Peloton's Jess Sims Swears by These 2 Ab Exercises to Strengthen Your Deep Core


When Jess Sims, NASM-certified personal trainer, plans out classes to teach, she puts herself in the shoes (and mind) of the Peloton members. "I really try to think about what will set the member up for success," she told POPSUGAR during a previous interview. She leads a variety of Peloton workouts including strength, cardio, tread, bike boot camp, and outdoor running classes.

Sims is a proponent of consistency and believing that you're tough (because you are!). And she's convinced that everyone is an athlete in their own right. She preaches giving your all even if you only have a short amount of time — her Flash 15 workouts are intense, to say the least — and when it comes to strengthening your core, she has a pair of go-to exercises: plank pull-through and dead bug.

The plank pull-through is one of Sims's favorites because it is an antirotation move (you're trying not to move your core as you pull a weight under and across your body). Antirotation, she said, is functional. "When you are bending over to pick something up, that's antirotation. So [plank pull-through] also helps to prevent injury and really gets the transverse abdominis really deep inside."

Dead bug also works your deep core. Sims admitted that some people might think dead bug is boring, but "it's so good for you." The key, she noted, is drawing your rib cage in instead of flaring your ribs outward. "Otherwise, we start to feel pain in our lower back," she said.

Ahead, check out how to do each move, and try them during your next workout. They are all about control and will leave you quaking in your core!

How to Do a Plank Pull-Through
POPSUGAR Photography | Tamara Pridgett

How to Do a Plank Pull-Through

  • Start resting on all fours with a dumbbell on the left side of your body.
  • With your palms flat, rise up off your knees onto your toes into a high plank position. Your legs should be straight. The wider your feet are apart, the more stability you'll have while doing the exercise.
  • Squeeze your glutes, keep your hands directly underneath your shoulders, and contract your abs (keeping your belly button pulled in) to prevent your butt from sticking up.
  • With your head and spine in line, look about one inch out in front of you. Don't tuck your chin.
  • Maintaining this form, grab the dumbbell with your right hand and pull it underneath your body until it's on your right side. Be sure not to rotate your hips.
  • With control, grab the dumbbell with your left hand and pull it underneath your body until it's back on your left side.
  • This counts as one rep.
How to Do a Dead Bug

How to Do a Dead Bug

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended upward in front of your chest.
  • Bend your knees, and bring your legs into tabletop position. Ensure your knees are stacked over your hips and your shins are parallel with the floor. This is your starting position.
  • On an exhale, draw your ribs in and pull your belly button into your spine, engaging your core. Lower your left arm back and down toward the floor alongside your head. At the same time, extend your right knee and hip to lower your right leg straight toward the floor. Ensure that your arm and leg are lowering at the same speed and that you maintain a neutral spine.
  • On an inhale, raise your left arm and right leg to return to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
  • Continue on the other side (your right arm and left leg), and alternate.