Chops are a staple rotational move for training the abs and obliques. This variation from trainer Don Saladino, NASM, takes things up a notch by simultaneously making your legs quake.
“The split-stance chop with the ViPR PRO one of my favorite stability exercises because I am statically working the lower body while heavily training my core,” Saladino shared in an Instagram post highlighting the move.
That’s because a quality split-stance requires more than just lunging forward and hanging out in that position. Really owning the unilateral position, and not allowing the chop’s shifting weight to move your lower body throughout each rep, is a challenge in and of itself.
To find a solid split stance, start standing, then step forward with one foot. Bend your front knee and lower until your front thigh is parallel to the ground; your back knee should still be off the ground in this position. The balance here won’t be as easy as you think. Drive your front heel into the ground and squeeze your glutes to stay upright.
As you do the chop, work to keep your hips square; don’t let them shift all over the place. This will require tension through the glutes and abs, and it’ll tax your quads and hamstrings more than you expect.
Saladino uses a ViPR PRO for his chops, but if you don’t have one, you can also perform the exercise with a medicine ball or a light dumbbell. Whatever implement you use, focus on maintaining a stable base while rotating your torso back and forth as much as possible. You’re not just training your abs either. You’re improving flexibility in your upper and mid-back.
Add 3 sets of 5 to 8 reps per side into your dynamic warmup, or perform it solo for a quickly total-body wake-up.
Want to try out more exercises and workouts from Saladino? Check out his Men’s Health Superhero Shred program, which is designed with the same principles he uses to get his star clients in shape. You can also find Saladino’s program, alongside a ton of other fitness content, on our new All Out Studio streaming app.