The Maxim Checkup

Goal: Pain-Proof Your Back

Back pain will affect 80 percent of us. Fun! To steel your spine meat, fortify its first line of defense: “Your core,” says certified physical trainer Stephen Cabral. Work this Midsection superset into your routine and avoid becoming a nother fat stat.

Ab wheel 

Balancing on your knees, grab the wheel with an overhand grip and roll forward, steeling those stomach muscles. Continue until you’re perfectly parallel to the floor. (Be sure to keep your face down and chin tucked or you’ll wrench your neck and shoulders.) Hold for a beat, weep, then roll back to starting position. Try for three sets of 10 reps. (Cue

laugh track.) Good luck!

Inverted row on stability ball

Lie inside a squat rack with the bar at arm’s length. Grab bar with an overhand grip as if doing a bench press. While balancing your feet on a medicine ball, pull up, leading with your chest, until your sternum touches the bar, then lower yourself down. The hurts-so-good heat should hit your bacon strips, core, and shoulders—not your arms and neck. No back arching, wimp! Do three sets of 20 reps.

Side plank leg raises

Lie on your right side, legs straight. Bracing your abs and ass, raise that tub-o’-

fun body off the ground, propping yourself up on your right forearm and the side of your foot. Extend left arm toward the ceiling. While maintaining a rigid line, slowly raise your left leg past the plane of your left shoulder, then lower it. Yep. These suck. Tip: The more you squeeze the belly and butt, the better your balance. Do three sets of 20 reps on each side.

Vertical Woodchopper

Holding a medicine ball, stand with feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Keeping your head steady, swing the ball above your dome, stretching up so you’re fully extended. After you’ve topped out, quickly swing the ball back down and go into a squat—lead by pushing your hips back and keeping the back flat. At the bottom of the movement, the ball is below your knees, like the way you shoot free throws: granny-style. Do three sets of 30 reps.


Jacked Frost  

Under Armour ColdGear Fitted Mock

When it comes to running in the cold, you have one main enemy in the war against pneumonia: your own friggin’ sweat. Gloves, a hat, a windbreaker, and the heat your body generates will keep you plenty toasty, but a sweaty undershirt could spell trouble in a cough-your-lungs-out kind of way. What you need, Forrest, is a high-tech poly base layer that’ll wick away the man juice. We love this new Under Armour long-sleeve job because it locks in heat while keeping you dry. Wear it with a wind-blocking vest and you’re ready to break an ankle on some black ice! $50,


Food Fix

The problem: Cancer risk

The fix: Sushi

Chowing fresh tuna once a week lowers the risk of several cancers by 30 percent, according to a study of Canadian fish eaters. Hey, something needs to offset the deep-fried jala­peño poppers you down when you’re all boozed up. Bonus: Chicken of the sea is packed with vitamin B6, which may guard against carpal tunnel syndrome.


New Year’s Day Detox

Sadly, there is no cure for a hangover. Damn you, science! But you can mitigate the mauling of your brain and body. Way to greet the first day of the year!

1. Get up

Your body at rest is not helping. You’ll notice your headache lessens once you rise.

2. Hydrate and eat

You know this, but just in case: water, water, water; food, food, food.  

3. Walk to…somewhere

Stepping out will get the blood flowing and jump-start your overrun organs, which are struggling to process the potables.

4. Don’t work out

Some dudes think you can sweat it out. Nope. In fact, in your condition your blood pressure and heart rate are higher—so don’t risk it. If anything, hit the steam room or maybe take a dip in the

gym pool. Go easy and celebrate the fact that you are helping your body by not Jazzercising.


How to stop the post-workout sweats.

To keep your essence at the gym and not soaking through your shirt at work, don’t go hot or cold in the shower, says Cindy Trowbridge, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Texas. Instead, rinse off using water that’s ”refreshingly mild.” Hot water perpetuates your steaminess and icy water sends blood to the skin, producing sweat.