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Have you ever wondered why boxers have such amazingly ripped abs and core muscles that stand at attention? In this video, I’m going to show you the secret behind their training that allows them to look amazing and how you can incorporate the same into one simple ab workout to get your core looking incredible as well.
It starts with looking at some popular punch throwers, the essence of boxing. Here I showcase Bruce Lee (perhaps one of the hardest punchers of all time), Manny Pacquiao and Rocky Balboa himself, Sylvester Stallone. All three of these guys have awesome looking abs. That said, there is much more to the story than just their abs. Watch as I remove the serratus anterior from the equation and see how drastically different their midsections look when I do.
This is because the serratus is one of the most critical muscles to the overall look and development of the core. The best part about it? It is very easy to engage when you know how to do it properly. I show you the best way to do it and give you five exercises that you can put into one ab workout that will hit your rectus abdominus, obliques and serratus all in one shot.
The activation of the serratus allows us to protract our shoulders and get our shoulder blades to not just wrap around our torso but to stay closely intact with the ribcage when doing so. Many people that suffer from scapular winging have a weakness in the serratus anterior that is preventing them from stabilizing the shoulder blade with forward arm movement.
The muscle also helps in elevation of the arm overhead. In order to do this you need to have upward rotation of the scapula. This is once again where the serratus comes in to help other muscles in the process of doing this without a hitch. We can hit this muscle very well if we figure out ways to protract the arm against resistance and of course include a heavy dose of ab work by picking the right exercises that allow us to light them up as well.
The first of these exercises is called the plank up. Instead of just passively resting on our forearms on the floor you want to actively press your forearms down to lift your body up and back. This will protract your shoulder blades and instantly activate your serratus. The plank position itself of course will fire up the abs.
Next we have the serratus anterior rollouts. If you have been watching this channel for any length of time you know that I love the ab wheel as an ab training device. Many people use it incorrectly however. You want to be sure that you are protracting your shoulder blades first and maintaining them throughout the rollout on every rep to get the serratus involved here as well and making it a killer exercise combo.
No boxing workout would be complete without a little punching. You can do a resisted serratus punch with the band anchored behind you. Make sure you reach out as far as you can, and then go even further! Keep your feet positioned as I show you in order to narrow your base of support and make the core and abs work harder than ever.
The screwdriver core exercise is a great variation on a dip in which you actually will never perform a dip. Instead you’ll lift your pelvis into a posterior pelvic tilt to activate your abs. Push through your hands on every rep to lift your body and round your shoulder blades around your ribcage and you will fire up the serratus anterior yet again. The extra rotation of the pelvis will get the obliques going here as well.
Finally, the crunch pulldown is a popular ab exercise that can be easily modified to involve the serratus as well just by altering the position of your body in relation to the rope. Press the rope away from you to turn this one into a killer option to finish out this great abs and core workout.
If you are looking for more ab workout and total body training that will get you looking like an athlete (and not just the abs) be sure to head to and look for the ATHLEAN-X Training Systems. Get a ripped midsection by following the step by step workouts and meal plans provided in our programs.
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