Driving a 10,000-horsepower race car requires human muscle power -- and for NHRA racer Alexa DeJoria, that means training her core to be rock solid under the pressure of those G-forces.
As DeJoria gears up to defend her Funny Car title at the NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas later this week, she shared her go-to core workout. "It's like doing crunches, but more controlled," she says. "It's a killer move because it's slow-paced, but very intense."
While "slow" doesn't come naturally to DeJoria -- the first woman ever to make a sub-four-second run -- she says it's worth the payoff to do it slowly.
The move: Crunch up V down
How to do it:
1. Lie on your back, legs straight, elbows bent and hands behind your head.
2. Knees bent, lift your feet off the ground and raise your upper back and shoulders as though doing a crunch.
3. Straighten your legs, extending them straight up. Reach your fingertips toward your toes.
4. Slowly lower your upper and lower body into a "V," controlling the movement as you go. Continue to lower, stopping just before your arms, legs and shoulders touch the ground. Return your hands to behind your head, and repeat the sequence.
When I do it: When I'm not on the road, I typically will do three sets of 12, four times a week in our home gym.
Why I do it: It's important to have a strong core, especially when you're driving a 10,000-horsepower race car and experiencing the G-forces that NHRA nitro drivers feel.
Why it's so killer: It's like doing crunches, but more controlled, which helps to build a strong, stable core.