A Celebrity Trainer’s 5 Insanely Effective Ab Moves

A Celebrity Trainer's 5 Insanely Effective Ab Moves
A Celebrity Trainer's 5 Insanely Effective Ab Moves

These advanced core workouts go beyond standard crunches and planks.

There’s more to great abs than what you see in the mirror, according to celebrity trainer — who has toned famous clients like Emilia Clarke and Tiny Fey (or photos). That’s why her go-to core routines can help you avoid back discomfort while also allowing you to go about your daily activities without breaking a sweat.

V-Shape

“This bodyweight technique strengthens your rectus abdominis—commonly known as your six-pack muscle—while simultaneously targeting your deep-lying transverse abdominis, which serves as a girdle to draw in and stabilize your whole torso,” McGee explains. It’s like a crunch and a plank rolled into one.

How to go about it: Lie down with your back flat on the floor, arms high, and legs straight out, forming a single line from your hands to your feet. Squeeze your abs and elevate your body and legs off the floor, reaching your hands toward your toes while maintaining your legs as straight as possible and not hunching forward. Slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position after a one-second pause. Two to three sets of ten repetitions are recommended.

Jesse Dufresne, a NASM-certified personal trainer at Equinox in Fresh York, showed us some new plank variants to break up the monotony. Each one tests your equilibrium in its own manner, making your core task more difficult and yielding greater outcomes.

BEGINNER
Roving Stability Ball Plank

1. Take a tiny stability ball and roll it around in your hands.
2. Place your right foot on top of the stability ball in a typical plank posture (on your hands, not your forearms).
3. Hold for a few seconds before bringing the ball to your left foot and putting your foot on it for a few seconds.

4. Roll the ball up to your left hand and lay it on top of it with your left hand. Hold the ball for a few seconds before rolling it toward your right hand and placing your hand on top of it.

Keep your shoulders above your hands as much as possible. When your shoulders and hands are correctly positioned, it’s nearly difficult for your hips to be out of place.

tummy_planks_gif_Roving_Stability_Ball_Plank_v2

Shoulder Taps with Plank

1. Start in a plank posture, placing your hands just behind your shoulders and your feet hip-distance apart.
2. Alternate tapping your shoulders with opposing hands while holding the plank. So you’re touching your left shoulder with your right hand, then moving your right hand down to the ground and tapping your right shoulder with your left hand.
Tip: When tapping your shoulders, maintain your hips level and don’t rock side to side. During the workout, place a water bottle on your lower back; if it comes off, you’re rocking.

 

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
 
The Beast is a monster.

1. Form a tabletop posture on your hands and knees, with your hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips.
2. Squeeze your abs and elevate your knees 1 to 2 inches off the ground, allowing your toes to be the only portion of your lower body that touches the ground. Maintain your current position.
Tip: Maintain your back straight, rather than rounded, to keep the work in your abs rather than your back.

Bird Dog is a canine companion.

1. Start in a traditional plank stance.

2. Lift one hand off the ground and raise it in front of you until it is parallel to the floor. Lift the opposite foot off the floor at the same moment, pulling your leg back behind you until it’s parallel with the floor.

Tip: Doing it on your knees will make it easier. Instead of doing a plank, start in a tabletop posture and elevate your opposing knee, straightening it as you bring it back behind you until it’s parallel with the floor.
1. Perform plank jacks in a typical plank posture.

2. Jump your feet out slightly wider than your hands, keeping your shoulders over your hands.

Keep your hips at the same level as though you were keeping a static plank position. During plank jacks, people often allow their hips sink, putting tension on their lower back.

Knee to Elbow Plank on the Same Side

 

1. Begin in a traditional plank stance.

2. Lift your right foot, bend your knee, and bring your knee to the outside of your right elbow while tightening your oblique muscles. Return your right foot to the beginning position.

3. Do the same thing with your left foot to your left elbow.

Tip: When bringing your knee to your elbow, try not to tilt to the opposite side. You should have the same amount of weight in both hands.



Jacks of the Plank
1. Begin in a traditional plank stance.

2. Leap your feet out so they’re slightly wider than your hands, then jump them back into your starting position, keeping your shoulders above your hands. Repetition is key.

Keep your hips at the same level as though you were keeping a static plank position. During plank jacks, people often allow their hips sink, putting tension on their lower back.
Knee to Elbow Plank on the Same Side
1. Begin in a traditional plank stance.

2. Lift your right foot, bend your knee, and bring your knee to the outside of your right elbow while tightening your oblique muscles. Return your right foot to the beginning position.

3. Do the same thing with your l.

1. Begin in a traditional plank stance.
2. Raise your right foot and bend your knee toward your left elbow, bringing it below and across your torso.
3. Return to the starting position with your right foot.

4. Bring your left foot closer your right elbow and repeat with your right foot.

Bring your knee under and over as far as you can without allowing your back to curve. Maintain a straight back to allow your abs to perform the job.

 

Hip Dips and Forearm Plank

 

1. Begin by standing on your forearms in a plank posture.

2. Twist your body to lower your right hip toward the ground, hold for a second, then return to start, keeping your shoulders above your elbows.

3. Alternate between your right and left hips.

Plank with a Twist on the Side
1. Start in a side plank posture on your forearms with your feet stacked, keeping your body in a straight line from head to toes.
2. Raise your upper arm toward the sky.

3. Squeeze your abs to rotate your body toward the floor, bringing your top hand down and below your body while keeping your feet stacked and hips high.

4. Get back into the starting position.

Tip: Here, form should take precedence over speed. If you twist too quickly, you’ll likely lose your equilibrium. Slowly and steadily twist only as far as you can without becoming unstable.

 

Plank with a Side Star


1. Stack your feet and do a side plank on your hand instead of your forearm.
2. Raise your upper arm straight up from the floor, such that your arms create a straight line.
3. Lift your top leg off your bottom leg, squeezing your core to keep your balance, and continue to lift until your feet are a few feet apart. You should feel as if you’re forming a star. Please wait a moment.

Tip: Do this on your forearm instead of your hand to make it simpler. Hold the plank on your knee instead of your foot if you need another step down.

 

EXPERIENCED

 

Beast on the Move

 

1. Place yourself in the same starting position as the Beast (above).

2. Begin crawling forward with very little steps.

1. Get a towel or floor sliders and find a smooth floor surface.
2. Lie down on your hands in a plank posture with your feet on the towel or sliders.
3. Squeeze your abs and elevate your lips to the ceiling, pulling your feet toward your hands while maintaining your legs straight, forming an upside-down V.

4. Bring your feet in as close to your body as you can comfortably get them, hold for a second, then gently slide them back out to the beginning position.

If this is too difficult, try a pike without shifting your feet. Simply elevate your hips toward the ceiling while keeping your feet still to form a wider upside-down V, then return to the starting position. If required, you can even apply it on your forearms.


1. Take a large stability ball and roll it around in your hands.
2. Lie down on the floor with your hands on the floor and your feet on the stability ball in a plank posture. When you’re in starting position, you want your feet to be far enough on the ball so your ankles and bottom portion of your shins are also touching the ball.
3. Squeeze your abs and bend your knees to roll the ball toward your hands while keeping your shoulders above your hands and your torso firm.

4. Bring the ball as near to your body as possible while keeping proper form, pause for a second, and then return to your starting position.

Maintain a level hip position. You don’t want them to raise up into a pike posture, but you also don’t want them to drop.

1. Take a large stability ball and roll it around in your hands.
2. Place your forearms on the stability ball and your feet on the ground in a plank posture.
3. Maintaining a plank posture throughout, carefully move the ball forward and backward with your forearms, keeping your core tight.

Tip: When rolling the ball back and forth, clasp your hands together to have greater control, and don’t allow your neck compress into your shoulders—you want room between your shoulders and your ears.

 

Drag a Plank

1. Begin in a plank posture on a smooth floor surface, with hands on the ground and feet on a towel or sliders.

2. Walk your arms forward slowly while maintaining your feet on the towel or sliders, pulling your lower body behind you.

3. After a few steps, move backwards with your hands, forcing your feet backwards as well.

Keep a straight line between your head and your feet while dragging your body forward, and don’t allow your hips sink.


A Celebrity Trainer's 5 Insanely Effective Ab Moves