Work That Core – Self Magazine 01

The Surprising Way To Get Flatter Abs for Summer

Add this to your to-do list at the beach and majorly work that core. It’s no coincidence that surfers and stand-up paddleboarders (SUPers) look great in their bikinis. Both sports help build serious abdominal muscles—a product of fighting through waves and constantly adjusting to the ocean’s unsteady surface. “Every paddle and power stroke uses your core, and that’s about 80 percent of an SUP workout,” says pro paddleboarder and SUP yoga instructor Gillian Gibree (shown here), owner of Paddle Into Fitness in San Diego.

And building a strong core is important for more than looking good in a two-piece. “It’s essential for day-to-day activities like twisting and lifting, but it also improves coordination and can help prevent knee, spinal and running injuries,” says Venu Akuthota, MD, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Just doing crunches won’t cut it, either. “In real life,” Dr. Akuthota says, “you don’t use your transverse abs or obliques in isolation. You use them in combination with other muscles in your stomach, back and butt.”