Not Your Typical Ab Workout


Another ab workout, here it comes: crunches, sit ups, leg raises, repeat (insert stupidly high number here). Sounds about right?

Wrong! Those of you that follow my writing know by now that I am anything but predictable, so get ready for the most unconventional ab workout you have ever seen.

So, take your seat, grab your high protein popcorn and follow along.


When it comes to muscle activation and conditioning, there is simply nothing better than posing. Anyone who has been on stage or sweated through a posing session will know exactly what I mean. Think of posing as a whole-body isometric exercise, repeated over and over again while smiling and trying to look happy.

Hands-over-head abs and thigh pose:  An absolute killer when it comes to conditioning! Put one leg out front and contract your thigh as hard as possible. Raise your hands behind your head and contract your abs. Blow all the air out, lean a little bit forward and contract the entire upper body as well as your leg.

Vacuum: Train your internal abdominals by bringing back this old-school bodybuilding pose. Allow me to elaborate; the Transversus Abdominus and Lumbar Multifidus are the inner abdominal muscles. These muscles are rarely discussed, and are most often neglected, yet they allow you to maintain stability during squats and other power movements. If these muscles are weak, you’ll most likely suffer from back pain.
The way to strengthen them is through the vacuum pose. Lay with your back flat on the floor, pulling your feet close and placing your hands next to your body. Try to draw your belly into your spine and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat ten times. You should aim to work your way up to 60 seconds going forward.

Weighted Crunches + Squats

Do weighted crunches…but harder! Set up a rope at the high cable pulley and kneel facing away from it. Start performing crunches very slowly, keeping continuous tension in the abs. Once you fatigue, head to the squat cage, set up 50% of your regular squatting weight, and perform 15 reps, aiming to spend 8 seconds each on the ascent and descent phases. Be ready for a monster burn!

Clean and Press + Leg Raises

Here you’ll start by performing 10 clean and presses, focusing on speed and explosiveness, then head to the roman chair for 30 leg raises. Rest 30 seconds and repeat!

There you have it, world’s most unconventional ab workout. Repeat two to three times a week!

One of the most sought after personal trainers in New York City, Maik Wiedenbach is a world renowned athlete and two-times Muscle Mania Champion. Educated on a swimming scholarship from Fordham University he holds a double Masters Degree in History & Philosophy. Fluent in multiple languages including Dutch, English, French and his native German, he is an Adjunct Professor teaching Exercise Sciences at New York University.

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