Akin Akman is a New York-based celebrity fitness trainer, model, and senior SoulCycle instructor. Some of his high-profile clientele include supermodel Karlie Kloss, Victoria Beckham, and pro athlete Maria Sharapova. Whether or not he’s working with a celeb client, Akman coaches each individual to push their limits to become the best athlete they can be. He believes that growth happens by focusing on getting better at one style of teaching rather than going all over the place. With that approach and attention to each individual, it’s no wonder he has a waitlist for his classes. One of Akman’s many strengths is training for rock-hard washboard abs. We all know the importance of a strong core, but if you want that washboard abs look, you’ll have to do more than just crunches every day.
“Getting toned abs is the same as getting toned anywhere else in your body—focus on clean eating and cross-training with both cardio and strength moves to create the higher metabolic rate that will lean your body as a whole,” Akman says.
Here are 5 washboard abs moves that Akman recommends. Do each exercise back-to-back for 1 minute each. You can tack these on at the end of a workout or do these along with cardio and a healthy diet for lean, sculpted abs.
1. Hollow Rock– Lie on your back with your arms stretched out over your head. Pull your shoulder blades down and keep your arms by your ears as you engage your abs to lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor. Keep your abs scooped as you lift your legs off the ground also. Your legs should be high enough so that your entire lower back stays in contact with your mat. Initiating the movement from your core, start rocking back and forth from the top of your glutes to your shoulder blades, keeping the belly button pulled into your spine.
2. Roll Up– Start standing with your feet shoulder distance apart. Squat down with your arms in front of you to sit on the ground. Keep your back in a C curve as you roll back, extending your arms over your head and your legs in the air. Use your abs to roll forward onto your feet. Push through your heels to stand back up. You will need to get some momentum going to stand back up by continuously flowing through each movement.
3. Star Fish– Lie on your back with your arms over your head shoulder-distance apart and your legs long and separated hip-distance apart. Engage your core to lift your arms and legs off the ground. Curl all the way up, bringing your elbows to your knees. Extend the arms and legs back out and then lower down to the ground. Do these movements with control making sure to keep your navel into your spine at all times. To make it more challenging, keep the knees from coming in too close to your chest and focus on bringing the elbows more forward. This forces you to use more abs to crunch up.
4. Extended Arm Plank– Get into a plank position on your forearms making sure not to drop the hips or arch your lower back. Keep your core tight and your forearms pressing into the ground so that you don’t sink in between your shoulder blades. Hold for 10 seconds and then come up onto your hands without changing the shape of your body. Walk your hands out in front of you slightly and hold for another 10 seconds. Return back to your forearm plank and repeat the sequence until one minute is up.
5. Core Kick– Sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you. Lean slightly back so that you can lift your legs off the ground a couple inches. Keep your abs scooped in. Bend your elbows out to the sides and bend your right leg. Kick your right leg up and over your straight left leg as you raise your elbows up. Lower your arms back down as you bring the right leg back up and over to the original position. Repeat for 30 seconds and then switch legs for another 30 seconds.
Are you ready to get defined, washboard abs? Eat clean, cross train and work up to doing several sets of these killer ab exercises at least three times a week!
Related: Sculpting Flat Lower Abs Workout
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Photo: Akin Akman via Instagram; “Me Voy (feat. Mala Rodríguez)” -Ibeyi