When I choose exercises for “abs”, or as us fat guys call it, the Girder, I don’t like to train people like bodybuilders.
There is nothing wrong with training for aesthetics, but our clients and athletes also want to be strong(ER).

I like to use exercises that will produce the desired effect of strength and let the aesthetics be taken care of via the nutrition plan.
In order to be strong(ER) we need to be able to transfer power through our torso and endless crunches and situps won’t produce the effect we want.
Transferring power through the torso is critical to squat, bench and deadlift more.
It is critical if you play any sport.

We need to be strong enough to generate the force with our upper and lower body, AND strong enough to control the force delivery.

A strong Girder gets that done.


So with that in mind, here is a list of my Top 5 Exercise for Your Girder in no particular order:


Planks and Plank Variations:


Planks are a fairly useless exercise when done as programmed by many “professional” coaches, especially the Instagram ones.
Holding a plank for 60-90 seconds or more doesn’t do much because not many of us can generate tension in that position for long periods of time.
We also see them done horribly wrong almost all of the time when we watch all the fitness models do them online.

Swayback, loose glutes, 90 pounds of weight on the back and more are some of the things I see all the time and it makes my head hurt.
Try and do a few sets as illustrated in the video for 90 seconds.
Betcha can’t.

I also love Plank variations such as:

Drag Across Planks

Top 5 Exercise for Your GirderTop 5 Exercise for Your GirderTop 5 Exercise for Your Girder

Shoulder Tap Planks

Shoulder Tap Plank TPS

TRX/Blast Strap work

Using the TRX for what I call Active Planks is one of my favorite Top 5 Exercise for Your Girder Active Planks are just that,
get in a TRX or Blast Straps and stabilize your body in a strong Plank position and be active.

Do rows, pushups, pendulums or anything else you can think of. Make sure to hold that Plank position with no saggy sway back and tight buns the whole time.

Dragon Flag:


Maybe the King of all Girder exercises.
This one is HARD.
It also hits the lats too.
Give it a shot.

Ab Wheel:


Often done wrong.
The Ab Wheel can be dangerous if we add it to the totality of the abuse we add to our spine over they years. If you do it right, you’ll have a healthy and strong midsection.
Watch the video for tips.



Stir the Pot:


Top 5 Exercise for Your Girder

This is a good one, and although it is hard, it is a regression from many TRX exercises.


Start with these.
Hold a solid plank position with your forearms on a stability ball and make small circles in both directions.
As you progress, move to the elbows, and then make bigger circles.
I like these for time. Start off with 10 seconds I each direction and add time as you get better.
When you can get up to a few sets of 30 seconds, move on to TRX work.
These are excellent to keep in your program as they are hard, but not as hard and some of the ones here and will allow
you to continue to progress without always doing KILLER exercises.
Think of them like active rest or a deload week movement once you have mastered them.

1 Arm Farmers:

An all-time favorite. I remember years ago people told me I was insane for having clients and athletes do these.

“You’re going to screw their backs up” is what I heard.

Well were they all wrong.

Dr. Stuart McGill did tests and studies with electrodes and science stuff and PROVED that this is a top choice for back and torso strength and health.

Use these a lot.

Heavy for short distance, lighter and faster for longer distances. Keep it like Dodgeball.
Mix it up, shock the body and keep the muscles guessing with these.

There you have my Top 5 Exercise for Your Girder.

Add these in and you’ll have a steel Girder in no time.

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Vincere vel mori