The Reclining Field Goal Exercise: A “killer” abdominal movement that you’ve never seen before!

by John Paul Catanzaro
(Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada)

Reclining Field Goal – Start Position

Reclining Field Goal – Start Position

I discovered this unique abdominal exercise about a decade ago in the e-book The Bodybuilding Truth by Nelson Montana. According to Montana, abdominal development is genetically determined, and classic movements such as sit-ups and leg raises are ineffective for the abdominals but extremely effective for the psoas muscles. Montana believes that the abdominals respond best to contraction, not movement, and are stressed to a much greater degree when attempting to stabilize. You’ll understand what he means by “attempting to stabilize” once you try it.

Okay, this is how it works. Sit on the ground with your legs bent to about 90 degrees and your feet flat on the floor. Tuck your chin into your chest, round your back, and place your hands on the outside of your knees (i.e., the right hand is on the outside of the right knee, and the left hand is on the outside of the left knee.) Now lean back until your arms are straight – make sure to keep your chin tucked in and back rounded while you’re doing this. Once your arms are fully extended, slowly raise them up until they are pointed directly overhead. If you find it difficult to maintain balance, you can move your feet out a bit to make it easier. The closer your feet are to your hips, the more challenging the exercise is, and vice versa. I typically prescribe 10-12 reps of 5-10 seconds of contractions followed by 5-10 seconds of rest.

For years I introduced this exercise as the “Montana Ab Stabilizer”, but it did not catch on. So, I recently coined it the “Reclining Field Goal” instead and that scored! (People always remember a catchy name.) The beauty of this exercise is that it requires no equipment and can be performed anywhere. Drop to the floor right now and give it a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

About The Author

John Paul Catanzaro, B.Sc., C.K., C.E.P., is a Certified Kinesiologist and Certified Exercise Physiologist with a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. He owns and operates a private facility in Richmond Hill, Ontario providing training and nutritional consulting services. For additional information, visit his website at or call 905-780-9908.

Note: John Paul has just released his new book The Elite Trainer: Strength Training for the Serious Professional. The book features 55 programs, dozens of training methods and cutting-edge techniques, and over 100 exercise illustrations. Pick up your copy today at

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