The Science of the Six-pack Workout

Suspended Quadruped Reach
 Courtesy Furthermore From Equinox on Youtube

It’s more than a set list of kick-ass abs exercises.

Trainer and fitness author Gregg Cook just debuted a new workout video, The Science of the Six-Packcreated for and by Furthermore, the editorial website for Equinox—which touts a series of six key movements through six planes of motion, for chiseled (and we mean chiseled) abs. Watch here to find out how, then read on to find out how it’s done.

The workout values physical vigilance, constantly reinforcing the human bridge (aka your body) as it shoots power from your core to your limbs. From Kung Fu kicks to headstands, The Science of the Six-Pack focuses on stability, flexion, extension, lateral flexion, mobility, and rotation. All are essential for movement and stability, and that’s exactly why Cook designed them.

“It’s important that we train the core in a balanced manner,” he says. “In other words, challenge its ability to flex both forwards and laterally, extend, rotate.”

But don’t let these seemingly super-human moves in this video scare you away. Each move can be dialed up or down in intensity according to your physical level—a welcome change from classic abdominal crunches on a gym mat.

For example, the workout’s star plank stretches a normal plank to its outer limits, incorporating more shoulder stability as well as putting every abdominal muscle through its paces at once. Plus, Cook’s moves are dynamic enough that when strung together circuit-style, the workout gives you a dose of cardio too.

After a few sessions (at Equinox gyms nationwide), you’ll be reeling from the workout’s post-exercise muscle soreness that guarantees a tighter core and toned chest. Six moves, six categories of strength, one ripped six-pack.

Want to test out moves at home? Cook likes the Star Plank for core strength and stability, and the Suspended Quadruped Reach for extension and increased heart rate.

Star Plank—Start in a pushup position. Walk your arms and legs out to create an X shape with the body. You should still be in pushup position about 6-8″ inches from the ground. Press your palms and balls of your feet into the ground and brace your core. Hold for 10 seconds. Walk back into pushup position.

Suspended Quadruped Reach—Start on all fours, resting on your hands and knees. Press your palms and balls of feet into the ground to raise your knees off the floor. Keeping your knees bent, flex and drive your left heel to the ceiling. Flex your right arm so your elbow is bent 90°. Drive your right hand toward the ceiling. Come back to resting on your hands and knees. Alternate reaching opposite heels and hands.