Celebrity trainer Ben Bruno previously stated that he largely relies on the basics when programming his workouts, but every now and then he’ll throw in wild variations just for fun. He did just that during a recent meeting with professional basketball player Bradley Beal; He said he believes the Washington Wizards Center has “the strongest abs of anyone in the NBA,” and put that core strength to the test with a series of unconventional exercises.
The first is the Copenhagen Side Plank Pressout, which challenges the core and adductors. “When doing this move, try your elbow rather than your hand,” advises Ebenezer Samuel CSCS, fitness director of Men’s Health. “This puts less pressure on the shoulders and elbows.
Next up is the angled pressout outside the bench, a “badass exercise” and one of Bruno’s favorites. “Very few people can raise their arms above their heads the way Brad does here, so start by pushing straight ahead first and not holding any weight,” he says. “Trust me, it’s pretty tough just with your arms.” Before attempting this somewhat awkward exercise, Samuel suggests mastering the standard Pallof press first.
Beal also does side leg raises targeting the obliques and the floor-up B-sit press. “Holding the kettlebell upside down increases the stability requirements for both the torso and the shoulders,” says Bruno. We recommend doing a standard kettlebell shoulder press from a standing position from the bottom up.
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“Good athletes make coaches look good, but training Brad is the easiest job in the world,” says Bruno. “I’ll show him a half-hearted demo and then he’ll do it better than me right away and just make it look. Super impressive stuff. Can’t wait for basketball to start again!”
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