Men’s Health/Eric Rosati
We pick the most convenient, easy option far too often in life—and that extends to your time in the gym, too. How often have you just hustled through the same old ab routine to close out your sweat session? It’s time to think a little more when it comes time for your core workout.
Thankfully for you, you won’t have to think too hard. Trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S. shared this three-move routine (with a bonus movement you can work your way up to) that will flip your stale crunch and plank series on its head. You’ll find yourself in familiar positions, but instead of hammering on spinal flexion like you would with sets of situps, you’ll instead focus on anti-extension (how your core keeps you from over-arching your back) and trunk rotation.
Elite Sportz Exercise Sliders
Elite Sportz Equipment
“Most of us live in ‘anterior pelvic tilt,’ which can be corrected with proper core activation,” Atkins says of the first movement of the series, a dumbbell leg extension. The focus of this exercise is to be able to move legs independently of each other, while simultaneously keeping the core braced to hold the pelvis in neutral.”
To take on the series, you’ll need a light dumbbell for the first two movements, and a pair of sliders or a towel for your feet for the third and bonus exercise.
Perform each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds continuously, with little to no rest between movements.
Work your way up to the final, bonus movement, a body saw with a downward dog, after you feel comfortable with the standard version of the exercise. If you give it a try, take a note from Atkins and move through each phase deliberately—if you rush, you risk putting your lower back in a vulnerable position.
Want to learn more moves from Atkins? Check out our series full of her workout tips, Try Her Move.
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