BY NAOMI NAZARIO
This workout only has two exercises, but the special sauce is in the rep scheme. Andy Speer, the creator of The Anarchy Abs Workout for Men’s Health, uses ladders to strategically push you to new limits.
Not only do ladders make a workout more interesting through variety—instead of straight reps and sets, you build upon the number of reps each time you repeat the exercise—this structure allows you to get a higher volume of reps without approaching the level of fatigue that can lead to collapsed form.
With the reverse plank to pushup exercise, you do a total of 12 pushups after adding the ladder reps. Not only do you get to rest for a short period on the pushup while you do reverse planks, you get in more reps on the reverse plank portion over doing 12 consecutive pushups.
Aside from the ladder scheme, the exercises themselves make for excellent combos. Both feature plank variations, arguably the most effective core exercise. Unlike situps or crunches, planks focus on core stability and strengthening the tranverse abdominis. Think of your core as the structural support of your spine. Planks strengthen that entire foundation.
Adding a squat jump to the candlestick roll adds a cardio element to the exercise to help you break a sweat. Jumping from the deck will improve your athleticism and explosiveness.
Of course, the pushup is a classic upper body exercise for the chest and arms, and unlike a bench press, a proper pushup (don’t let your middle sag) recruits the same abdominal muscles as a static plank. Think of a pushup as a moving plank instead of an isolated arms and chest movement.
Directions. Perform the exercises below in the order listed:
1a. Reverse plank to pushup to reverse plank. Do 3 pushups, then add one additional pushup until you hit 5 total reps.
1b. Candlestick roll to deck squat jump. Do 1 jump, then add one additional jump until you hit 5 total reps.
That’s 1 cycle. Do 3 total rounds.