21 August 2018

Build a stronger body with one super-move and one weight

You don't need to do endless abdominal crunches to sculpt a rock-solid core. This super-move will do wonders to your body.

Performing endless abdominal crunches isn’t the only – or even the best – way to sculpt a rock-solid core. Multi-muscle exercises, such as the braced squat, build a stronger foundation for your body and more muscular legs, says strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove.

Read more: How to perfect the pistol squat

The benefit

The braced squat looks like a lower-body exercise, doesn’t it? But the primary goal is to overload your core, says Cosgrove. The movement helps you develop a stronger midsection, which improves stability, performance and strength. A strong core will pay off on the court or in the field.

Read more: Do this kettlebell workout to chisel your abs and lower body

How to do it

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a 10kg plate in front of your body at shoulder height with your arms outstretched. Keeping your arms straight, squat as low as possible. Hold the position for four seconds. Return to the starting position by pressing through your heels.

Make sure that the only changes in your centre of gravity come from the lowering and raising of your body, not any backward or forward movement. Aim for one to two sets of 10 to 12 slow reps, with 60 seconds of rest between sets.

Read more: Gain strength and length with the tight trail leg bulgarian split squat

Our expert’s tip

Work your arms by doing a curl at the top of each rep: Stand with arms outstretched and curl the plate towards your upper shoulders. Extend your arms as you lower your body.

This article was originally published on

Image credit: iStock 


Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.