Are you ready for the ultimate abdominal workout?
The Navy Seal workout is no joke, and we are here to give you the rundown on how you can do it yourself.
This ab workout is not for the faint of heart. Have you seen GI Jane?
A Navy Seal is a member of an elite military special operations group that faces some of the most dangerous situations in the worst conditions.
Because of this, they are made up of some of the best athletes in the world and their strength and endurance must be top-notch in order for them to deal with those situations.
A solid upper body and core are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Navy Seal training. Ready for a kick-butt workout? Buckle up, people!
The Navy Seal Workout
The Navy Seals take physical training to the next level. They have to because they need to be prepared for any situation thrown their way. We have discussed how important having a solid core is in other articles.
It’s no less critical as a Navy Seal. The physical test to become a Navy Seal involves sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, a timed swim, and a timed run.
The Navy Seal workout is a progression broken into multiple categories. To pass each category, you need to meet a specific requirement.
For the first category, the goal is to be able to run 16 miles every week. To work up to this, you run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a total of six miles per week for the first two weeks.
Once you get to week three, you incorporate running rest days. However, ab exercises are introduced to increase your core strength and improve your overall endurance for running.
Get some hanging leg raises in to boost that core and kick things up a notch. By week four, you should be running up to nine miles. Weeks five and six have you running eleven miles, and weeks seven through nine, you finally hit 16 miles. Woot woot!
The timed run is just a portion of the physical test you need to complete to become a Navy Seal. The run gives you the endurance that you need, but strength is also essential.
They also have a strength training workout regimen that progresses over nine weeks. Push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups are all a part of this workout. The goal at the end is to perform six sets of push-ups and sit-ups with 30 repetitions in each set. Holy core and upper body!
Speaking of the upper body, by the end of week nine, you will have progressed to three sets of 10 reps of pull-ups. We told you the Navy Seals workout was no joke.
You will notice that all of the strength training workouts involved in the physical test are bodyweight training. The only apparatus that you need is a pull-up bar.
Does that mean that Navy Seals don’t lift weights? Some of them do because, like anything else, everyone likes something different for their workout.
However, the Navy Seals do not focus on weight training because they are not about bulking. The key to developing into a Navy Seal is strength, but also an incredible amount of endurance.
For the most part, their strength training comes from bodyweight exercises instead of weight lifting.
If you are focusing on running 16 miles a week while incorporating pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups into your physical training, there isn’t a lot of time left over to weight train.
Recovery is just as important as ever to avoid injury especially when your career depends on it. With all of that training, you need to incorporate rest days into your workout. Adding weight training exercises might end up being detrimental to someone like a Navy Seal.
Getting Navy Seal Abs
Below are some different exercises that you can do to train your abs like a Navy Seal. We’ll go over exactly how to perform them so you can get right to it.
Who doesn’t love a good crunch? I mean it literally sounds like you are crunching away fat and building muscle. Some things to remember about crunches is that they work the rectus abdominis (the upper abdominal muscles).
They are the abdominal muscles that give you that great looking six pack. To perform them correctly, make sure you keep your lower back pushed into the floor, hands behind your head, and elbows wide.
You can either keep your feet planted on the floor or lift your legs with you knees bent at a 90 degree angle. As you lift your head to crunch, keep your elbows wide and try not to pull on your neck.
Focus on engaging your abdominals to lift you and exhale on the exertion. Work to keep your back anchored to the floor and avoid arching.
If you have back issues, we recommend keeping your feet flat on the floor for more stability.
Since those regular crunches went so well, let’s change it up a bit and work a different part of your core. The obliques (side abdominals) and the transverse abdominus (deep inner abdominals) get a workout with this one.
There are several different ways to perform a side crunch.
Placing one arm straight out to the side and the other hand behind your head, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle and crunch up leading with your shoulder and bring your elbow to your opposite knee. Reverse all for the other side.
Some other versions of a side plank is to lie down on your right side with your knees slightly bent and stacked on top of each other.
Put your right hand behind your head and crunch up on the side bringing your right elbow towards your hip.
This is a great way to work on that waistline. Of course, reverse and repeat everyting on the left side.
Crunch Rocking Chairs
Now don’t go sit in your rocking chair and contract your abs and think you are done. This is a play on a regular crunch, but with the legs pulling in towards the body as you crunch with the upper body.
This way you are utlizing both the upper and lower abdominal muscles. Remember to keep your knees in a 90 degree angle the whole time as you crunch up and as you lower back down.
You will feel like you are rocking, but resist the urge to let momentum guide you. Contract the muscle and make that work for you.
It’s as simple as it sounds. Well, it’s not as it works your core in a significant way, but you literally make a circle as you crunch.
Get into the regular position and with your hands behind your head, crunch up to the right knee, rotate center and then to the left and back down. Of course reverse it all to work both sides.
Bicycles are intense and really focus a lot on those transverse abdominis. In your regular crunch position, pull your right elbow up to your towards your left knee while extending the right leg straight out in front of you.
Rotate and repeat the same thing on with your left elbow to right knee. As your leg extends out, ensure your back is pushed into the floor. You will feel this exercise in your obliques as well.
Yes, we said push-ups. They aren’t just for the upper body aka your arms and back. Your abdominal muscles are working hard to keep your glutes tucked and your body in line. Correct form is essential to your fitness routine.
Don’t compromise it. Our core keeps us stable always. As you place your hands on the floor, immediately contract your abs. You will automatically feel more support for your back.
Not only do push-ups work your abs, they are part of the fitness test to become a Navy Seal. It’s important to note that too many push-ups are not such a good thing.
Navy Seals are told to limit daily push-ups to 200 a day or less than 1000 a week. Dude, that is still an insane amount of push-ups. Like everything else we have discussed, progression is crucial to your push-up game.
Are Pull-Ups Important too?
While pull-ups are a part of the fitness test, overdoing it is not recommended as a pull-up puts a lot of stress on your muscles.
If they aren’t done properly by contracting your back muscles and your core while using your upper body, it can cause significant muscle damage.
While Navy Seals perform pull-ups, they limit them to 50 a week and look to build strength through other avenues. By the way, if you can do one pull-up, we salute you.
Are you Crunching Away?
Hopefully you are on the floor already crunching away to get those Navy Seal abs.
It’s important to remember that abs are not built on crunches alone. Proper diet is a main feature of visible, strong abs.
The saying goes, “abs are made in the kitchen.” It’s true, ya’ll. With the workouts we showed you and proper diet and hydration, you can beef up your core.
This lends itself to better posture and fewer lower back issues. It’s really a win-win! Crunch away!
Chris is an experienced Calisthenics practitioner focused on isometric exercises and street workout. He founded thehybridathlete.com in 2017, which was subsequently acquired by theyhybridathlete.com
He is based in Portland and has been working out using solely his own body weight and bars for the past 6 years.