It’s one thing for David Beckham to advertise underwear wearing little more than a smirk and an astoundingly taut abdomen. However, can the Average Joe develop a physique the gods would envy?
“Yes, they really can,” says Eli Ingram, a personal trainer at New York Sports Club. “It’s achievable for anyone who wants to put in the work. A lot of it is exercise: A combination of total body conditioning and extra ab work. It’s also nutritional — men have to look at the way they eat.”
And drink: You don’t get six-pack abs by quaffing pints of beer, no matter how much exercise you do. “You have a choice: Six-can abs, or six-pack abs,” Ingram jokes.
Apart from being useful for modeling underwear, strong abdominal muscles means a strong body core to support movement, and that means less stress on joints and on the lower back. “A strong core is very important,” Ingram says. “The stronger the abs, the stronger the core, and the stronger the body as a whole. In order to build a strong core you need to do both endurance and strengthening.”
Ingram’s core workout, above, also works the pecs and arms, and incorporates the whole body in support of the exercises. This workout targets muscles to develop core strength, and incorporates weights for building and strengthening muscles for endurance and stability. For exercises using weights, perform three to four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. For those using just body weight, perform five sets of 20 to 30 repetitions.