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How Hollywood Legend Crunched His Way Back to Number One

Academy-Award winner Sylvester Stallone, considered passé by most showbiz pundits, has come off the mat again to deliver another knockout performance…

Or so it seems, judging by public reaction to his latest action blockbuster, “The Expendables” (2010).  Mr. Stallone, who wrote, directed and starred in the 1980s throwback flick, led his merry band of mercenaries to first place in the U.S. and Canada with close to thirty-five million dollars in box office receipts.

The icing on the cake for the American film icon, whose recent retrospectives of the Rocky and Rambo franchises began a rehabilitation of the Stallone brand and reputation.

There’s even talk of an Expendables sequel…

Going Strong, Regardless of Age…

Sylvester Stallone has devoted himself to physical fitness since the 1970s, and judging from recent photos and his “Expendables” performance, looks to be in fantastic shape.  His book, “Sly Moves: My Proven Program to Lose Weight, Build Strength, Gain Will Power, and Live your Dream” (2005) details his path to physical and financial success in Hollywood.

Of special note is Sylvester Stallone’s ripped abs.  At first look, you may think that you are in a time warp, back to the heyday of Rocky Balboa and John Rambo.  However, this is 2010, and at 64, the guy still looks great!  You may have seen his workout snippets on YouTube, which show a deadly focused man who did not want to be shown up by his younger Expendables co-stars.

Sly Abdominal Moves

As part of a Celebrity Author Series, Askmen.com published Stallone’s expert abs workout advice from the “Sly Moves” book .  In particular it focused on four bodyweight-dominant abdominal exercises:

1. Floor Crunches

Two sets; start with five repetitions and work upwards as your post-workout soreness decreases and form improves.  Crunches are more effective than regular sit-ups because they specifically target your upper abdominal muscles instead of your hip muscles.  If you’re not used to them, the crunches can cause soreness a day or two later, but it’s a “cool” soreness.  OK…

2. Twisting Crunches

Two sets; start with five repetitions and work upwards.  Lie on floor with hands behind your head, knees bent, and feet off the ground. Exhale and curl the upper body forward, rotating your elbow toward the opposite knee.

These exercises target the obliques and upper abdominals, with secondary benefits for the lower abs.  People fail to realize that when they “throw out” their back, it’s usually because of weak abs.  These muscles are essential for lower-back strength and good posture.

3. Hanging Raises

Two sets of ten repetitions.  Great for your midsection; good warm-up exercise before taking on more difficult exercises.

Stallone Hint: Locking the knees and rolling your stomach upwards provides more benefits that simply moving the legs straight up (i.e. gorilla pull-ups).

4. Incline Bench Broomstick Twists

Three sets of ten repetitions.  One of Stallone’s favorites for really shaping the core with a contracting combination of inclined twists and incline.  Sit upright on the bench and secure your feet under the supports. Hold a broomstick behind your head and across your shoulders, supported by your outstretched arms. Twist left and right on the axis of the stick, feeling the burn at your core.

Cannon’s Conclusion

Sylvester Stallone’s ab exercises are standard issue these days.  However, it’s all about execution and your determination to get results.  Holding Sly at his words, there is no reason they cannot benefit you.

“The Expendables” movie seems poised for a historic late summer run in 2010, just as Sylvester Stallone enters the fifth decade of his illustrious career.  Stallone has experienced tremendous highs and lows along the way, both personally and professionally.  However, with full creative control, he once again combines athleticism with his patented formula for on-screen action and non-stop mayhem.

We’ve all heard the rumors of Stallone’s alleged steroid use (he vehemently denies them), and can ask legitimate questions about his embrace of human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone.  However, there’s no denying his mental and physical toughness, especially at this stage of his life.  Stallone suffered fourteen injuries during “Expendables” filming, including a broken neck in a fight scene with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin that required the insertion of a metal plate.

Stallone’s Beverly Hills trainer Gunnar Petersen, who has trained the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Pete Sampras, says it best:

“His consistency and intensity is always there and no one puts it down like he does. He doesn’t come in just for a movie; he’s a year-round guy. Unless he’s dealing with an injury – he’s there.  The guy’s about as close to bionic as you’ll find out there.”

Who are we to argue?


Stallone, Sylvester.  “Sylvester Stallone’s Ab Workout.” pp 1-2. www.askmen.com http://ca.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding_100/149_fitness_tip.html  18 Aug 10.

Chris Cannon
Chris Cannon

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