By Danni Levy
Photography: Simon Howard @snhfoto
Want Olympian abs?
Men’s Physique sensation Ryan Terry reveals the ten moves he swears by.
Yes, summer will be on us before we know it, and you’ll want your abs to look rock solid, but they’re not just for show. They also play an essential role in helping you increase your core strength and stabilize your spine. Get your abs in top shape, and the rest of your body will thank you for it.
Resistance training is the key to working your abs, just as you would if trying to improve strength in other parts of your body. You should train progressively, allowing a day or two rest for repair.
They say abs are made in the kitchen, but a core this impressive doesn’t just stem from the broccoli stalk. IFBB Physique champ Ryan Terry hit the Olympia stage with a mid-section that screamed six-pack. In an exclusive Muscle and Health workout shoot, he unleashes the ten core exercises he swears by.
4 x 15 with 30 seconds rest
4 x 1-minute isometric hold for plans with 30 seconds rest
Hanging Leg Raises
If you want your abs to pop, they need to be able to take the weight. Your legs are pretty heavy and handy tools when it comes to packing on the resistance. Engage your TVA and perform this move in a slow and controlled manner, holding for 1-2 seconds at the top to avoid the hip flexors taking over.
Oblique Leg Raises
A tapered waist needs to work on the obliques. Switch up your hanging leg raises by rotating at the hips so the legs hit one side, then the other alternatively. Perform with bent or straight knees, depending on your flexibility and strength levels.
Horizontal Cable Chops
Cables are great for hitting it where it hurts from all angles. Horizontal chops work the rectus abdominis, TVA and obliques when performed in a slow and controlled motion, ensuring you engage the core and squeeze on the contraction.
Cable Side Obliques
A small movement, significant results! Focus on the squeeze for an oblique pump like no other.
Kneeling Cable Crunch
Contracting the TVA throughout ensures the upper body doesn’t take over.
Avoid pushing down with the arms, maintaining a consistent bend at the elbow.
Lying Leg Raises
A staple move for any chisel-chaser, lying leg raises challenge the TVA like no other core move can. Go for the slow burn. Rushing won’t get you anywhere with this one.
Lying Heel Touches
They may look easy, but raising your shoulders off the floor just a touch wakes up the rectus abdominis, while the alternative style of this movement hits the obliques and the TVA assists in balancing things out. Ouch!
Another staple move that targets all three areas of the midsection. Keep your elbows back to prevent the shoulders from taking over.
The king of the core moves, planks challenge the entire body. No cheating; keep it straight!
Finish this workout with the ultimate ab burner. Planks will shock the shoulders, too, so extend rest time initially if you struggle to keep your back from arching.