Super Shotguns and chainsaws are all well and good, but few demon killin’ instruments are as fine-tuned and effective as the DOOM Slayer himself. While we (thankfully) have no need to rip apart demons by hand, we can still break down the science of the Slayer’s impressive physique and see what we can apply to our own. This is Ripped & Tear!
Last time on Ripped & Tear, we paid homage to Don Ivan Punchatz original DOOM box art and the battle-ready abs that sold gamers 25 years ago on the demon-fueled frenzy they’d find on the disc within.
We also covered the three major flat muscles – the rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominis and the obliques – that comprise the core and, when maximized, boost the Slayer’s ability to rotate his torso and maintain stability even after a skin-exposing demon swipe.
Now the fun part – what can we do to amp up our own abs?
“For decades, the initial exercise thought to perform when you heard ‘core’ was the sit-up,” explains our fitness consultant, Phillip Durity. While sit-ups do engage the rectus abdominis (the ‘six-pack’ muscle), Durity explains that they can potentially strain the hip flexors, another key core muscle that join the legs and trunk together.
“They’re not technically abdominal muscles, but (hip flexors) do facilitate movements during several ab exercises,” says Durity. He warns that improper sit-ups, especially if the feet are kept down, can put too much emphasis on the hip flexors over the abdominals – forcing the lower back to arch and risking pain in that area.
Instead, Durity recommends planks, where you make a straight bridge with your body with only your toes and forearms touching the ground. Maintaining a flat back is key to engaging your core muscles – it also can improve balance and posture!
An exercise that targets the obliques are side planks, where you set one elbow on the floor, maintain a plank position facing off the side, and drive your hips up off the floor and slowly release back to the ground. Durity recommends three sets of 12 hip drives per each side as part of your routine.
Finally, for those who still like the old-fashioned sit-up, there’s the V-up, a modification on the body crunch where you lie face up with your legs and arms extended and off the ground. Simultaneously life your legs and upper back to form a V-shape and then have your hands meet your feet. Slowly return to the floor, keeping legs and arms from touching the ground, to complete one rep. Three sets of 10 reps make for a complete exercise but stop if you become fatigued, as poor form could lead to back strain.
That’s it for this edition of Ripped & Tear, Slayers! We can’t guarantee abs of steel will stop a demon’s claws in its tracks, but we hope it at least inspires you to emulate at least something from one of the best box arts in gaming history!
DISCLAIMER: Always consult your physician before beginning any physical fitness regimen or rigorous activity. Stop immediately if you feel faint, dizzy, pain or shortness of breath while exercising. This series is intended for entertainment purposes and does replace the advice of healthcare professionals. ZeniMax Media and its partners are not responsible for any injuries that may occur from attempting exercises shown on this website.