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One trainer shared his two favorite exercises for six pack abs



Planks and similar isometric exercises are a popular way to build abs, but they’re not just Path. Personal trainer and fitness YouTuber Eugene Teo believes static holding exercises like planks and bridges serve a purpose in terms of core strength, but prefers to focus on abs workouts, which offer a greater chance for contractile movement and, more broadly, a greater incentive for muscle growth.

“The abdominal muscles are like any other muscle group in the body and as such respond to the right stimulus,” he says.

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In his latest YouTube video, Teo shows off the two plank-free exercises that he believes are the most effective workouts for his abs.

The first exercise is the garhammer raise, also known as reverse crunch or leg lift. The movement consists of a simple, controlled leg movement, but with some important limitations, as Teo explains. “We fix your upper back against a stable surface that provides stability for the exercise. This tends to improve your ability to get as much performance out of the target muscle as possible as you guide it through a wide range of motion,” he says.

During this movement, Teo stops at the lower end as soon as his legs are at a 90-degree angle to his torso, since lowering the legs further would shift the tension from the abdominal muscles to the hip flexors. “When targeting the abdominal muscles, it’s useful to stay within the active range of motion for the muscle rather than going through the entire range of motion for the joint,” he says.

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The second exercise is the cable crunch, which reverses the motion of the previous exercise so that you move your torso down to meet the stuck pelvis. In addition, you can add a cable to the weight of this movement. “When doing this exercise, just make sure you’re not stretching unnecessarily or using more hip flexion than actual abdominal contraction, and not using any swing at all,” he says.

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