WWE Body Shop: Fitness Tips with Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus
The No-Crunch Abs Circuit
Turn your soft and flabby stomach into a model of perfection with this Dolph Ziggler-tested core routine.
Every time you perform a crunch at the gym, you’re compressing each vertebra in your spine, says trainer Chris Thomae—myboostfitness.com. Why not work those same muscle areas without punishing your back? “The following exercises focus on contracting the abs by reversing the crunch motion so that your hips are doing the work,” he says. Perform this routine after every workout. Awww—is that too hard? Come on, it’s gut-check time, chubs!
Bench-Reverse Hyperextensions—3 sets, 12-15 repetitions
Works abs, transversus abdominis, glutes and quads
Lie face-down on a flat bench with your upper body supported by the bench, and your lower body suspended in the air. Now, bend your knees at a 90° angle. In a slow, controlled motion, extend your legs so that they line up with the rest of your body. Remember to keep your body as straight as possible during the entire routine.
Modified Scorpion Twists—3 sets, 8-10 repetitions on each leg
Works abs, obliques, transversus abdominis, chest, shoulders, hip flexors, quads, glutes and upper back
Assume a push-up position. While holding the pose, bring your left knee toward your chest, and then rotate through your hips. Alternate your legs after each twist. Make sure your abs and glutes stay tight during the exercise, and keep your spine straight.
Side Plank—3 sets, 12-20 repetitions on each side
Works abs, obliques, transversus abdominis, chest, shoulders and upper back
Lie on either side, with your feet and legs on top of each other, and place your forearm on the ground so that your elbow lines up with your shoulder. That’s your starting position. Now, squeeze your glutes and abdominals as you lift your hips and thighs off the ground. Maintain the plank for two-to-four seconds, and then return to the starting position. For a challenge, hold a dumbbell with your top hand during the exercise.
Bench Knee-Up—3 sets of 12-15 repetitions
Works abs and transversus abdominis
On a flat bench, lie with your back flat and hips bent at a 90° angle. Your legs should point straight up. With your hands behind your head and feet together, lift your hips, pressing your feet toward the ceiling. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Place a medicine ball between your ankles as you improve.
Exercise ball training
“I’ll hang from a pull-up bar with a 100-pound dumbbell between my legs and raise my legs up to my chest. I don’t treat my abs as parts of my body I’m trying to burn fat from. I treat them as muscles that I am trying to grow, just like my biceps—and I’d like to say that I’ve got some pretty good abs out of the deal.”—Dolph Ziggler
Shock your core by adding these three exercise balls to your workouts.
Balancing on one of these will force your abs to remain tight throughout your entire workout. Try “stirring the pot”: Start in a plank position with your forearms resting on the ball, then rotate them in a clockwise motion.
Use a medicine ball to add extra resistance during your ab routines. Holding one as you do lunges and other body-weight exercises will also engage your core while working other muscle groups.
This goofy “half ball” is popular among football strength coaches, as it makes you use your core and stabilizers when balancing on either side of it. It’ll be a huge help when you’re looking to build lateral speed.
The Celtic Warrior’s Leg Workout
Fire up your legs with this Sheamus-tested strength and endurance-building lower-body routine.
Years in rugby scrums and on football pitches have left Sheamus with a solid trunk and strong legs—the build necessary for his ruthless Brogue Kick and High Cross Powerbomb. But even if you’re not looking to sculpt massive limbs like The Celtic Warrior’s, strong legs are important for any activity—whether it’s jogging, cycling or playing basketball—and they’re crucial if you don’t want to resemble a top-heavy popsicle. “This is a killer leg routine that will increase your strength, build stamina and improve your balance, all while firing up your heart-rate,” says celebrity trainer Joel Harper—joelharperfitness.com. “And it’s best to give yourself three days of rest after each time you do this split.” Perform this four-exercise workout after a moderate warmup, as recommended by Harper, with some stretching in between sets. Ready, fellah? Get going!
Airborne Lunge—10 reps on each leg
Holding two dumbbells at your sides, step into a lunge. Your right knee should be at a 90° angle, and your left shin should be parallel to the floor. Keeping your upper body straight, press your right foot up and off the ground. As you land softly back into your lunge, push your leg into another rep—as if it were a spring. Keep your abs tight, and avoid leaning forward throughout the exercise. These reps work your whole leg—glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, squat and grab a 45-pound barbell. Bring your shins up to the bar so that your shoulder blades are above it. Puff out your chest and stand up, pressing the heels of your feet into the ground, so your glutes, quads and back are lifting the weight. Remember to keep your knees slightly bent and resist leaning back at the top. After the first 25 reps, perform 25 with your toes lifted off the ground. And alternate for the next two sets.
It’s best to do deadlifts barefoot or wearing flat-soled shoes, so your weight remains centered over your heels.
Goblet Squat—3 sets of 25 reps
Hold a kettle bell or a dumbbell at your chest with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Your toes should be facing out a bit. Stay flat-footed as you squat down to a point at which your elbows reach the inside of your knees. As you return to your standing position, remember to push through the heels of your feet—so you’ll feel the rep in your glutes, quads and hamstrings—as you straighten your legs. Incrementally increase the weight for each set.
Airplane Press—3 one-minute sets per leg, until exhaustion
Slightly bend your left knee, balancing on your left foot as you straighten your right leg behind you. Bring your hands up to your ears, elbows at your sides. Balancing on your left leg, lean forward so that your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Use your glutes and back to keep your rear leg straight, and reach out with your arms, pressing back and forth with your arms for a minute in a controlled motion. Now, switch legs.
Start with lighter weight, till you learn correct form. Lifting too much weight is an easy way to cause injury!
The Junkyard Gym …
“In Ireland, the football club I played for made us do muddy hill runs where you’d carry a teammate on your back. You’d run up with him and put him down at the top. I was bigger and stronger than the other guys, so I’d just run up and back with the extra weight on my shoulders.”—Sheamus
Can’t afford pricey fitness club membership fees? Enjoy a leg workout with this scrap-heap stuff.
Secure about 60 feet of rope around a tree trunk. Now, work your arms up and down in a whip-like motion to create waves while you do a reverse lunge for a lower-body pump.
These heavy, mostly hollow bricks can easily replace your dumbbells and kettle bells for workouts. Use them when performing goblet squats, lunges or the clean and press.
Tires can weigh up to 500 pounds, and are great for high-intensity training. Flip one over and over for about 40 yards. It’ll work your legs, back, glutes and core.
After trying out all Dolph and Sheamus' fitness tips, be sure to order "Pain & Gain," starring The Rock and Mark Wahlberg, now available to own on Digital. Also available on Blu-ray Combo Pack Aug. 27.