A strong set of abs doesn’t just look good. It readies your body to deal with something called “anti-extension.” Without your abs, your spine would easily overarch, but strong abdominal muscles prevent that from happening.
The best part: You can build this strength with a single dumbbell or kettlebell in about 5 minutes. That’s the idea behind the Rock to V-Sit Halo from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. The simple but deceptive move challenges anti-extension and pushes your abs to do more than that, too. “You’re truly owning anti-extension under load,” says Samuel, “which will make your abs rock-solid.”
The move starts with a hollow hold, a proven core move, except it introduces resistance to the equation. Then comes the fun part: You have to hold that kettlebell while shifting into a V-sit, a challenging core position, then rotate the kettlebell around your head. “Essentially,” says Samuel, “you’re challenging anti-extension in multiple planes.”
It all adds up to a rock (or is that rocking?) solid core workout that you can do anywhere that you can access even a little bit of resistance. And it’s training your abs in a real-world way.
The blend of hollow hold and V-Up is a perfect core finisher for almost any workout. You can do it at the end of a high-intensity interval training session, or on the back end of almost any strength workout. Or you can use it in a full-on ab workout, trying it as your first exercise in that session before moving on to bodyweight motions. And if you don’t have a kettlebell, grab a dumbbell or any other weighted object, like a backpack or a gallon of water, and you’ll get challenge from that too.
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s All Out Arms program.
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