hold this position.
Execution: Simply hold this position and feel the burn particularly in your obliques. Make sure you don’t let any of your hips, butt, or knees lower to the point of contact with the floor. Keep your weight on your lower arm and maintain an extension in your higher arm.
Tip: Make sure that your lower arm is tucked in beneath you; don’t have it reaching forward. Your upper arm will offer greater support when directly below your shoulders.