I Tried Jennifer Aniston's Ab Workout, and Welp, RIP to My Core
Some people love to read the latest gossip about celebrities — who they're supposedly dating and the drama between them and their ex BFFs — but I prefer to read about their workouts, especially if they involve training the abdominals.
I tapped Jennifer Aniston's trainer Leyon Azubuike, AFAA-certified trainer and founder of Gloveworx, for an Aniston-approved ab workout, and he did not disappoint. This workout is designed to help you improve your core strength and stability with rotational (rotational ball slams), antirotational (bird dog), and stability movements (planks), Leyon says.
Fifteen seconds into the first exercise, a forearm plank, my abs were shaking. Then I had a moment for active recovery with bird dog (one of my favorite moves, especially for back pain), followed by the powerful rotational ball slam. The reps were light, but after three rounds of the first circuit, my core was feeling it. The second circuit was similar to the first — incorporating similar movement patterns, but different exercises.
The best thing about this workout, in my opinion, is the variety of exercises. I enjoyed the combination of isometric holds, slow and controlled exercises, and explosive movements. Not to mention, the routine works more than just your core: between the planks, bird dogs, and medicine-ball moves, your whole upper body and lower body get in on the action, too.
My final verdict? This is a great workout for strong abs that focuses on both power and control. If you're ready to give Aniston's ab workout a shot, keep reading.
Jennifer Aniston's Ab Workout
Equipment needed: One dumbbell (five to 10 pounds) and a soft medicine ball (six to 12 pounds).
Directions: This workout is broken into two circuits. Do three rounds of circuit one, taking little to no rest in between each exercise and 45 to 60 seconds of rest in between each round. Once you've finished three rounds of circuit one, move on to circuit two. Do three rounds of circuit two, taking little to no rest in between each exercise and 45 to 60 seconds of rest in between each round.
- Plank: 30 seconds to two minutes
- Bird dog: 10 reps on each side
- Rotational ball slam with lunge: eight reps on each side
Do three rounds.
- Side elbow plank: 15 seconds to one minute on each side
- Renegade row: 10 reps on each side
- Medicine-ball rotational punch: eight reps on each side
Do three rounds.
Circuit 1, Exercise 1: Elbow Plank
- Start in an elbow plank position with your palms flat on the floor, elbows directly under your shoulders, and feet hip-width apart.
- Engage your core, and focus on forming a straight line with your body from head to heels. Keep your neck long, and gaze at the mat just in front of your fingers.
- Hold for 30 seconds to two minutes (depending on your level).
Circuit 1, Exercise 2: Bird Dog
- Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Engage your core, and find a neutral spine/flat back.
- Bring your left knee and right elbow together under your torso, allowing your back to round slightly.
- Without tilting your shoulders or hips to either side, straighten your right arm and left leg so they extend out from your body at shoulder and hip height. Avoid arching your back.
- Bring your left knee and right elbow together again to begin the next rep.
- Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Circuit 1, Exercise 3: Rotational Ball Slam With Lunge
- Start in a lunge with your right leg forward. Be sure to keep your knee over your ankle.
- With the ball on the left side of your body, raise it up overhead, rotate your arms to the right, and slam the ball down on the outside of your right foot.
- That's one rep. Do eight reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Circuit 2, Exercise 1: Side Elbow Plank
- Start in a side plank position on your right elbow, with your feet staggered so your left foot is just in front of your right. You can also stack your feet for more of a challenge.
- Reach your left arm up toward the ceiling, and maintain a straight line from head to heels. Try not to let your hips drop toward the floor, and avoid hinging at your hips.
- Hold for 15 seconds to one minute on each side (depending on your level).
Circuit 2, Exercise 2: Renegade Row
- Start in a high plank, holding a dumbbell in each hand directly below your shoulders, and your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Without moving your hips, pull your right elbow back, raising the dumbbell toward your chest. Keep your right elbow close to your torso.
- Lower the weight. Repeat on the opposite side. That's one rep.
- Do 10 reps.
Circuit 2, Exercise 3: Medicine-Ball Rotational Punch
- Start standing perpendicular to a wall with a soft medicine ball in your hands. You should be about a foot away from the wall.
- Rotate your chest and hips toward the wall, pivoting on your back foot, to throw the ball as hard as you can at the wall.
- Catch the medicine ball, and return to the starting position.
- That's one rep. Do eight reps on each side.