Lights, Camera, Abs! 8 Moves To A Celebrity 8-Pack Like Bradley Cooper's

Who needs a 6-pack when you can have 8 of 'em? This ab super-circuit is just the ticket.

Lights, Camera, Abs! 8 Moves To A Celebrity 8-Pack Like Bradley Cooper's

Ashley Conrad is a world-renowned fitness trainer and lifestyle expert extraordinaire, responsible for some of Hollywood's most notable abs.

Stars like Taye Diggs, Bradley Cooper, and Kate Hudson pay her a lot of money (we're guessing) to get the sort of rock-hard abs that (they hope) will land them on the "sexiest people" lists.

But if we were to compile our own list, Ashley would rank No. 1, gaining our seal of approval for having sculpted the sexy sinews that make it hard to figure out what to stare at first—her face or her body.

Even in sunny Southern California, jammed with bronzed and beautiful hardbodies, Ashley doesn't just stop traffic—she shifts it into reverse.

In this exclusive ab-alicious superfeature, you gain full access to Ashley Conrad's signature mind-and-body training method known as the Clutch System. And you have it all right at your fingertips for free!

If you don't take advantage of this opportunity to carve a phenomenal midsection from the insights of a beautiful trainer, you might as well accept your fate as a soft-bellied doughboy or doughgirl.

Ashley can give you the knowledge and the motivation; the rest is up to you!

Bradley Cooper's Ab Workout
Watch The Video - 10:22

Ashley's Ab Routine

Goal: Complete 5 total circuits. Move from one exercise to the next without resting, until you've completed them all. That's one set. Rest 1 minute. Repeat more circuits.

Reps: Take all of Ashley's ab exercises to failure! If you set a number, you may experience early fatigue; psychologically, you know you're approaching your ending point. Instead, always go until you can't go anymore.

Got it? Good! Here are the exercises.

Ab Circuit: 3-5 Rounds
Note: 1 min rest between rounds

1. Weighted Jack-Knife

I start with this exercise, because it engages the upper and lower abs, and the serratus all in one movement. Efficiency is key!

weighted jack-knife

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Grab a light to moderate weighted ball.
  2. Lay down on flat bench with your legs straight and your arms extended back behind your head (ball should align with the rest of your body).
  3. Elevate your arms and legs (without bending) at the same time until they meet in the middle.
  4. Once you touch the ball to your legs, slowly lower your arms and legs back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat to failure.

Tips and Techniques

  • The first exercise of any workout should engage the largest number of muscles, so you are immediately fatigued.
  • Always isolate directly to the abdominals and the other muscles engaged in the core, such as the serratus, obliques, and lower back, with slow and controlled movements.
  • If you concentrate on isolating the abs and going to failure, even if it means fewer reps, you'll get better muscle contraction than if you swing your arms or legs for extra momentum.
  • Pain equals results.

2. 90-Degree Crunch

This exercise works both the upper and lower abs very effectively. Keeping the legs up engages the lower abs, while rising up with the ball blasts the upper abs.

90-Degree Crunch

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Using the weighted ball and the same lying position on the bench, raise your legs upward to a 90-degree angle from your torso.
  2. With your arms extended straight above your chest, elevate your torso upwards as far as you can towards your toes in a crunching movement.
  3. Keeping your legs up, lower your torso down to the starting position.
  4. Repeat to failure.

Tips and Techniques

  • Restrict your downward movement and keep your head from swinging to prevent neck injury as well as to ensure that you're not using momentum to cheat.
  • Keep your legs completely straight. If your knees bend or your legs begin to drop then your abs are failing.
  • This exercise is also a perfect ending to any upper-body workout. The weight of the ball will activate your shoulders, chest, and triceps and maximize the definition and tightness of your already fatigued muscles.

3. Weighted Bicycle

This exercise targets the obliques and serratus anterior muscles, which are those hard-to-get lines on the side of your rib cage.

Weighted Bicycle

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. In the same laying position with the ball extended above your chest and torso slightly elevated, rotate your legs like you're pedaling a bicycle.
  2. Repeat to failure.

Tips and Techniques

  • Your torso should always be slightly elevated during the bicycle movement to keep your upper abs engaged.
  • Execute fully extended leg rotations while bringing your knees in to your chest. The leg extension will target the lower abs, while the exaggerated movement to the chest will target the serratus.
  • When you cannot make full and complete leg rotations any longer, you've reached failure and should stop, but not for long!

4. 90-Degree Toe-Taps

This exercise gets really deep into your abs, and is very effective.

90 degree Toe Taps

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. You're in same lying position, but will drop the ball for this one. Instead, rotate your shoulders and grab the bench with both hands above your head.
  2. Raise your legs to a 90-degree angle and keep your knees as straight as possible.
  3. Elevate your rear end off the bench by pushing through the hips and extending upward as high as possible while maintaining a strict 90-degree angle.
  4. Return to the resting position by lowering your rear end back down to the bench while still maintaining strict form.
  5. Repeat to failure.

Tips and Techniques

  • Your legs should not be moving forward or backwards during this movement. If they are then you're not properly engaging your abs, and you should give yourself a couple seconds rest and then go right back into it.
  • When people hear core, they usually think Pilates or movements that only girls would do. However, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Core strength is essential for everyone regardless of gender. The stronger your core is the stronger you are at other lifts in the gym, and the better athlete you can become.
  • Trying rotating the bench to an angle that allows you to see yourself in the mirror. While some people may think that you're checking yourself out, the main reason for this is to watch your form and make sure that you're not cheating yourself.

5. Elbow Walk

This exercise combines isometric contractions with dynamic movements of the muscles. Isometric is the static hold that contracts the muscle without moving.

The dynamic movements come from concentric or eccentric contractions of the muscles through range of motion.

Elbow Walk

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. In a plank position, keep your abs engaged and back as straight as possible.
  2. Positioned on your forearms and toes, begin "crawling" forward with your right arm and opposite leg.
  3. Next, stop the forward movement and push yourself up off your forearms and onto your hands in the same plank position.
  4. While keeping your core tight and back straight, bring one leg at a time outward and up to your elbow on the same side. Keep your back solid and don't shift your hips down when doing this movement.
  5. Repeat these two movements in series until you reach failure.

Tips and Techniques

  • When doing plank or pushup movements, never let your lower back sag down. If you do, you're leaving your lumbar region totally exposed to unnatural strain, and just asking for injury.
  • Always focus on staying straight as a board and keep your abdominals flexed.

6. Army Crawl

This exercise really targets the serratus but also activates the lats, so it's a great finisher for any back workout.

Army Crawl

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. From the plank position, keep your torso elevated, drop your hips and knees down to the floor, and let your feet relax behind you from the tiptoe stance.
  2. Next you'll want to extend one arm out in front of you as far as you can reach, drop it to the floor and pull yourself forward using only your forearm. Your legs should serve only as dead weight.
  3. Continue to pull until you reach failure.

Tips and Techniques

  • Most functional movements are dynamic, so we should train for that in the gym. People tend to lock themselves into machines and only get front and back movements. Then they end up injuring themselves when they try doing a multiplane movement.

7. Ball Crunch with Flyes

This exercise incorporates two different movements to target the abs and the serratus. The crunch targets the abdominals, while the weighted fly targets the serratus.

Ball Crunch with Flyes

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. With light to moderate weighted dumbbells, position yourself on a stability ball, like you would for a normal crunch but with your arms extended out to your side.
  2. As you rise upward, you'll incorporate a chest fly movement in unison with the crunch.
  3. You should extend as far upward and outward as you can while keeping your abs tight and isolated.
  4. Lower your torso and arms back to the starting position and repeat to failure.

Tips and Techniques

  • Don't overextend your back around the ball or the weights past parallel to your shoulders. Doing this allows your muscles to rest as you go past the maximal tension point of the movement.
  • If you are unable to use weights, do the same movement with just your body weight and clap your hands at the top for full range of motion.

8. Isolated Crunch

This exercise is a great finisher because the short contractions isolate the abdominals and really burn them out.

Isolated Crunch

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. In the same position on the ball, drop the weight and rest your hands on your thighs.
  2. Let your back rotate slightly backward on the ball and crunch forward, keeping your hands low and your chin tucked to your chest.
  3. Keep your abs flexed at all times, and continue with short deliberate movements until you reach failure.

Tips and Techniques

  • Try to engage your core in every lift you do. If you don't, you're reducing the amount of weight you can lift.

    People tend to arch their back when trying to lift heavy on bench press, but by doing this you're actually limiting your potential and increasing the risk of injury.