Fighters have some of the best washboard abs of any athlete, and most of them don’t do crunches anymore, or use machines. Throwing hard punches and kicks, and wrestling an opponent to the canvas requires a core that can stabilize itself and exert high amounts of force. Fighters get like that by training with exercises that mimic some of the actions endemic to their sport. You can train like that, too, to build a kick-ass six-pack that’s strong enough to take on any task.
HOW TO DO IT:
Get into a push-up position with your feet spread wide. Place your left hand on a firm medicine ball. Perform a push-up. Explode upward from the bottom and push your left hand into the ball so that it supports your body. Quickly reach your arm out in front of you. Do not allow your hips to rotate. Try to hold the up position for a moment. Switch sides and repeat.
Keeping your hips from rotating forces the muscles in your abs to stabilize the body, and isometric ab contractions are what give fighters the firmness in their bellies that allows them to absorb punches, kicks, and knee strikes to the midsection without buckling. Do the puncher’s pushup for 3 sets of 5 for a few weeks before asking friends to test your progress.