Rotate Your Way to a Stronger Six-Pack

Struggling with your six-pack? You need to evolve from simple bodyweight exercises and ask your abs to do what you make just about every other muscle do in the gym: move an external load. You won’t just look more muscular—you’ll get stronger, too.

Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. uses this exercise, a rotational decline weighted situp, to add some weight to a movement that is often done without a load.

“This move is one-stop shopping for your abs,” says Samuel. “Among the things your core does for you: It braces your torso, flexes your spine, rotates your torso, and fights rotation of your torso (anti-rotation). You’re doing these four things in this one move.”

To take on the exercise, you’ll need an adjustable bench and a weight. Samuel is using a dumbbell here, in part because its shape allows him to keep his hands wide, but you can use whatever type of load you have handy. If you want to try it out with a dumbbell, check out this adjustable set from Bowflex.

Don’t forget about the weight and let your arms get lazy because you’re focused on the rotation. “Once you’re in the rotated position, really extend the weight away from your torso,” Samuel says. “The more you do this, the more you force your abs to battle to hold you in place, essentially forcing them to anti-rotate you from a tricky position.”

The situp shouldn’t just be a lazy break between the reps. “When you do this, focus hard on taking your time and blending a rotation back to center with the sit-up motion,” advises Samuel. You’ll feel this along your obliques and serratus if you do it right; keep holding that weight high too.”

The rotational decline weighted situp creates a ton of time under tension and requires high level body control, so Samuel says that 3 sets of 8 to 10 good reps will rock you.

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 New Rules of Muscle program.

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