Category Archives: Abs
Whether you have an injury or you just want to do some serious core work, there are a TON of exercises that you can do on all fours. Yes, you can truly still workout like a dog! The following exercises combine a cardiovascular exercise with a isometric hold exercise. You’ll never breathe so heavy and feel muscle burn doing nothing. OK, you are doing SOMETHING – you are trying not to let your body fall to the floor, but for staying still, these exercises will kick your butt. Modify exercises by moving from hands to your elbows if needed.
Grab your Gymboss Interval Timer, and set it for 30 seconds ON and 30 Seconds off. Do each each exercise in each couplet back to back with no rest. Take no more than 15 seconds rest between couplets. During the ACTION exercise, perform each rep as fast as you possibly can, as if racing. During the HOLD exercise, do everything you can to maintain good form, without letting your knees hit the ground. After the warm-up, repeat the workout 2 times for beginners, 4 times for advanced. If you want to pump it up even more, go for a full 1 minute for each exercise or drop the 15 seconds rest. Let me know how you do by commenting below.
Ever wonder what muscles are working when you are in plank? Here’s a cool illustration to show the muscles engaged. Now, get ready to workout your entire core – chest, back, shoulders, abs and obliques – and not to mention your heart and lunges! Prepare to SWEAT!
Cardio & Core on the Floor
TIP: Click on the exercise to see video demonstrations.
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It’s easy to get “fluffy” during the winter. We pile on layers of clothing, hiding extra layers of fat we may gain. Before we know it, spring rolls around and it’s time to pull out the bikinis – and we get our little wake-up call.
Eeeeeek! Suddenly everything is exposed – and the thought of putting your winter body on the beach can be a scary thing. You have 3 choices. One, you can continue to hide and just never even put on a bathing suit. Two, cover up, like this lady, and put someone else’s body on with one of hese hilarious bikini tees. Or, three, you can lose the fat – and the clothes, and feel good in your bikini this year!
It’s time to take it OFF!
Diet. You’ll never see abs (unless you buy them on a shirt) if you don’t diet. The only way you can lose weight is reduce your caloric intake. You can do that by guessing, and trying to just eat better, or you can do it by really budgeting your calories. Of course I suggest the latter because it’s guaranteed success.
Cardio. The next thing on your list to tackle is cardio – and lots of it. You need to burn off that stored fat from the winter. So, go for a jog or hit the gym to do your favorite cardio machine or high-intensity aerobics class.
Protect your investment. If you are trying to lose weight, the next focus is trying to make sure you don’t replace the calories you BURN with calories you EAT. If you burn 300-400 calories in the gym, you can erase that with one latte and reduced-fat coffee cake, so be careful not to sabotage your hard work in the gym.
1o Diet Tips to Get You Bikini Ready
If you don’t know where to start with dieting, here are 10 simple tips to apply to help get you started.
1. Keep meals to 300-350 calories for women, 400-450 for men.
2. Keep snacks to 100-150 calories for women, 200-150 for men.
3. Eat something (doesn’t have to be big or fancy) 5-6 times a day.
4. Wait at least 2 hours to eat after meals.
5. Never go over 3 hours without eating something (even something small like a few almonds)
6. Never eat more in one sitting than you can burn in one workout.
7. Eat on salad plates instead of dinner plates.
8. Eat with salad forks and small spoons instead of large silverware.
9. If you DO mess up, count up the calories so you know how much your mistake “costs” you. (this will not only be good information for you to learn, but it is also good motivation not to mes up again). Out of site, out of mind.
10. Drink a LOT of water.
Abs on Fire Workout
While you work to improve your eating and lose the body fat, here is a workout @stevepfiester put together to sculpt your abs so when your do lose the body fat, your new great abs can start peaking through!
15 Med Ball Throw
15 Russian Twist
15 Oblique Crunch L
15 Oblique Crunch R
15 Side Plank Pulses L
15 Side Plank Pulses R
CLICK HERE to watch the instructional video to learn all the moves and follow along with Steve.
There is one common problem area on most women – the dreadful pooch. Even when a woman’s body fat is low, they can still have a rounded tummy. Why? Because their muscles aren’t strong enough to hold their tummy flat.
Picture the ab muscles acting like tie down straps. As you engage your core muscles and tighten your tummy, it’s like cranking on the ratchet to pull everything in. As your muscles get stronger, it is easier to hold your tummy flat. But, if your abdominal muscles are weak, you only can hold your stomach flat for a few seconds or minutes – and some people can’t even pull the tummy in at all.
The more you work your abdominals, and engage the core, the stronger and tighter those muscles will get, making it easier to hold your stomach. Sit ups and crunches are always the go-to exercise, but there is one exercise that is often left out of routines that trains your core to improve posture, tighten the waistline, and flatten the stomach all in one exercise – it’s called a plank.
You’ll never work so hard staying so still.
It’s funny how holding a position still is so much work. Your arms will tremble, your core will burn, your body will wobble around and your body will drip with sweat. You’ll grunt, moan and pant – and you’re eyes will be glued to the clock until it reaches 0 so you can have relief. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Give it a try today.
Try to do all three rounds with NO rest (don’t even let your knees or hips drop once). If you MUST rest, set rules, like only allow 5 seconds rest after round one. Set goals each time you do this workout. Slowly increase your time from 30 seconds each to 40 seconds each, etc until you reach 1 minute each for 3 rounds. This workout can always be amped up by increasing length of time, or number of rounds.
I know how easy it is to get bored of workouts, but there really is life outside of traditional crunches and sit-ups. It just takes a little imagination, knowledge or guidance from a pro like my hubby Steve. Over the last year Steve has come up with some great workouts – and ab workouts are always a fav! I mean, who doesn’t want great abs?!
Here are some of my favorite ab exercises that Steve put together for various brands and workout programs – and as you can tell in his pic, they work! Not only will they give you a great workout too, but you’ll learn some new moves to broaden your exercise library.
Give them a try and let us know which one you like the most!
#1 Four-Minute Abs
20 Rock Climbers
20 Figure 8 Ball Pass
20 Reverse Crunch
20 Ball Crunch
#2 Core & Cardio Workout
Left Handed 2-Point Stance
Right Handed 2-Point Stance
Left Elbow Plank with Pulses
Right Elbow Plank with Pulses
#3 Abs & Core Circuit with Balance Ball
25 Rotational Crunches
25 Dynamic Plank
25 Take It or Leave It
25 Oblique Side Bend
#4 Design Your Abs Workout
25 Sit Ups
25 Roll Ups or Toes to Bar
25 Oblique Sit Ups (25 on each side – 50 total)
Repeat 3 Times.
#5 Core & Glutes
Plank (10 seconds)
Upward Facing Dog (10 seconds)
Sunbird Leg 3-Position Leg Lifts
10 circles per position (back, 45 degree, 90 degree)
Plank + Knee to Opposite Elbow (a sit-through)
10 times on each side
REPEAT ENTIRE CIRCUIT
#6 BCx Core
25 Obliques (Left)
25 Obliques (Right)
Although our gym rocked, our workouts were really pretty simple and could be done almost anywhere. Steve shares his Cardio and Abs Hotel Workout he did this weekend, which required little equipment or time.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My blog title may seem a little too good to be true at first glance, but keep reading, because what you are about to read can literally change your appearance in a matter of seconds. Yes, you won’t actually LOSE 10lbs, but with these tips, you’ll look like you did!
When it comes to belly bulge, the first thing that comes to mind is FAT, but that isn’ always the only problem – and sometimes it’s not the problem at all. I’m talking about the dreaded pooch. Belly fat and a pooch can be two totally different things. It’s one thing to have fat, but you can have a pooch and not even be overweight. Or, you can look even heavier than you are simply because you have both belly fat AND a pooch.
If you feel like you have Poochitis, then this blog is for you!
Here are 4 simple tips to get thin fast!
1. Suck In - Often times people don’t have as much belly fat as they appear, they just don’t hold their stomach tight. Even worse, it seems “letting it all hang out” is almost a trend, especially with teens. Kids paint on their skinny jeans that happen to stop right below their belly – and they just let their stomach poke right out and do whatever it wants. With hip-hugging pants and low-rise bathing suits, their pooch us more exposed than ever. If they simply would tighten their abs and suck in, they’d easily appear to drop 5-10lbs in an instant.
Tummy Tip: Maintaining a tight belly doesn’t happen overnight, it takes practice. The more you do it, the easier it is. Post notes around the house, and even in the car, to remind you to suck in. Eventually, your tighter tummy will be your new resting posture.
2. Eat Small Meals – It’s hard to suck your tummy in if you eat too big of portions and walk around stuffed all the time. If you want to maintain a flatter stomach, limit the size of your meals and snacks so your stomach isn’t loaded up with digesting food. It’s not just the last meal you ate either. You have food in your stomach and intestines from several snacks and meals that push out on your abdominal wall. If you want to suck in with ease, don’t fight a stuffed gut.
Tummy Tip: This graphic, from The National Post, is supposed to show us just how big Starbucks’ new Trenta cup size is, but I think it reminds us how easy it is to fill up our stomach. If our stomach’s average capacity is 900 ml, then no wonder we feel fat after having a small sandwich and a Big Gulp. Our stomach is completely overstretched, making it close to impossible to hold our stomach in.
3. Tone Up – If you want maintain tighter abs, you’ll need to work your ab muscles. Doing abdominal exercises tightens and strengthens the muscles needed to hold your stomach in. The more you do them, the easier it is to hold your stomach tight. My favorite tummy tighteners are Plank exercises. Try our “Plank & Simple” at FitStudio for a killer core workout that will help you tone and tighten your midsection.
4. Improve Posture – Look at how poor posture automatically makes someone appear to have a belly. Picture standing up straight as if you are taking the slack out of your stomach. When you are hunched over, your folds of skin and fat accordion together. Yet, when you stand up tall, you lengthen you body and tighten the slack in your skin, giving you a much thinner appearance. Plank exercises also help improve posture, strengthening and elongating the core.
Tummy Tip: Have a friend take a photo of you standing normal. Then have them take a picture of you standing with really bad posture, as well as really good posture. Compare the 3 photos to see the difference good posture will make in your appearance.
Get More Belly Busting Tips in 60 Seconds at FitStudio
Everyone admires them. Everyone wants them. Everyone can have them …if they really want them. I’m talking about smokin’ hot abs.
When people talk about the hottest celebrity bodies, they show bikini shots & shirtless guys showing off their abs. You rarely see a magazine talking about how great someone’s back is, or how amazing their quads look. No, they are talking about six-packs. And although so many people wish they had them, ironically, many people don’t work them. Here are a few reasons why I believe abdominal exercises get left off the exercise check list.
5 Reasons Abs Get Neglected
1. Not enough motivation. Let’s face it, the “out of sight out of mind” mentality, oftentimes, is the driving force for what gets attention in the gym and what doesn’t. Unless you live by the water or have a pool, you probably aren’t exposing your midsection that often. So, your emphasis is improving the body parts people see the most of, like your arms, legs and butt (because a good or bad butt shows through clothes!). Then you plan a cruise or a vacation that requires swimwear and you freak because you realize just how much you’ve neglected your tummy.
2. You can’t see your abs through your fat. If you are carrying extra weight you probably can’t see your abdominal muscles. And the truth is, you can do abs until your blue in the face and you’ll never see your abs if you don’t lose the layer of fat covering them. However, you can still work them and help tighten your midsection so your stomach muscles stay tight and your core is more fit. Weak abdominal muscles allow your organs to push your stomach wall out, causing you to look even heavier than you are. So, if you can keep those abs tone, you can keep your tummy flatter.
3. Ab exercises suck. I’m sorry for the yucky word, but honestly, there is no other word for it that truly captures the pain of a brutal ab workout. Not only do they burn like mad, they literally suck the living life out of you (your breath). Since you want to minimize space in your gut while working the abs, you can only take shallow breaths. And, unlike working an isolated muscle group like biceps, abdominals are a huge muscle group and require a lot of work. The end result is they wipe you out – and you have to keep doing that over and over for days, weeks, months and sometimes years before you see the first ice cube in your six pack.
4. You like food too much. Let’s be honest here, having abs means being lean. If you love food more than you love the idea of having abs, you will never see your abs. Kelly Ripa and Kiera Knightley are prime examples of this. It’s not that they have huge abs like LL Cool J, they are just super lean. If they were holding more body fat, you wouldn’t see their abs as well as you do. However, that’s also a bit of good news too because that means you don’t have to primarily rely on a insane ab exercises to develop abs. If you diet down, you will start seeing what you already have – and I promise, you have abdominal muscles.
5. You don’t know how to work them. If you are a member of a gym, there may be 20 machines to work chest and only one or two to work the abdominals. Your abs don’t require machinery to work them effectively. Since some of the best ab exercises are done with minimal equipment, it’s up to you to learn all the ways to work them, using nothing more than a yoga mat and maybe some sort of weight. (see below!)
I admit, one of my weakest areas is my abs. I too fall victim to the above reasons why I don’t work harder on my abs and I hope to make improvements. My challenge to you is this. Purposefully schedule ab exercises in your weekly workout routine. Non-weighted crunches can be done daily. Weighted ab exercises should allow a couple of days for rest just like regular weight training. Stick with it and you will see and feel an incredible difference!
10 Ways to Crunch Your Abs into Shape
If you thought there was only one way to do a crunch, think again! Here are 10 variations that are phenomenal for sculpting your midsection. Click on the exercise to preview a demonstration video so you can give it a try yourself!
2. Bicycle Crunch
3. Bar Crunch
4. Weighted Crunch
5. Kettlebell Crunch
6. Crunch And Punch
7. Snowboarder Crunch
8. Incline Reverse Crunch
9. Take It Or Leave It Abdominal Crunch
10. Resistance Band Kneeling Crunch
Learn more incredible exercises at www.FitStudio.com
Not sure if you are doing crunches right? Here are some tips:
I think people over-think certain exercises – especially abs. Everyone’s looking for a new abdominal exercise to fixed the midsection, but half the time they aren’t even doing the basic exercises correctly, or they’re not doing them often enough to really make a difference.
Rounded back, legs up, relaxing abs between reps, pulling neck forward, & holding too much air while repping out a bunch of crunches are just a few mistakes people make all the time.
Steve Pfiester shares some foundational principles on how to get the most out of the mother of all abdominal exercises: The Crunch. He’ll teach you what to do – and what not to do. Whether you want LL Cool J abs or Jillian Michaels – you have to do them right to really work.
Read Steve’s Blog: Get Perfect Abs
Check it out – and apply the tips during your next ab workout! And don’t forget to subscribe to both of our blogs for all of our tips and news!
FEEDBACK: Who’s Got the Best Abs?
After you learn how to get the abs of your dreams, check out what celebrities made Wet Pain’s Best Abs in Hollywood list. Do you agree or disagree? Would you rather have Jennifer Aniston’s abs or Monica Brant or T.O.? Who’s abs make you drool?
Steve’s Blog: Get Perfect Abs
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Bikini season is here and, if you’re like me, you’re more aware of your midsection than ever. It’s time to trim up and get rid of some of the winter fluff!. You’re abdominals are already there, we just need to shed the layer of fat hiding them and tone them up.
Six Pack or Just Plain Flat?
Abs come in different shapes and sizes. Some of you may want those ice cube abs “Marky Mark” Wahlberg showed in his old Calvin Klein ads. Most people just want a nice flat smooth surface, free of lumps and bumps. Although the training may be slightly different depending on your goal, one thing remains the same – diet and cardio is a must.
Uncover Your Abs
Everyone has abs – you just might not be showing yours. Sorry pFIT pFANS, although I’ll be giving you ab exercises today, let me first point you to some cardio to burn off that extra layer of fat that’s hiding your abs, no matter what shape they are in. Whether you have a 2 pack or a six pack, you still have lines under that fat and the only thing that will reveal it, is burning more calories than you eat. So it’s time to decrease your caloric intake and increase your calorie burn. Don’t have a treadmill or elliptical? No worries!! I’ve got ways for you to scorch and torch that fat on your living room floor!
Fight the Fat
Keep your abs tight throughout this entire kickboxing inspired cardio workout.
Cardio & Core
Planks, Pushups and mountain climbers require you to hold your core tight. Add in a few cardiovascular exercises and you get to tone the midsection and burn fat too.
10 Rotational Push-ups
20 Steam Engine
10 5 Second Football Stomp With Sprawl
20 Plank Jax
10 Plyometric Double Knee Jump
20 Mountain Climber
10 Seconds Rest
Repeat 2 Times
The following 8 exercises will hit your abs in every direction, upper abs, lower abs and obliques. Remember to keep your tummy tight throughout each exercise, keep your butt and shoulders off the floor through the crunches for the best possible ab-crunching action. This workout can be done often. However, if you want to work on those “ice-cube” abs, you’ll need to add in more weighted abdominal exercises, and those will require at least a day of rest between workouts just like regular weight routines.
Body Parts that Count: Part 3 – Abs & Core
In this blog series I’ve been talking about the 3 muscle groups I feel should be a woman’s focus: Shoulders, Glutes & Abs. Today we discuss the abs.
“Diet doesn’t make you fit.
Exercise doesn’t make you skinny”
Steve Pfiester said that yesterday and I thought, that needs to be a t-shirt. No, a Billboard. No, a whole national advertising campaign! Honestly, people need to hear this!!! We’ve all seen overweight people who are physically fit and we’ve seen plenty of out of shape skinny people. Why am I going on this tangent when the topic is abs? Well it’s simple. You can have abs (shoot, you may have them right not) but if you don’t combine training with diet together, you’ll likely never see them.
Will Eat for Abs
You’ve seen the homeless guys holding a sign “Will work for food”? Well, will you eat for abs? Will you eat (and not eat) what it takes to get the abs you want? Just like many of those guys have no intensions of actually doing any work to get their money, many people in the gym have no intensions of eating what they need to be eating to get their abs.
Honestly, doing a few crunches is the easy part. It’s the other 23 hours a day that are hard to control. As Alfonso “The Angry Trainer” Moretti says, “Abs are made in the kitchen“. If you want to shave off the fat covering your abs, you need to shave off some calories. Once you can actually see your abs, the shape of them, how tight they are, and how big each cube is is up to your training.
Will Work for Abs
It may not seem like it, but this is the easy part. However, some people still have a lot of questions about how to train them. How often can you train your abs? What type of workouts are best for abs? So many questions, so little time.
Non-weight ab exercises, like traditional crunches or situps, can be done daily. However, weighted abs need rest and repair just like your biceps, so they need a couple of days of rest in between.
Steve Pfiester, for instance, does non-weighted abs in between sets while training other body parts through out the week. Then he has one day solely dedicated to traps, calves and abs, where he does his weighted ab exercises. This way he’s always hitting them to keep them tight and tone.
This is also why I like functional training, like push-ups, planks and mountain climbers, because it keeps my core tight in between ab days. Believe me, if you do pushups on a regular basis, you will definitely notice your abs and core tightening.
Weakness Becomes Strength
I have to admit, abs are not my best feature. Unfortunately, the body parts you hate the most, typically are the body parts you don’t like to train the most too. It should be the other way around, but we are human and we like doing things we are good at. We like training our best looking body part, we enjoy working our muscles that are the strongest and we prefer to do the exercises we have already mastered. That’s why our weaknesses often stay a weakness – but they can become your strength.
If you really want to change your body, work the parts that need to work the most. Do the stuff you hate the most (like cardio) and force yourself to do programs, like our BCx Boot Camp, that keep your training balanced and keep you doing stuff you’d most likely skip if you were doing it on your own. The more you do it, the more you’ll like it because you’ll become stronger and you’ll begin to see the work pay off.
Workooout, “I’m sexy and I know it” (sing along with me!)
Here is one of our ab circuits from our brand new BCx Boot Camp Express workout at FitStudio. Click on the picture below and go to Day 6 to view the entire workout, including instructional video.
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