This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
This explosive exercise works you in every direction, combining an abs-crunching reverse tuck to squatted tuck with an explosive vertical jump for leg speed and power.
Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended and your arms at your sides (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, bend your knees slightly and contract deep through your center as you bring your legs up over your head into a reverse tuck. At the top of your lift, your shoulders, head, and neck will be on the floor, but your back and buttocks will be off the floor as your legs extend over your head. As you lift your legs, also bring your arms up overhead for leverage, so that the tops of your forearms are on the floor beside your head and shoulders. If you are particularly flexible, you may be able to touch your toes on the floor behind your head (see Photos 2 to 4).
- Once your legs have come fully over your head, reverse your motion, bringing your legs down toward the floor as you tuck your upper body forward, until you have rolled all the way into a forward tuck, with your feet on the floor and your chin toward your knees. Your buttocks should hover slightly off the floor (see Photos 5 and 6).
- From the forward tuck, look straight up and press off hard through your legs, swinging your arms upward as you jump toward the ceiling (see Photos 7 to 9).
- Land with knees slightly bent and immediately bring your hips toward the floor to roll directly into another reverse tuck. Complete the entire sequence for a set of 20 flip turns and jumps. Note: If you find flip turn abs too difficult to do as described above, try resting your butt on the edge of a thick gym mat so that your feet are a little bit lower than your hips; this will make it easier to get your weight over your feet. Alternatively, try doing the movement with a medicine ball in your hands to help give you momentum to get over your feet (see Photo 10).