If you really want a set of 8-pack abs, your core routines should be more challenging than just flopping down in the corner of the gym and crunching into oblivion. A lot more work (and better eating habits) goes into building the type of midsections you see on social media and fitness programs—and that starts with being smarter with the way you spend your core sessions.
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Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. earns his 8-pack with multi-part routines that work the entire core in challenging ways.
This particular circuit, which forces him to utilize his balance and concentration as much as his strength, serves as a great alternative to less-focused ab moves. “This is about anti-extension,” says Samuel. “That band wants to pull you out of your hollow body. It’s also unilateral, so both sides of your core must fire in different fashion.”
To perform the circuit, you’ll need a resistance band and an anchor to attach it to, like a squat rack. If you don’t have any, check out this set from WODFitters.
- Get into a hollow body position in front of the anchor with the band attached, with your legs up and your arms extended behind you.
- Grab the band with your right hand and perform 8 straight arm pull down reps. Squeeze your lat to pull the band all the way down to your waist.
- After 8 reps, hold your arm with the band straight up, so that your arm is perpendicular to your torso. Hold for 8 seconds.
- After you hold for 8 seconds, maintain your position, and perform 8 flutter kicks.
- Repeat the series on the left side.
To add this to your 8-pack core routine, perform 3 sets of the series, making sure to hit both sides of your abs. For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full set of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s New Rules of Muscle program.