It's no secret that LeBron James needs a rock-solid core to perform on the court. But, your abs are much more than the six-pack muscles you see. And, it's the reason why workouts that only focus on crunches leave you short on results, and high on risk for injury.
This Lebron James' abs workout, created by his personal trainer Mike Mancias, is the opposite of what you might expect. No crunches. No weights. And nothing that appears too tough. But, once you perform this four-exercise circuit, you'll realize why a new approach to training your abs was exactly what you needed.
LeBron's abs workout focuses on working the abs from a variety of angles, and makes slight adjustments to classic moves — like planks — to increase the difficulty and cause your abs to work harder than ever before.
Follow this core workout plan two to three times per week, either on it's own or after your normal workout, and you will unlock all of the benefits of great abs, including more strength in the gym or during your sport of choice.
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LeBron's Ab Exercise: The Core 4 Workout
How to do it:
- Perform this core workout as a circuit, completing one exercise after another while resting as little as possible.
- Once you complete all four exercises, that's one set.
- Rest for one to two minutes, and then repeat the entire four-exercise circuit two to three more times, for a total of three to four sets.
1. Extended plank: 20 seconds
- Assume a push-up position: Wrists stacked underneath the shoulders, your feet together and your body straight from head to heels.
- Walk your hands out so they're in front of your shoulders to create the extended plank position.
- Squeeze your glutes and brace your core by drawing your belly button into the spine to lock your body into position.
2. V-Ups: 10 reps
- Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms extended over your head against the floor.
- Keeping your back neutral and your core engaged, lift your legs and arms off the floor until your body forms a V shape. You can reach your arms straight forward or up toward your feet.
- Pause, and then slowly lower your arms and legs back to the starting position.
- Repeat, avoiding the use of momentum as you move into each rep.
3. Pot-stirrer-plank: 6 circles (in each direction)
- Assume a forearm plank position on a stability ball, with your feet slightly separated and your body straight from head to heels. (Try to keep the shoulders over the elbows as much as possible, instead of collapsing you shoulders in and moving them over your forearm/wrist.)
- Keeping your core tight and glutes engaged, make six small circles to the right. Try to keep movement in your upper body to a minimum, only moving your arms.
- Reverse the motion, making six small circles to the left.
4. Knee tuck: 15 reps
- Assume a push-up position: feet together, core braced, body straight from head to heels, hands in line with your shoulders.
- Lift your right foot off the floor and draw your right knee toward your chest, making sure to keep your back flat, your butt down, and the rest of your body stationary. Tap the floor with your toes.
- Return your right foot to the starting position, and immediately repeat with the opposite leg. That's one rep.
- Continue alternating legs, performing equal reps on both sides. This is a slower movement than your traditional mountain climber, as to increase time under tension.
LeBron James' Trainer, Mike Mancias
Mike Mancias is LeBron James' Athletic Trainer and recovery specialist, a position he's held for 14 years and counting. His work includes training with NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA, and top NCAA athletes.
Mike has developed a winning human-performance blueprint that encompasses everything from preventative medicine, strength training/rehab, nutrition, and the latest in recovery techniques. Mancias aided in developing the LADDER brand and its products.