Taylor Lautner's beginner's six-pack workout
Personal Trainer Jordan Yuam helped Lautner pack on 33lbs of muscle for New Moon. This plan will target your entire core in just three 40-minute sessions a week
Swiss ball pikes
Muscles worked abs, pecs
Reps 3-4 sets of 8-12
1 To create mountains of mid-section muscle, turn to the Swiss. Drop into a press-up position. Rest your shins on a Swiss ball so your body is straight from head to ankles. “You can’t slack in this position as your abs have to flex to hold you in place,” says Brendan Chaplin.
2 Roll the Swiss ball toward you by raising your hips. Pause, then return the ball to the start by lowering your hips and rolling the ball backward. “This works your abs through a wider range of motion because it’s hitting more muscles,” says Chaplin. As a bonus you’ll feel your chest and shoulders working, too. After all, what’s a killer set of abs without a good supporting cast?
Muscles worked obliques
Reps 3 sets of 15
1 Hours of crunches failing to cough up the goods? It’s time to try the opposite action. Lie face up on the floor with your palms facing down. Bend your hips and knees 90 degrees – and be amazed by how much tougher this is than the standard crunch.
2 Raise your hips off the floor and crunch them inward. Pause, then lower your legs until your heels nearly touch the floor. If you value your back you’ll swap normal crunches for this variety, because a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found they place huge strain on your lower back, but only work your abs a little. Don’t get too comfy down there, you’ve got plenty of work to do yet.
Hanging leg raises
Muscles worked abs, quads
Reps 3-4 sets of 8-12
1 For abs that’ll make all Homo sapiens stand up, you need to take a step back to your evolutionary past and make like you’re hanging from the trees. Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip (or use elbow supports, if available), and hang from the bar with your knees slightly bent and feet together. San Diego State University found that this is one of the best exercises you can do for your abs. But you can make it even better by holding a dumbbell between your feet.
2 Simultaneously bend your knees, raise your hips, and curl your lower back underneath you as you lift your thighs toward your chest. Pause, then lower your legs back to the start. A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found this move places a minimal load on your lower back while still pummelling your abs with muscle-building tension. Just what the Ab Doctor ordered.
Swiss ball leg curl
Muscles worked abs
Reps 3-4 sets of 10-12
1 Lie on the floor with your calves on a Swiss ball and your arms at your sides.
2 Squeeze your glutes to raise your hips, so your body is in a straight line from shoulder to ankle. “This strengthens your lower back and keep your abs drawn in,” says Chaplin. So your gut will look leaner.
3 Pause, then bend your legs to roll the ball back towards you. Straighten your legs to roll it back out and then lower your body to the floor. For a extra calf workout, point your feet out. Researchers at the University of West Florida found this roped in more of your calf muscles.
Muscles worked abs, backs
Reps 3 sets of 60 seconds
1 Great abs don’t work alone, they’re supported by a solid lower back, which this move goes some way to giving you. Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight and arms next to your sides. Contract your glutes and lower back muscles, and raise your head, chest, arms, and legs off the floor. Research in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found this move is one the best for rehabilitating lower back problems – and warding them off – especially for those stuck in front of a screen all day.
2 Rotate your arms so that your thumbs are pointing towards the ceiling. Your hips should be the only parts of your body touching the floor.
Muscles worked abs, hips
Reps 3-4 sets of 8-12
1 Lie with your legs straight and arms extended behind your head. This works more muscles in your core than the crunch, according to research in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. It’s the best of a good bunch.
2 Raise your arms and legs so they’re 45 degrees to the floor in a “V”. Return to the start. That’s it, you’re on track for a solid set of abs in 6-8 weeks. But make sure they’re hair-free: the “werewolf” look only works on the big screen.