Packing on flab during the colder months isn’t uncommon for most guys—and it’s our abs that often get buried under the added layers. The extra heft helps you shoulder the frigid temps, and the extra helpings can put a buffer between you and the winter blues. But as we enter the sweltering season, one thing is certain: you want to feel comfortable when you hit the beach, looking more like you’re about to seize the day, not supersize your order. Whether you’re in your back garden, on the court or on the rugby field, you can build abs of steel. You just need eight minutes, here’s your plan of action:
In Your Back Garden
The Pro-Trainer’s Workout: Body-weight circuit. Torch fat with this routine from certified strength and conditioning coach Craig Ballantyne.
All you need is eight minutes to forge ironclad abs!
Do this: Perform these exercises as a circuit. Rest one minute only after completing all four. Complete five circuits.
- Jumping Jacks (60 seconds)
- Spider-man push-ups (until failure): As you lower your body, swing your right leg out to touch your right knee to your right elbow. Reverse the movement and push up. Alternate sides.
- Reverse Lunge (15 reps per leg): Stand tall, hands behind your ears. Step back with one leg, and lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees. Pause. Push up quickly. Do all reps, then switch legs.
- 4. Squat Thrust (8 reps): Squat, put your hands on the floor and kick your legs into a push-up position. Quickly reverse the move. Repeat.
Make it harder: Rest 30 seconds (instead of one minute) between circuits.
On The Court
Basketball Workout 10s:
This combines fast-paced intervals with changes of direction. “It’s a great fat burner and it improves endurance,” says Bill Foran, strength and conditioning coach.
READ MORE: Get Absolutely Shredded in Just 13 Minutes
Do this: Begin at one baseline of the basketball court and run (not at a full sprint) to the opposite end. Stop, plant your foot, pivot, change direction and run back. Repeat four times for a total of 10 trips between baselines. That’s one set; try to complete it in 60 to 70 seconds. Do a total of two or three sets, resting only two to three minutes between each.
Make it harder: Work your way up to five sets. The first few sets may seem easy, but the last few will test your physical and mental endurance.
On The Field
Touch Rugby Workout: X-Pattern Skill Drill
This drill challenges you to run in all directions at full intensity, which every player must do, says strength coach David Page.
Do this: Set up four cones in a square formation, each cone 10m apart.
- Sprint from cone A to cone B.
- Immediately turn and sprint diagonally from cone B to cone D.
- Backpedal as fast as you can from cone D to cone C.
- Sprint diagonally from cone C back to cone A. That’s one set. Rest two to three minutes after completing all four sprints. Repeat for five sets.
Make it harder: Start the drill sitting or lying down, then jump up and run.