If you are already working towards a chiselled core in the kitchen, MH Elite coach Gus Vaz Tostes has the recipe for the results you want in the gym – and there’s not a crunch in sight.
Core training should be a fundamental part of your programme. It will prevent you from injury, improve your performance and, of course, contribute to a defined six pack. This particular workout focusses on the Copenhagen plank, the hollow hold and, everyone’s favourite, jack knives.
‘The Copenhagen plank is a complete exercise,’ says Tostes. ‘Complete in the sense that it mainly focusses on the adductors and the inside of your hips, which are very important stabilisers for squats or anything legs related.
‘Because it’s a side plank, you’re also going to work your obliques and shoulder stability. So this exercise covers your shoulder, core and hip strengthening and stability which makes it such a functional and complete exercise.’ Quite an impressive addition to your core torching toolbox.
‘You will be completing a Tabata using isometric and dynamic variations of the same position. Going from hollow hold to jack knives will really challenge you, especially in a Tabata format. It will really challenge the upper and lower portion of the abs,’ Tostes adds. So for those who wish to focus on the entirety of their core, look no further, but as he warns, ‘it’s going to hurt a lot.’
Drill 1: For Quality – 4 Sets
Copenhagen Plank x 30-60 seconds / 1 Minute Rest
Begin on the floor. Supporting your bodyweight in your hand, lift your top leg onto the bench. Bring the other leg underneath the bench to meet the underside of it. Lift your hips into a high side plank position with the feet elevated. Squeeze your inner thigh (adductor muscles) so that the legs stay closed. Keep your body in a completely straight line.
Drill 2: Finisher – Tabata 8 Sets
Hollow Body Hold x 20 Seconds On / 10 Seconds Rest
Lie on the floor and push your back into the floor to engage your core. Bring the legs and shoulders off the floor with your arms above your head. Choose a leg height that allows you to maintain the back position and core engagement. If your back begins to arch, lift the legs slightly. Lock the position and hold.
Jack Knives x 20 Seconds On / 10 Seconds Rest
Start lying on the floor with your hands above your head and legs out straight. Engage the abs and lift your legs and arms off the floor until you can touch your toes or shins. Take your hands back above your head and lower your legs and torso to the starting position, ready to repeat. Due to everyone’s different biomechanics and mobility, adjust this exercise to suit you. That might mean choosing to bend the legs or reaching for the shins if you struggle to reach.