3 Core Exercises to Make Your Abs Pop for Summer

Everyone and their mother are preparing for summer, which often means spending ample time training the core and abs.

The problem is most people don’t perform very effective exercises and often do them incorrectly.

Now if you came here to see shirtless selfies,  you’re out of luck. Don’t have any…yet.

But, if you’re interested in 3 exercises to train your abs quickly and effectively so that you have more time to relax in the sand, then you’ve come to the right place.

Time to make em pop!

TRX Fallout

The TRX fallout is similar to an ab wheel rollout or stability ball rollout.

It’s great for hammering the anterior core and forcing you to resist extension through the lumbar spine.

The best part is you can modify it quickly to progress or regress depending on ability level.

How to do them:

-Start with your arms straight and the TRX lengthened fully.

-With the arms long and legs straight, flex your butt hard while pulling the ribcage down. This will be the position you want to maintain for every rep.

-Initiate the movement by pushing your hands and hips forward while simultaneously keeping the butt and abs squeezed.

-Go out as far as you can without letting the lower back sag/arch.

-Pull yourself back in by flexing your lats and pulling your hands back towards your feet.

Why you need them:

The TRX fallout will bulletproof your abs.

Like, almost literally.

Just don’t try anything silly, ok?

The bottom line? This exercise is fantastic for developing a strong and aesthetic stomach that you’ll be able to show off during the summer.

How to program them:

I’d work these in a minimum of twice per week, on two separate occasions. 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps are perfect for these.

If you need to make them easier, walk your feet forward a bit to increase the angle. To make them tougher, move your feet backward, decreasing the angle.

The Deadbug

I used to think the deadbug exercise was a joke.

Like seriously?

This is going to help my ab game?

I can tell you with 100% certainty that performing deadbugs properly will absolutely roast your entire core.

The problem is that most people take the name too literally and simply flail their arms and legs around. Here’s a video to show you the proper way to perform them:

How to do them:

-When you lie on your back, you first want to make sure your lower back is flat against the floor. To do this you’ll need to tilt your pelvis and push your ribs towards your belt buckle.

-Then, make sure your arms are straight over your shoulders, and your knees are directly above the hips.

-Inhale deeply through the nose, filling your belly with air.

-Extend opposite arm and leg as you exhale forcefully through the mouth, pushing all of your air out.

-As you extend be sure to keep the ribcage down and the lower back crushing the floor. Pause briefly and then return to the starting position.

Why you need them:

First, they teach you how to properly position your ribcage and force you to maintain a neutral spine as you go through the movement.

Second, when done properly, deadbugs will light up your abs and you may even find yourself shaking a bit on these. But, you’ve got to do them properly to get the benefits.

How to program them:

You can ‘sneak’ a bit of extra ab work by putting these into your pre-lift warm-up, or use as active rest in between sets of lifting.

I’d stick to 5-6 reps per side per set. Focus on good technique on these and do them right to maximize their benefit.

As an added challenge, try them with band or cable resistance shown here:

www.menshealth.com

www.menshealth.com

1-Leg Plank

For many, the simple 4 point plank is too easy.

But planks are still a great core exercise and are excellent for beginners and advanced trainees alike.

The 1-Leg plank challenges your rotary stability as you try to prevent your hips from wiggling side-to-side during the exercise.

If you’re looking for an upgraded plank variation then you’ve got to give these a try. Here’s a quick video demonstrating the technique:

See? Told you I had a quick video for ya.

How to do them:

-Start out in a regular plank position

-While squeezing your butt and keeping your ribs down, lift one leg 2-3″ off the ground and hold for the duration of your set

-Be sure to keep everything tight and limit swaying from side-to-side

-Hold on one side, then do the other. That’s one rep.

Why you need them:

They’re quick.

They’re effective.

And you don’t need any equipment to do them. Hop down and get planking!

How to program them:

You don’t need to hold the plank for minutes on end in order for it to be effective. I recommend doing short bursts on each side.

You can do 3-second holds with one leg, switch to the other, and do that for 3-5 reps per side. You’ll want to make sure you keep your form tight to maximize the effectiveness.

Don’t Forget About Your Diet

You could do the 3 exercises above until the cows come home but your abs will only pop when you get lean enough.

To do this you’ve got to pay attention to what you’re eating, or rather how much you’re eating. I’ve written extensively about how to set-up a successful fat loss diet HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Here are the main things you want to focus on for body composition changes and fat loss specifically:

  1. Total calorie intake
  2. Macronutrient amounts
  3. Meal timing or ‘nutrient timing’
  4. The quality or composition of your food
  5. Extras like supplements

Create a calorie deficit and aim to lose 0.5-2lbs of weight per week.

Eat clean, train dirty! Or whatever that stupid phrase is.

Summer is Coming

If you’ve seen Game of Thrones then perhaps you get the subtle play on words.

Summer is, in fact, going to be here before we know it, though.

To ensure you’re making progress and seeing the results you want, hop on my exclusive email list where you can get  more tips and workouts to help you get into better shape for summer.

Get Your FREE Summer Fat Loss Blueprint Right Now!

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