Every move from this three-day routine will help you sculpt a killer six-pack—without a hint of back pain.
Joe Stankowski, C.P.T. 1 / 10
Better Abs, No Back Pain
Everyone wants a set of sculpted, sharply defined abs. But when guys hurt their backs—whether because of too many crunches, a deadlift gone awry, or just too much damn sitting around—then they often see their ab training grind to a halt.
Here's an improved way: the Better Abs Program, which is designed to help you sculpt that coveted six-pack while also fortifying your core against back injury through a specialized, three-day suite of workouts.
Think of this gallery as a reference guide to each move contained in the Better Abs Program. Scroll through this gallery to get the details on how to perform each move, and then check out each of the three workouts:
Kneel on the floor holding an ab wheel directly beneath your shoulders. Brace your abs and roll the wheel in front of you, extending your hips and arms as far as you can without allowing your hips to sag. Then roll back.
Get into a pushup position and rest your feet on furniture sliders or paper plates. (It’s best to do these on a waxed floor if possible.) Brace your abs and crawl forward on your hands while maintaining the pushup position. Don’t let your hips sag or twist.
Grasp a dumbbell in one hand and get into a lunge position. Lower your back knee to the floor. (You may want to have a towel or pad under it for comfort.) Hold the dumbbell at shoulder level and press it overhead without twisting or bending to either side.
Lie on your side and rest your forearm on the floor. Raise your hips up until your body forms a straight line and your weight is supported by your forearm and the side of your foot. Keep your abs braced and hold the position.
Attach a D-handle to the top pulley of a cable station and grasp it with both hands. Stand back away from the station to put tension on the cable and hold the handle at chest height. Stand with your feet shoulder width and brace your abs. Press the handle overhead and avoid twisting or bending.
Get into a pushup position and cross your right hand over your left while taking a step out with your left leg. Then move your left hand out and bring your right leg in to form a pushup position again. Continue moving laterally. Each step is one rep. Repeat in the opposite direction.