If it’s good enough for him…

Photo: H&M

Personal trainer Tegan Haining was once (partly, at least) responsible for those signature Beckham abs, and has a client roster peppered with names like Jessica Gomes, Natalie Imbruglia and Lara Stone. And the fascia (this is the ‘connective tissue’ that lives beneath our skin) and stretching expert has some alternative suggestions for moves that will sculpt your stomach, if all those crunches and sit-ups are starting to feel a little repetitive. Give your body a shock and challenge yourself with this line-up of defining, strength-building exercises.

1. Half-kneeling cable wood chops

“This move is excellent for developing functional core strength,” says Haining. “If you have never done this before, ask a trainer in your gym to demonstrate this bodyweight exercise. With these, your form is very important, so make sure you aren’t using your shoulder to push down, and instead think about working out the muscles you are trying to use – your abs!”

2. Plank with knee flexion

“Do this straight after your wood chops,” says Haining. “All you have to do is drop down into a forearm plank but keep your palms facing up with your hands shoulder width apart to stop you from rounding your back.” Haining also advises that for this move, you keep your knees together “but lift your heel up into a 90 degree angle. Then, lower and repeat on other side.”

3. Hard rolling

“Drop onto your back and lift your opposite elbow to the opposite knee,” says Haining. It’s not easy, but she advises that using a block helps if you can’t keep firm contact without. “Lift arm overhead and roll over onto your side. Without using your arms or legs, engage your abs to pull yourself back up onto your back. Repeat 10-20 times depending on your fitness level, and then switch arms and repeat on the opposite side.”

4. Mountain climber twists

“This is a great exercise that works the whole body while targeting the outer abdominals – never mind, they raise the heart rate, so go for 40 reps,” says Haining.

5. V-sit medicine ball twists

These are great for tightening up the abs, but be careful of your lower back here, says Haining. “Only use the medicine ball if you can engage your lower abs enough to straighten your lower back. If not, just work on holding the V shape for up to a minute. If using the balls, make sure you get a full rotation from side to side as you twist and keep your belly button pulled in tight!”

November 9, 201611:31am

fitness | body+soul

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