Celebrity trainer Ben Bruno has stated before that he relies largely on basics when programming his workouts, but every so often he’ll throw in some wild variation just for fun. That’s just what he did during a recent session with basketball pro Bradley Beal; he said that 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 performing this move, try doing it from the elbow rather than from hand,” advises Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel C.S.C.S. “This will put less pressure on the shoulder and elbow.

Next is the off-bench oblique pressout, a “badass exercise” and one of Bruno’s favorites. “Very few people can raise their arms overhead as Brad is doing here, so start by pressing straight out at first, and don’t hold a weight,” he says. “Trust me, it’s plenty tough with just your arms.” Before attempting this slightly cumbersome exercise, Samuel suggests working on mastering the standard Pallof press first.

Beal also performs lateral leg raises, which target the obliques, and the bottoms up B-sit press. “Holding the kettlebell upside down increases the stability demands for both the core and the shoulders,” says Bruno. We’d recommend doing a standard bottoms up kettlebell shoulder press from a standing position.


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“Good athletes make trainers look good, but training Brad is most of the easiest jobs in the world,” says Bruno. “I show him one half-ass demo and then he immediately does it better than me and makes it look easy. Super impressive stuff. I can’t wait for basketball to start back up!”

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