As a former professional swimmer, I may not wear a swimsuit daily anymore, but I still train like I do. So I maintain a healthy love-hate relationship with some stellar TRX core exercises to keep my abs swimsuit-ready. Check out this unexpected array of five money moves that will crush your core and show off that svelte six-pack in no time. The more you hate these core exercises, the more love they give. Say hello to your new besties.
TRX Standing Oblique Rollout: You are my friend … for now.
I can make you easier by stepping away from the anchor and harder by stepping back, so I like you for that. Our friendship diminishes as I roll out and try to stabilize my body on the straps, forcing me to engage my deep stabilizers and lighting up my core in 360 degrees. Don’t push your luck with me.
- Stand facing away from the anchor point in a standing plank position with your feet under your shoulders. Lean forward so the handles are in front of you, your hands at chest height, arms straight.
- Maintain a tight body position and roll out with control, letting your hands come up above your head and keeping your body one long line from head to heels and your shoulders away from your ears.
- Press on the handles and squeeze your armpits to bring the handles back down in front of you and return to start.
Sure, you’re a hinging exercise for hip mobility and you also challenge shoulder stability, but stop disguising yourself as Down Dog, faker. Abs, abs, abs. Burn, burn, burn. And just when I think things can’t get harder, gravity reminds me of its existence as I try to slowly lower my hips back to plank. You’re not a dog. Reveal yourself.
- Start in a plank position, facing away from the anchor point with your hands under your shoulders and your feet in the TRX straps, creating one long line from head to heels.
- Pike your hips up toward the ceiling, bringing your feet toward your arms, then slowly return to plank, maintaining a neutral spine.
Targeting my hips, obliques, shoulders and back is cool, but the sneak attack of pain as I come out of rotation is not. Who needs eccentric control anyway? The more I decelerate, the more my torso chisels. Totally just unfriended you.
- Stand facing the anchor point, holding both straps in both hands together, arms long. Lean back, creating a standing plank.
- Bring your hands across your chest and up over one shoulder, rotating your torso and hips with your hands and releasing your heels. Keep your spine neutral as your hips and shoulders rotate simultaneously.
- Set your shoulders and shoulder blades down and squeeze your glutes and lats to slowly lower out of rotation (like a cylinder) back to facing the anchor.
- Alternate sides.
You are Pilates on steroids and you know it. Who needs frontal plane exercises anyway? My lateral chain is pretty strong, yet I weep the next day from armpit to hip. You’re dead to me.
- Start in a side plank, with your elbow stacked under your shoulder, your other hand stacked above your shoulder, and your feet staggered in the TRX straps.
- Lower and lift your hips in your side plank while stabilizing through your bottom shoulder, keeping your hips and shoulders vertically stacked and your bottom shoulder away from your ear.
- Perform on both sides.
Dear angry yellow stick: My butt is on fire and my abs and obliques just joined the party. I sooooooo own you, isooooo-metric hold. I’ll use perfect posture to protect my spine and diaphragmatic breathing to increase core stability. I can resist rotation back to the anchor and hold that position for as long as you can, you evil little bar with a leash. I love to hate you. You complete me, bae.
- Stand sideways to the anchor point, holding the rip stick at the base with your left hand (near the safety strap in Zone 1) and part way up in yellow or just above yellow with your right hand (Zone 3 or 4 to make it easier).
- Place your left hand and the stick on your left hip and rotate through your torso to point the stick directly out in front of your left hip.
- Resist the cord and pull your torso and stick back toward the anchor point. Stand with good posture, aligning your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles vertically while keeping your knees soft so your muscles are active and your knees aren’t locked.
This post originally appeared on TRXTraining.com.
Photo credit: bernardbodo, Thinkstock; Courtesy of TRX