Up Position

Punch Plank

> Get into pushup position, balancing on your first two knuckles and with feet no wider than shoulder width. Lift one hand near to your chin, resisting the urge to rotate your shoulders. Squeeze your pec on the side that's balancing and shift your weight on the opposite foot. Hold it for as long as you can. "This drill will get your obliques' undivided attention," Tsatsouline says. "It teaches you to bring your body 's full strength together for things like punching and bench-pressing."


Always keep your shoulders parallel to the floor and look straight down.

Full-Contact Plank

> Get into plank position. Have a partner shove your midsection or kick your thighs and the soles of your feet (try it barefoot) to increase the challenge. Resist any kind of motion. "The kicks make all your muscles contract harder," Tsatsouline says. "The kicks to the feet target deep core muscles."

Drop Plank

> Get into pushup position and lock your elbows. Push your palms into the floor so your shoulder blades flare out and your chest caves in closer to the floor. Tighten your body. Have a partner pick up both your feet and then release one of them without warning. Now, prevent your leg from falling to the door. Tsatsouline says to think about bringing your tailbone and belly button close together underneath your body. "Elite gymnasts use the drop plank to develop greater tightness," he says.

Situps with Power Breathing

> When doing situps. inhale through your nose and take the breath into your lower abdomen as you lower your body. As you go up. press your tongue behind your teeth and hiss, trying to contract your abs as hard as possible. "Think of your mouth as the nozzle of an air hose," says Tsatsouline. "When you press your tongue against your teeth, it is as if you have plugged the end of the hose with your thumb. The pressure inside the hose goes way up," and that increases the activity in your abs.

Standing Cable Press

Set the pulleys of a cable crossover station to chest height and attach a D-handle to each. Grab the handles and step forward until there is tension on the cables and your arms are in the bottom position of a normal chest press. Your stance should be staggered. Press the handles until they almost touch, and hold the position for a second while you squeeze your pecs. "You're using your core muscles while you press, which is what you do in real life," says MF fitness adviser Jason Ferruggia. The cables also keep your pecs working from all angles all the time.

Power Wheel Alligator Pushup

> Attach your feet to a Power Wheel (available at monkeybar gym.com) and get into pushup position. Squeeze your glutes and abs hard so your body forms a straight line. Perform a pushup, then "step" forward with one hand. Perform another pushup and repeat with the opposite hand. You can also perform the move on a waxed floor with your feet on a weight plate instead of the wheel.

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