We recently asked Maria Menounos what her least favorite exercise to do at the gym is and she answered—ab workouts. Surprising, since the TV personality is known for her defined stomach and doesn’t seem to mind flaunting it in belly-baring outfits. So if she hates doing ab workouts, how does she keep her stomach so firm and flat? She credits her father—and no, she doesn't mean good genetics. Menounos says her father “looks like a 25-year-old, who is working out at the gym every day,” but his secret to flat abs has nothing to do with hitting the gym.
According to Menounos it all started in her father’s village in Greece where he would have people throw rocks at his stomach that he would bounce off to keep his abs tight. “People would come, and it would almost be like a circus act. Everybody would huddle around him,” says Menounos. “Of course me, being a crazy Greek daughter interpreted it differently. I was like, I don’t want people to throw rocks at me! How about people punch me? So I’ve had many people punch me in the stomach over the years.” This, Menounos says, is her secret to keeping her abs tight.
It may be an unconventional ab workout but the talk show host says, “I’d rather have people punch me than do sit ups. Sitting there, just squeezing your abs and bracing yourself for the punch—that is an ab workout.” She adds: “Houdini died like that apparently. My family gets very upset when I do that so I do it less and less these days.” Maybe we won’t be adding punches to the stomach to our ab workout anytime soon, but we will take this as a reminder to always tighten our abs.