With fitness selfies (aka 'Healthies') becoming increasingly popular, A-List celebs including Pink, Gisele Bundchen, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Beiber are using the craze to show off their toned, muscular physiques; leaving many of us wondering 'How do they do it?' 'Can real people achieve these results too?' Well, luckily for us, the answer is YES!!
Here are my top 5 abdominal exercises for sculpting a Hollywood 6-Pack in time for summer. Try to do them 2-3 times a week and you'll definitely see results.
The circuit: 25 kettlebell swings, 6 ab wheel rollouts, 10 around the world's (both directions), 30 seconds Russian twists, and 1 plank to failure. (For beginners, start with 2 repetitions of the circuit. Then, as you get fitter, build up to 3, 4 and even 5 repetitions.)
1) THE PLANK
The plank is the quintessential abdominal/core exercise. It's brilliant for strengthening and toning the whole body.
1) Start on all fours, then distribute your weight between your toes and elbows. Keep your body completely straight.
2) Pull your stomach in, whilst keeping your torso perfectly straight.
3) Do not allow your hips to move to the side, drop or raise.
4) Hold the position for at least 30 seconds, or until loss of form.
Too easy? Try moving from a straight arm position down onto your elbows and back up again. Take care not to allow your hips to move from side to side.
2) THE KETTLEBELL SWING
This is fantastic for generating power, burning fat, increasing aerobic capacity and muscular endurance.
1) Position your legs shoulder width apart.
2) Swing the kettlebell behind you with a straight back and braced abdominals.
3) Swing it forward to chest height and repeat.
4) The power should come from firing your glutes, and hamstrings, not the lower back.
3) AB WHEEL ROLLOUTS
This is the most advanced exercise in the workout. The following day is rarely fun after a good set of ab wheel rollouts but the results speak volumes. I love them!
1) Start on your knees, bringing your weight over your shoulders with straight arms.
2) Keep your back straight and brace your abdominals.
3) Roll forward on the ab wheel without flexing your hips.
4) Go as far as you feel comfortable and return to the starting position.
Top Tip: If you find yourself struggling to get completely flat, consider working on your laterals, which are required to be strong as your range of motion increases. Standing pull downs on a lat pull machine are a good way to start.
4) RUSSIAN TWISTS
Russian twists target your obliques (the muscles next to your abdominals). Developing these muscles will give your torso a well-rounded, muscular appearance, and help you develop better rotational power - great for boxing, golf, tennis and hockey!
1) Start in a sit-up position with your feet flat, about 1ft in front of you.
2) Lean back, maintaining a straight back.
3) Rotate through a comfortable range of movement with your own body weight side to side.
4) Then repeat with a weighted object (dumbbell, kettlebell etc.).
5) You can make this exercise more challenging by lifting your feet off of the floor.
5) AROUND THE WORLD
This is the second kettlebell exercise in the workout, which again works your abdominals from their natural braced position. It will also work muscles in your upper body, including the lats and rhomboids.
1) Position your legs just wider than shoulder width apart.
2) Pick up a kettlebell, and swing it around your body with wider and wider circles passing it from hand to hand.
3) Keep your abs braced and hips straight throughout the movement.
4) Switch direction.
Top Tip: You need to watch your form when doing this exercise. Try performing it in front of a mirror to ensure that your hips stay in line. You can expect a little sway back and forth if you are going heavy, but your overall structure must stay intact.
Remember... Exercise + Healthy Diet = Hollywood Abs
As much as we'd like it to be, exercise alone isn't enough to get lean. If done regularly, these exercises will not only develop your abdominals, revealing toned, 6-pack abs, they will also strengthen your entire core, and help to develop strength through your shoulders and posterior chain. However, you'll need your body fat to be around 12-15% before you see those abs so that's going to take some discipline in the kitchen as well as the gym. It's definitely worth it though so give it a go!
Need help staying motivated and selecting the right exercises for you? To sign up to online one-to-one training with Scott, visit http://www.scottlaidler.com At £150 for 6 weeks, it's a bargain!