How to get Ken’s abs

  • Ken (Ryan Gosling) has defined abs thanks to just 9 minutes of training.
  • His personal trainer David Higgins reveals what specific exercises Gosling did to sculpt his abs.


The second most important character in the film Barbie is undoubtedly Ken, played by Ryan Gosling. But the third is certainly his abs. How do you get them so defined at 42 years old? But also: how do you have them so defined in an absolute sense?
There is no trick but only a lot of training. And you may think that it’s easy if you’re an actor by trade and you have all that time to train, but it’s also true that you still have to train and struggle.

To find out, however, what kind of training has enabled Gosling to have such a physique-beyond the not inconsiderable contribution of Mother Nature-we get help from David Higgins, his personal trainer.

Nine minutes

The first news is that getting them that way takes only nine minutes of exercise, but if you are already watching the clock, know that this time is only for defining the muscles and increasing their volume in anticipation of shooting. Upstream there is a lot of training in the gym. In short, we start from an already established base to more precisely define what we can undoubtedly call “abdominal design.”

However, it is not just about working in the gym; much of the work was also done through challenges that increased the motivation of Gosling and two other actors playing alternate versions of Ken, namely Simu Liu and Ncuti Gatwa. The three were constantly competing against each other in plank or push-up contests.


And here we come to what you are interested in, and that is the specific training to get abs like Ryan Gosling/Ken’s.

Roll back

Sit with your back straight and pull your legs toward your chest, holding them with your hands on your knees.

Bring your weight back until your entire back rests on the ground, all the way to your upper back. Do it on a mat, also to avoid hurting yourself. Perform the exercise for one minute.

Leg lift

When lying down, bring one leg over the other crossing them at ankle level. Then bring them hammering toward you and, when they are perpendicular to the belly, swing them left and right, then bring them back to rest on the ground.

Repeat for one minute and then reverse the crossing of the legs and repeat for another minute.

Two step crunch

When lying down, rest the soles of your feet on the ground while bending your legs. Perform the exercise by lifting your torso toward your legs but doing it in two stages: halfway lock and stay still, then complete the exercise by getting as close to your knees as possible and staying in place for a while longer.
The two-step execution and the two breaks put more tension on the muscles, increasing the effectiveness of the exercise.

Crossbody crunch


Starting from the same position as the previous exercise, bring your torso toward your legs but trying to touch your elbow to the opposite knee, alternately lifting your legs.
Run it for one minute.

Rope climb

Still starting from the previous position, imagine a rope passing between your feet. Then bend over trying to grab it and pull yourself up one hand at a time.

Windscreen wiper


With your back as tight to the ground as possible, lift your legs square to your belly. When the calves are raised and parallel to the ground, bend the legs while holding them together and rotating them around the pelvis. The more your back stays tight to the floor, the more effective the exercise is.

As usual, do it for a minute.

Static dead bug

Again lying on your back with your knees bent, lift your legs upward. You can also bend your knees if you cannot fully extend them. Now raise your arms upward and stay in position for one minute.

What to eat?

Since nutrition is a key part of training, what did Ryan Gosling eat to play Ken? Nothing absurd, in fact. No embargo on carbohydrates and no enhancement of protein intake. The only ban was on processed foods. And then everyone doing crunches!

(Via Daily Mail)


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