Kim Kardashian has been singing the praises of her trainer Melissa Alcantara—AKA Fit Gurl Mel—for years, crediting the fitness expert with helping her transform her body and get into amazing shape. Now, Alcantara is revealing the simple ab workout she uses to help tone up her clients’ midsections in no time—and it doesn’t require any uncomfortable floor-based crunches.
In a new post to her Instagram Stories, Alcantara shows her followers how to do a core-toning cable crunch, a move she says many people do incorrectly.
“What I want to do is bring my cable down right by my temples… My elbows are pointed toward my knees, my knees are spread wide, but my feet are together,” she explains. “Now I’m pulling down to create that tension, and then I’m trying to get my elbows to my knees, but I’m rounding my back. So, I’m crunching and then I come back up with the tops of my shoulders still rounded, because that’s activating my core.”
Alcantara cautions against returning to a fully vertical position after bending forward, noting that doing so reduces the resistance necessary to create a toning effect, explaining that rounding only the top of the back is ideal—rather than tucking in your pelvis as well—to help maintain the appropriate core tension throughout the move.
“Also, what you don’t want to do—what I see a lot of people do—is…coming straight down to the ground. This is not doing anything. You’re just, like, bowing down,” says Alcantara of the ab workout. Instead, “You want to round. Elbows toward the knee, then up,” she explains.
While Alcantara may have an enviable physique, she’s admitted in the past that she doesn’t log super-long hours in the gym each day.
In addition to practicing intermittent fasting and drinking a gallon of water a day, Alcantara lifts weights for approximately an hour a day, as well as training Kardashian. What you won’t find her doing, however, is spending tons of time on cardio. “I try to walk 10,000 steps a day. That’s pretty much my cardio,” she told CNBC.