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Strength Training: Extreme Abs Workout!

Build more power, better balance and sizzle off the fat with a Cross- Fit-inspired workout.

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Build more power, better balance and sizzle off the fat with a Cross- Fit-inspired workout.

In less than a decade, CrossFit has grown from a small handful of gyms to over 6,000 fitness centers nationwide. The phenomenon has spread like wildfire for a reason: The program yields serious results.

Combining a variety of functional exercises into one jam-packed sweat-fest, CrossFit workouts are super tough—and that’s the point. The high-intensity sessions create an inferno of metabolic activity.

Plus, the fat-burning nature of the workout makes CrossFit an excellent way to reveal toned abs in a flash. No wonder it’s a favorite among celebs like Jessica Alba, Kelly Clarkson and Jessica Biel.

What’s in it for the runner? CrossFit-style workouts strengthen the core muscles, including the abs, glutes and hamstrings, which help your body absorb the impact of running. The cardiovascular benefits also allow you to reduce your mileage, so you can enjoy less wear-and-tear while getting the most from your favorite runs. Now get ready to go hard!


If you venture out of the comfort of your living room and fi nd yourself in a CrossFit gym, here’s a cheat sheet to understanding the lingo. . .

WOD: Probably the most common CF term, this stands for “workout of the day,” i.e., what you’ll be suffering through that afternoon.

AMRAP: An acronym for “as many rounds as possible,” meaning you should try to complete as many reps of the workout as you can in the time allowed.

The Girls: A series of go-to workouts named after exceptional CrossFit-ing females (Annie, Christine and Mary).

Box: Another word for gym. CrossFit gyms are called boxes because they are often small spaces that lack all the machines you see at a typical fitness center.

Scaled Workout: CrossFit workouts and exercises are often modified for beginners. For example, newbies who can’t do a pull-up are instructed to use assistance bands to lift themselves to the bar.

Workout Guidelines

Check off this list prior to starting the workout. . .

Practice first. Push-ups, sit-ups and air squats may seem like simple exercises, but perform them in front of the mirror a few times to ensure your form is on point.

Always complete a thorough warm up, including some light jogging and dynamic stretches.

This workout will be performed for time. Use a stopwatch (or your smartphone) to see how long it takes you to complete the entire workout. In a group gym setting, you would race against both others and the clock. At home, write down your time at the end of the session and then try to beat it during your next workout. But it’s far more important to do the exercises well rather than rapidly, so don’t sacrifice quality for speed.

100-Foot Walking Lunge

Step forward almost as far you can with your left leg. Lower your hips until your right knee almost grazes the ground. Keep your butt and abs tight throughout. Push yourself back to the start position. Now perform a lunge on the right leg. Repeat the movement until you’ve covered 100 feet (or about 25 lunges on each leg).

50 Sit-Ups

Lie on a mat with your feet planted on the floor in front of you. Lift your arms over your head and engage your abs to rise up into a sitting position, then lower back down to the start position. Repeat 50 times.

25 Knees-to-Elbows

Hanging from a pull-up bar, use your core muscles to draw your knees as close to your elbows as possible. Try to complete 25 reps before releasing the bar, but rest as needed.

50 Double-Unders

Jump rope as you would normally but pass the rope under your feet twice in a single jump. If this is too challenging, perform 50 single jumps, mixing in as may doubles as you can.

50 Box Jumps

Stand in front of a one- to two-foot-high box. Keep your core muscles tight as you jump and land lightly on the box. Step down to recover. Complete 50 reps.

25 Overhead Squats

Using a barbell that you can lift comfortably, press the weight over your head, while standing with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Perform a full squat with your weight on your heels and your knees tracking directly over your toes. Keep your chest up and abs tight throughout. Perform 25 reps.

50 Push-Ups

Perform as many push-ups as you can from a plank position. If you get fatigued, put your knees on the ground and continue performing the exercise until you reach 50 total reps. Focus on squeezing your abs and glutes throughout to gain the most benefit for your core. ■

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