Six-Pack Abs

Appears in the April 2018 issue.


The goal Stimulate and strengthen the abdominal muscles and tighten the core with these Orangetheory Fitness techniques, resulting in higher energy levels and visible toning.

The plan Perform all three circuit exercises for as many rounds as possible, in the block of time indicated. You can use a phone stopwatch or household kitchen timer for each.

Circuit 1
Endurance, 6 minutes

Bird Dog
15 reps each side
Start in a plank position, with feet on the ground and hands under your shoulders. Lift one hand, extending it out in front of your body, while lifting the opposite leg. Try to balance for half to one second before releasing back to a plank, and switching sides.
Lying Leg Lift Raises
15 reps
Laying on your back on the floor, lift your shoulders gently off the floor, crunching your abdominals. Lift your legs off the floor, lifting high enough that toes point toward the ceiling. Once at the top, begin to lower, coming a few inches from floor before repeating. Your legs should remain straight throughout.

Circuit 2
Strength, 4 minutes

12 reps
Start in standing position, with feet just wider than shoulder-width apart. Begin to sink your hips down and back. Knees should form a 90-degree angle, and then push back up, driving your shoulders towards the ceiling. Try to keep a majority of your weight in your heels as this is performed. For an additional challenge, hold dumbbells at your shoulders.
Tempo Crunches
12 reps
Laying face up on the floor, feet planted flat, support your head with your hands placed gently behind. Lift your shoulders off the floor, pressing your rib cage down toward your hips. Once at the top, begin to lower slowly back down to starting position. Count one second to rise up, and three seconds to lower down.

Circuit 3
Power, 5 minutes

Pop Jacks
8 reps
From plank position on the floor, hands underneath shoulders, powerfully thrust your upper body up, trying to snap yourself into a deep squat position. Make sure to land with feet fully planted on floor.
Speed Skater Lunges
8 reps each leg
Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Jump to one side, landing on the outside foot, kicking the inside leg behind you. Try balancing on the one foot before pushing off, jumping to the other side.
Seated Kneed Tucks
8 Reps
Sit on the floor, with knees bent and hands and heels resting on the floor. Take feet off the floor, tucking knees into chest. From the tucked position, slowly extend feet back out, trying to keep feet from touching the floor.