Encouraging Health and Happiness

Kick Up Your Core

The Editors of Men’s Health
Fri, Sep 30, 2011

A fighter’s body should be a streamlined machine, as lean and muscular as it needs to be—no more, no less. That requires efficient training, says mixed martial arts trainer Chad Waterbury, M.S., author of Huge in a Hurry. This cutting-edge workout develops upper-body strength, size, and endurance simultaneously, packing so much exercise into just 15 minutes that you’ll shrink your waistline in the process. And to find out the regimen and training secrets that turned welterweight king Georges St-Pierre into a champion, read The Ultimate Fighter Workout.

Do this:
Start with 6 reps of each exercise, with no rest between moves. Then do 5 reps of each, and continue to count down until you do 1 of each. If you complete the workout in less than 15 minutes, add a rep to your first set next time—so you’ll start with 7 instead of 6. If you can start with 8 reps and finish in 15 minutes or less, consider yourself ready to rumble.

1 Judo pushup
Judo pushup
Start in a modified pushup position, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your feet far enough forward that your hips rise. Now lower your body until your chin nearly touches the floor. In a continuous motion, raise your head and shoulders while lowering your hips until they almost touch the floor. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Want to see more variations of this classic exercise? Then try out these 14 Smart Pushup Improvements.

2 Assisted chinup
Assisted chinup
Stand on a bench beneath a chinup bar. Grab the bar using an underhand, shoulder-width grip. Cross your ankles behind you, with the toes of one foot resting on the bench. Hang from the bar with your arms straight and knees bent. Pull your chest to the bar, pause, slowly lower yourself, and repeat.

3 Inverted shoulder press
Inverted shoulder press
Place your feet on a bench and your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Raise your hips so your torso is nearly perpendicular to the floor; your arms should be straight and your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your head nearly touches the floor, and then push back to the starting position.

4 Upright power row
Upright power row
Stand holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms toward your body. Lean forward slightly from your hips. This is the starting position. Pull the weights up and to your sides as you straighten your torso, turning your palms toward each other on the way up. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. And to turn a pair of dumbbells into a complete fitness tool, read A Full-Body Dumbbell Blast.

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