This versatile and dynamic exercise from Erik Pence, MS, CSCS, PES, a trainer at the Scottsdale Sports Medicine Institute in Arizona, trains your core in a unique way, helping alleviate any boredom you may be experiencing with your current ab routine. Pence recommends doing three to five sets of 30 full rotations. You can progress by adding some weight to the top end of the bar; one or more 10-pound weight plates work well versus using larger-sized plates.
OLYMPIC BAR ARCH ROTATIONS
START: Wedge one end of an Olympic bar into a corner of a machine or a wall. Facing the corner, grab the other end of the bar with two hands and hold it overhead.
MOVEMENT: With your arms fully extended, lower the bar slowly to one side of your torso in an arc. The end of the bar should reach your hip, slightly behind you. (Your forearms will make contact with the hip before the bar.) Then explosively raise it overhead following the same arcing path, pause, then repeat on the other side. Rotating to both sides counts as one rep.
TIPS: Pence recommends performing this exercise at the beginning of your workout. “It involves so many muscles that help with your warm-up,” he says. Also, you can perform the exercise in a number of ways. “It can be done in an explosive way — almost like an upward ‘batting’ motion — or slowly and deliberately in order to keep the muscles of the torso under tension for a longer period,” Pence says.