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Your abs serve numerous purposes: They keep you in one plane, they maintain stability and help your hips flex while jumping and sprinting, and they protect your spine during rotational movements like throwing a ball or swinging a bat.
The workout provided here will strengthen every major ab movement pattern. In the process, you’ll look and perform better, too. Focus on speed and control with all four moves, and watch your abdominal strength, stability, and power transfer go through the roof.
Stand perpendicular to a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a medicine ball at your waist, then toss it laterally so your hips are facing the wall when you complete your throw. Catch and repeat.
Lower your hips and elbows together until your hips lightly touch the floor. Don’t sacrifice your back angle by rounding in either direction. Doing so will take the focus off your abs.
Hang from a pull-up bar. Keeping your legs straight, raise them until they’re parallel to the ground with your toes pointed up.
Lie down with your heels pushed against a squat rack or door frame. Push your heels out and sit up, keeping your back straight.
Nate Winkler is the co-founder and owner of Juggernaut Training Systems in Laguna Hills, CA.