With the opening of his new movie “The Town” and the revelation of his new totally toned physique, everyone is buzzing about Ben Affleck…and his abs.
While it’s true we are used to seeing Big Ben looking toned and healthy, he really did a little bit extra to take on the role of buff bank robber Doug MacRay. Unlike his work in Daredevil, Ben’s physique in The Town required a lot of work to his core….a lot!
You can get your abs in shape like Affleck, although maybe not as quickly, with these ab exercises.
One way to work your core and build muscle is leg raises. Properly executed leg raises requires you to use your core to lift yourself up, think of it as a backwards pull up.
You’ll need a flat surface such as a chair or floor to sit on for these. Sit on the edge of a chair or bench with your legs crossed at the ankles. You can leave them uncrossed if you’re too macho, but crossed provides greater control and decreases the opportunities for you to injure yourself. Place your arms at your sides, or underneath your butt. Remember this is an abdominal exercise so you won’t be using your hands.
[Grab a chair, bench, or grab some carpet and let leg raises help you get the abs you've always wanted.]
Using your ab muscles, slowly raise your legs up until your butt is no longer touching the ground and then slowly lower yourself back down. Do 2 sets with anywhere from 15-20 repetitions for get your abs in Affleck shape!
As much as we all hated doing pull ups in gym class, there’s a reason our sweat suit-clad teachers challenged us to do them. They strengthen your core and help you avoid pesky back injuries that’ll sideline you and your weight loss goals. Affleck was so serious about his abs for The Town that he has one put up in his trailer. Now that’s ab dedication.
Whether you buy a door frame pull up bar, or head to your local gym or park, pull ups are a great core exercise to add to any workout regimen. If your core isn’t quite strong enough for a full pull up, use a chair or a foot stool until your abs are strong enough to do the work for you!
Place your hands on the bar, palms facing you or away from you–I think palms facing you is the best way but decide for yourself. Don’t forget to keep your core tight throughout the repetitions so your abdominal muscles get the most from your workout. Start with 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions, and increase when you’re ready.
Ahhh, the crunch. Many workout gurus are divided on the actual effectiveness of the abdominal crunch, but I happen to believe that when done correctly crunches can give you abs worth showing off. Just ask Affleck.
Rumor has it that Ben Affleck did circuit-like exercises targeting his mid-section, including different variations of the abdominal crunch.
Vertical: Vertical crunches are simple and effective, and if done properly won’t leave your back aching for days on end. Lie on the floor with your hands behind your head, as you would for traditional crunches. Cross your legs at the ankle and lift them in the air, leaving your knees slightly bent.
Using your abdominal muscles, raise your head toward your knees (extra points for touching your knee!) and slowly come back down to the starting position. Begin with 2 sets of 15 repetitions, every other day.
Remember: exhale on the way up, inhale on the way down! Breathing is key to effective abdominal exercises.
You can also do a wide variety of crunches using an exercise ball, including side-to-side crunches and bicycle crunches.
You’ll have to hit your local gym for this ab blasting exercise, but it will definitely be worth the effort. Hold your arms in position, holding onto the hand bars with your legs hanging down. Keep your abdominal tight and slowly lift your knees inward to your chest and bring them back down slowly.
[Make sure you begin each repetition in this position to maximize your ab workout and avoid injury.]
When you start this abdominal exercise, aim to complete 2 sets. Each set should contain at least 15 repetitions. As you feel more comfortable, increase or decrease sets and reps as you deem necessary.
[Step 2 of the Captain's Chair: squeeze ab muscles to bring legs in and slowly bring back down. Now...repeat!]
In addition to relentless effort, Affleck abs requires a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Whether you need to just burn fat from your abs, or build core muscles from scratch, the key is eating healthy and eating to lose weight.
The kind of toned physique donned by Big Ben in The Town requires a commitment to regular physical activity as well as to eating right. Without both parts of the fitness equation, you’ll have Affleck abs, but they’ll be so buried beneath the fat that only you will know about it!