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The Tough AF Arms and Abs Exercise You're Going to Want to Steal from Chelsea Handler

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Sure, Chelsea Handler is mostly known for being a comedic genius, but if you follow her on Instagram, you know the comedian loves to stay active by going to the gym, doing Pilates, and even kayaking. She routinely goes full beast mode with celebrity trainer Ben Bruno and performs some of the most killer—in a good way—workouts. (Related: Steal This Butt Exercise from Chelsea Handler

In a new Instagram video posted by Bruno, Handler is seen doing what he calls a hollow-body press, described by Bruno as a "new advanced progression...where you hold one arm straight while the other presses, then switch[ing] sides." All the while, Handler is lying on her back in a hollow-body hold position, where the shoulders and legs are not touching the mat. This exercise works both your arms and abs—your entire core, in fact—but it takes strong hip flexors and glutes to maintain control throughout the movement. Basically, that means Handler deserves major props for nailing this tough AF exercise with such stability and strength. (Related: The 10-Minute Abs Workout Tone It Up's Karena and Katrina Swear By

In another video, Handler performs another variation—the hollow-body triceps extension, which as Bruno explains, "is a very advanced anti-extension core exercise with secondary benefits for the arms," and requires a super-strong core and good shoulder mobility. In other videos, Handler kills it with the barbell hip thrust with pretty heavy weights—so clearly she's not messing around in the gym. 


Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) demonstrates a set of ‘hollow-body triceps extensions’, a new core exercise I recently started using that I really like. While the triceps extension makes it appear to be an arm exercise, and it’s actually a very advanced anti-extension core exercise with secondary benefits for the arms. The key here is to elevate the feet and shoulders off the ground slightly but keep the lower back pinned to the ground the whole time and avoid rocking back and forth as you move your arms. The triceps extensions should be done in more of pullover fashion with the hands going behind the head, as this increases the core demand to keep the lower back flush to the ground. Chelsea lowers the dumbbells all the way to the floor because she has a very strong core and good shoulder mobility, but only do that if you can keep a flat back. If you find yourself arching, shorten the range of motion. For women, this is a great exercise to combine core and arm work. For men, it might be tough to use enough weight to challenge the triceps (I can only do 15-pound dumbbells before my form breaks down), so one way to progress is to keep the arms straighter and do a traditional pullover move instead of a triceps extension. Chelsea constantly berates me that my core stuff is too easy for her, so I’m finally starting to step my game up. Her form is great; now if we could just work on her counting... #Repost @chelseahandler with @get_repost ・・・ Something for your abs. @benbrunotraining

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Bruno knows how to motivate his A-list clients—he got Kate Upton cover ready for her Sport's Illustrated and Shape covers and has worked with VS models including Barbara Fialho, but thanks to social media, you can steal his insider knowledge for your own workouts. Plus, following him means you could also catch BTS workout footage of some of your favorite celebs struggling to get through their tough workouts. Stars: They really are just like us! (Related: Watching Kate Upton Do 225-Pound Hip Lifts Is the Motivation You Need)


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