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In readying your summer bod, it’s important to both maximize the time spent in the gym and make sure you’re not doing any irreparable damage. As a summer treat, we have some core strengthening exercises from athletic trainer GO Green to help you sculpt and strengthen the most important summer muscles: your abs. Follow his guide and you’ll be on your way to achieving the perfect V, the perfect crowning achievement for any sexy pair of underwear.
GO Green, Personal Trainer at David Barton Gym (23rd street location, New York City) has supplied us with three work-outs and corresponding tips for the Rectus Abdominus, Obliques, and Serratus Anterior. “I’ll help you obtain those desired abs with these proven exercises I’ve personally performed myself,” GO Green says.
After performing these exercises (especially if you end up looking anything like GO Green), we can say for certain that your underwear and bathing suits will have never looked better.
EXERCISE 1: Decline Sit Up
1. Set the decline bench to an angle of between 30 and 45 degrees (the more the angle, the harder the sit-ups.)
2. Sit on the bench with your legs resting through the pads.
3. Cross your arms across your chest and lean back until your shoulder touches the bench.
4. Raise yourself back up until your upper body is vertical, then lower.
1. Going too far up causes rounding in the shoulders and lower spine–maintain integrity in the spine by only pulling up until your upper body is vertical.
2. Add a twist to work your obliques harder, if you like.
3. Hold a weight plate or dumbbell in your arms for added resistance and intensity.
EXERCISE 2: Hanging Leg Raise
“The hanging leg raise is an awesome exercise for building the lower abs. All you need for this exercise is somewhere to hang from. It could be a chin-up bar, or it could be a tree,” GO Green says.
1. Once you’re hanging, contract abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in towards the spine.
2. While keeping legs straight, raise them up slowly and as high as possible.
2. Pause for a second, and slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.
3. Repeat for desired reps.
1. Do not allow your body to swing. If you swing your legs, you’re using momentum and your abs will not benefit much from the exercise.
2. Keep your torso as still and controlled as possible.
3. Advanced lifters can add weight by holding a dumbbell between the feet.
EXERCISE 3: Cable Trunk Twist
“The Trunk Twist is a great exercise for hitting the abs and obliques,” GO Green says.
1. Attach the single grip attachment at shoulder level on a pulley machine and select desired weight.
2. Start with your feet wider than shoulder width and your toes slightly pointed outwards.
3. Grab the handle with both hands at shoulder height extending arms to the center of your chest.
4. Rotate your torso towards your outside shoulder maintaining hip stability. Make sure that you keep your arms straight, shoulders retracted and spine neutral.
5. Slowly return hands to starting position.
6. Repeat for the opposite side of the body.
1. Keep the arms straight throughout the exercise.
GO Green is a Personal Trainer at David Barton Gym (23rd street location) in New York City. For more work-out tips and exercises, follow @gogreentraining on Twitter.