Outdoor Core Workout For Rock-Hard Abs

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Core Workout

There’s no need for a huge array of moves – just a few well selected core exercises will hit your abs from every angle, in minimal time. “Bolt the below circuit onto one of your existing sessions, or just throw it in while you watch TV,” says Ninja Warrior course tester Aslan Steel. Bonus: you don’t even have to move your head much. Do three circuits twice a week.

Hollow dish hold

The Aim Build gymnast-level core strength

Why The great thing about this is the carry-over it gives you for other moves. “It’s what gymnasts use as a starting point for learning tougher moves – so it’ll make you better at pull-ups and other moves like hanging leg raises,” says Steel. Do the following drill for a few weeks and you’ll not only notice that your midsection is firmer, you’ll feel stronger when you do pull-up bar exercises too.

How Lie flat on your back and squeeze your abdominal muscles tight while pushing your lower back into the ground. Raise your arms, shoulders and legs off the ground, keeping your arms above your head and in line with your body. Aim for a ten-second hold, increasing the time as you improve.


The Aim Cultivate a rock-solid core

Why The plank record is eight hours one minute but you haven’t got time for that. Instead, do this plank progression that alleviates the boredom induced by the conventional static hold while simultaneously developing shoulder stability. “This packs all the benefits of one of the best core moves into minimal time,” says Steel.

How Assume the standard plank position – like a press-up, but with your forearms on the floor – then shift your elbows ahead of your forehead, bring them together, and squeeze your knees, heels and glutes together. Brace your abs as hard as possible. If you can manage it for more than ten seconds, you’re doing it wrong.

Dragon flag

The Aim Get Bruce Lee-level show-off credentials

Why You may want to practise this one when there’s no-one around. Then, when you master it, you can bring it out on a busy Saturday when the sun’s shining. “It challenges every muscle in your core, and teaches you to hold tension in your abs – important for everything from throwing a punch to doing a squat,” says Steel.

How Lie on your back, holding on to a pole, sofa, or similarly immovable object just behind your head. Raise your legs and torso into the air, keeping them in line, then lower as slowly as possible. You’ll probably need to keep one leg bent at first, but you can progress to the two-straight-legs version. Aim for three reps.

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.