When you need abdominal
muscles that show and go,
try these monsters

                Extend Yourself
 The man: Dain Blanton, Olympic gold
 medalist in beach volleybal...
Balance Your Back, Abs, and Glures
                                       The man: Scottie Pippen, guard, Por tland Trail ...
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  1. 1. FITNESS
  2. 2. When you need abdominal muscles that show and go, try these monsters ofthemidsection BY ADAM CAMPBELL, C.S.C.S. PHOTOGRAPHS BYSYE WILLIAMS Abs are money. We speak from personal experience, having Speed Shift used the cover of this magazine to sell more six-packs than Anheuser-Busch. The man: Johnnie Morton, wide receiver, Detroit Lions The move: standing abdominal twist But there's evidence everywhere. A molded S way while catching a footballgoes the other. Toyour upper body one ometimes your lower body involves moving pull it off, Morton midsection is pure cash flow for anyone who needs balance and superhuman control of his midsection muscles— has to remove his shirt in his line of work. Would qualities that will help in any sport that requires quick changes in di- the name quot;Pittquot; be anything more than a signal rection, like baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, or hockey. to roll on some deodorant, save for an ab-flexing How you do it: Hold a medicine ball or weight plate with both hands out in front of your chest, your arms slightly bent. Without moving your legs, rotate your torso 90 degrees to the right. scene in Thelma and Louise? (Don't go any farther-that would be too tough on your lower back.) Pause, then rotate back The bankability reaches beyond aesthetics. 180 degrees so you're facing left. Pause and rotate right to the starting position. That's one repetition. Work up to three sets of 20 or more repetitions, beginning and ending each set If you're an athlete, abs are your body's big-play with the weight in the middle. 'This gives me a good burn and helps me develop stamina as well as strength,quot; Morton says. muscles. Your legs and arms may do the grunt work, but it's your abdominals that put you on SportsCenter. So we asked professional athletes and actors to show us the abdominal exercises that help them earn a living. You already know this stuff works. You've seen the results on ESPN and in the local cineplex. Now it's time to see how a set of pro abs will look on you. » Illustrations by John Hull i MAY 2001 1O3 MEN'S HEALTH
  3. 3. FITNESS ALL-STAR ABS Extend Yourself The man: Dain Blanton, Olympic gold medalist in beach volleyball The move: cross-legged crunch Aknows where the next serve or beach volleyball player never BEACH BLANTON BINGO: Constant spike is going to take him. But he variety makes a knows his abs have to get him there. greater Dain. He uses them to bend, twist, and extend his body into position for a return. So Blanton tries to shift his legs and torso into different posi- tions each workout, in an effort to give the midsection muscles new and different challenges. How you do it: Lie on your back on the floor, your lower legs crossed on the floor. Hold your hands behind your ears and pull your elbows back as far as possible. Now crunch your head and shoulders up off the floor and hold the contraction; then slowly lower yourself. Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Make 'em Last The man: Tiki Barber, running back, New How you do it: Lie on your back and bend your knees and hips 90 degrees so your feet are in the air. Place your finger- tips behind your ears and perform an abdominal crunch by York Giants lifting your head and shoulders off the floor. At the same time, The move: cycling crunch lift your right leg to your chest. Lower your torso to the floor as A running back, like an obstetrician, has to you straighten your right leg, keeping it a few inches off the spend a lot of time in a crouch. But unlike floor. Crunch again, this time lifting your left leg to your chest. the OB, a running back has to spend every Do three sets of 20 repetitions. second on the field prepared to hit as well as be hit. This requires not only midsection strength but also stamina, which is why Bar- ber does cycling crunches. These force him to contract his abdominals—as he would if he knew Ray Lewis had him in his sights—while keeping his legs moving. Any athlete who needs a low center of gravity—for guarding in basketball, working the baseline in tennis, scooping up throws at first base—will benefit from cycling crunches.
  4. 4. Balance Your Back, Abs, and Glures The man: Scottie Pippen, guard, Por tland Trail Blazers The move: shoulder bridge Kou can't have good abs if your How you do it Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Push lower back is out of whack. up with your hips so your weight rests on your shoulders. Your body should form a Pippen, who has a history of back straight linefrom your knees to your shoulders. Hold this position for 20 seconds, and problems, picked up this exercise gradually work your way up to I minute. (Pippen does it for 5 minutes.) Advanced from Tim Grover, owner of Attack version: Straighten one leg and hold it up in the air while you do the exercise. Start with Athletics in Chicago. The beauty your weaker leg in the air, and give equal time to both sides. » of this bridge is that it strengthens your abs, lower back, and gluteals simultaneously. quot;That's where all your balance, stability, and power come from,quot; Grover says. toward your rib cage. Then slowly lower THE ABORIGINALS your hips back to the starting position. As they lightly touch the floor, repeat. Performance Tips Three classic moves to get you centered > Don't quickly rock up and down. You'd BY KURT BRUNGARDT be using momentum to aid you in the exercise, taking work away from your A well-done crunch is a thing of beauty. Feet flat on the floor, hands behind the ears, lower abs. slow and steady movements up and down. Nothing rushed, no movement wasted. > Keep constant tension on your abs— Of course, you don't see this poetic motion very often. Few people do the basic don't rest between repetitions. > Use your hands for balance. Don't use crunch anymore. Most either trick it up with twists and funny them to push your hips off the floor. > Keep your head and neck relaxed. angles, or do it so poorly that you can't week for 6 weeks. By then you will have CROSSOVER CRUNCH tell if they're exercising or fighting the mastered the three beginner exercises— Lie on your back with your knees up and effects of a tropical disease. and be good and ready to move on, too. your feet on the floor. Cross your left leg Which makes this as good a time as over your right knee. Put your right hand any to remind you of the basics of CRUNCH behind your head, with your elbow abdominal exercise. After you master Lie on your back with your knees bent, your extended to the side. Place your left hand the simplest exercises, the advanced feet flat on the floor, and your hands behind on your right side. ones become far more beneficial. your ears. Raise your right shoulder and cross it The following three exercises form Use your upper abs to raise your rib cage toward your left knee. Then slowly lower the crux of the 6-week core program in toward your pelvis and lift your shoulder your shoulder back to the starting position. my new book, Essential Abs. Do one set blades off the floor. Then slowly lower your When you finish all of your repetitions on of each move for the first 2 weeks, shoulders back to the starting position. your right side, repeat on your left side. working up to 18 slow, perfect repeti- Performance Tips Performance Tips tions of each. > Make sure your shoulder blades come off > Make sure your entire torso twists up Then add more exercises to your ab the floor each time. Don't just move your and toward your knee. Don't move just routine, but continue to do one set of each head and neck. your elbow or shoulder. of these after finishing the new ones. > Pause at the top of the movement after > Feel the squeeze in your obliques— the You'll become really good at the basic you've exhaled. muscles on the sides of your abdomi- moves because you'll have to do them nals—on the side you're working. with ever greater levels of exhaustion. REVERSE CRUNCH Try your new routine three times a Lie on your back with your head and neck For customized workouts delivered right to relaxed and your hands on the floor near your e-mailbox. sign up for the new Men's Reprinted from Men's Health Essential Abs by Kurt your butt. Use your lower-abdominal Health Personal Trainer service. Brungardt. ©2001Kurt Brungardt. To order, visit muscles to raise your hips off the floor and Register at, or call (800) 848-4735. ! MAY 2001 1O7 MEN'S HEALTH