RTS Coaching – The Bear


I have a confession to make…

I’m obsessed with ab exercises.

And not because I’m trying to make my athletes look like a cover model or something like that.

Instead, I know how important and valuable strong abs are. Whether it’s making us stronger and more powerful, or simply making us more bulletproof, abs can take us to the promise land.

Here’s one of my favorite ab exercises you may not have seen before. It’s based off a Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) exercise, and we simply call it “The Bear.”

What you’ll find when doing this exercise is that you really feel the obliques engage to a high degree. If you’re only feeling it in the rectus abdominus (six-pack muscles), reset and start over.

Last but not least, here are a few coaching cues to focus on:

  • Exhale and round the back,
  • Shift the weight forward so you feel the abs engage,
  • Pick the knees up slightly off the ground, and
  • Think about pushing away from the ground, while simultaneously tucking your pelvis up underneath you.

Like I said up front, this is one of my favorite core training exercises. Please give it a go, and let me know what you think of it in the comments section below!

All the best


Get 3 days of my best coaching materials — for free.


Notebook with pencil icon Write better programs
Trophy icon Learn how to motivate clients outside the gym
Meditation icon My most popular resets for instantly improving movement quality


Leave Comment

  1. Hi Mike,

    First time commenting but been reading your blog for years. Always nice to see I’m not the only one having success with various paradigms such as PRI or even DNS based approaches towards athletes. Reaffirmation of good principals is always wonderful 🙂

    I had one question regarding this exercise. My philosophy is more or less that no exercise is contraindicated (for the most part…) but people are definitely contraindicated for certain movements. Who do you think this would perhaps not be good for?

    Again, thank you very much for the content you put out. Your Physical Preparation 101 DVD was also spot on.

    All the best,


    • Michael –

      If someone does not tolerate flexion well, then it could be contraindicated for them.

      However, the amount of truly “flexion intolerant” people I see is quite limited, as I deal with athletes.

      Hope that helps and thanks for the kind words!


  2. Hi Mike,
    Is the idea to exhale and then breathe behind that tension as you hold for time or would you advise some diaphragmatic breaths during the set?
    Great stuff on here and really value the IFASTU content as well.
    Rob Aitken

Leave a Reply

Back to All Posts