Top 20 Ab Exercises

It’s easy to get in a rut of just banging out a few crunches and leg lifts, but there are SO many more exercise to tighten and tone the abs. Here is our list of top 20 ab exercises.

To turn these exercises into a full workout, choose 3 exercises (making sure to get 1 exercise for the lower abs and 1 for the obliques). Do 3-4 sets of 15-20 if weighted, or 20-25 if non-weighted. Non-weighted abs can be done daily, but you need to let your body rest and recover after weighted crunches just like regular weight training. Have fun!

20 Terrific Tummy Tightening Exercises

Click on the link to watch video instruction

  1. absCrunch
  2. Sit-up
  3. Reverse Crunch
  4. Cable Crunch or Kneeling Band Crunch
  5. Plate Crunch
  6. Bicycle Crunch
  7. Flutter Kick
  8. Oblique Crunch
  9.  Snowboarder Crunch
  10. Crunch And Punch
  11. Toes to Bar
  12. Take It Or Leave It Abdominal Crunch
  13. Snow Angel
  14. V-up
  15. Side V-up
  16. Knee Raise or Hanging Knee Raise
  17. Plank
  18. Side Plank
  19. Pulse Side Plank
  20. 2-Point Stance

Here is the cool matching graphic for Pinteresters and Instagrammers! :) Have fun!!

Top 20 Ab Exercises


Women’s Best Gym Bag Is On SALE!

The Paris Pink Collection from Fivesse is now on SALE!!! Get the Home Gym Home Bag now for ONLY $69.30!!!!! While they do make the cutest gym bags around, this is also the bag I travel with a lot too. It’s so darn cute, and the small Fivess bag (the Home Gym Home Bag) looks like a purse! What I love most about it is the pockets (click here to see my product review!).

Basically, anything that you may want in a fitness bag has its specific place and holder with convenient labels, even a secret pocket for valuables and a place for dirty clothes. There is also a matching garment bag that is available to attach to the back of the larger Home Gym Work Bag (which is now on sale for ONLY $86.80) to avoid wrinkling your work clothes.

I use this bag every time I go down south for our LiveExercise shows. I pack several workout outfits, normally 2-3 pairs of shoes, a hair dryer, makeup bag, casual change of clothes, brush, toiletries and much more! I even put my laptop in the large side pocket. (You can see what I put in the bag below!) Seriously ladies, this is a fantastic find!

For the yogi out there, the Home Gym Work Bag contains straps on the bag to secure your yoga mat. This way you aren’t lugging around multiple belongings and everything is in one place.

The bags are designed with a feminine touch to combine fashion with fitness and with function – which I just LOVE. I don’t want an ugly typical blocky gym bag that looks like it belongs in a high school gym locker room. I want something that fits ME – and Fivesse bags do just that!! It’s the perfect gym bag for any woman!!

ATTENTION MEN! Mother’s Day is Only 7 Weeks Away!!!
WOMEN, it’s time to put in your requests!!

Fivesse’s Paris Pink Collection Colors


See What I Put In My Fivesse Home Gym Work Bag

  • Fivesse Home-Gym-Work BagSocks
  • Shoes
  • 5 tanks
  • 3 long sleeve shirts
  • 3 bra tops
  • 1 pair of workout tights
  • Laptop
  • Power supply
  • iPad
  • Phone chargers
  • Armpocket Armband for my iPhone
  • Headphones
  • 2 brushes
  • Hairdryer
  • Make up bag
  • 2 cans of hairspray
  • 2 protein bars
  • Business cards
  • Body Lotion
  • Mouth wash
  • Curling iron
  • Beanie (to keep my Floridian noggin warm)
  • Ball Cap
  • 3 pair fresh undies
  • and a partridge in a pear tree (OK, maybe not that) lol

Follow Fivesse!

WOMEN: What do YOU look for in a gym bag???

Comment below! I’d love to learn more about what people want!

3 Reasons You Can’t Run Off the Fat

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog entitled “Runners Beware: 4 Things You Need to Know” while sitting on a plane headed to New York for a GNC event with FitFluential. Later that day I logged on to check my blog and discovered a HUGE spike in views. This obviously was a hot topic!

The 4 points I discussed in that blog were:

1. Running Can Make You Skinny Fat.
2. Running Can Cause Your Metabolism To Slow Down
3. Running Can Make Cellulite More Noticeable.
4. Running Can Hurt Your Body.

runningWith that said, I am a runner. I run regularly – but it’s not all I do, and that is the difference. Today, I want to talk about why so many “runners” you see at 5Ks or half marathons seem to still look out of shape or overweight. Sure, there are plenty of fit and trim bodies running, but there is a LOT more to being fit and trim than just lacing up and hitting the pavement. Here’s what I mean.

While running is great for getting you healthy, as it improves cardiovascular health and improves mobility, it might not be an answer to weight loss. Sadly, there is often a good reason why people run a lot. They eat a lot. Since many people really enjoy running, or at least it’s not completely unbearable (like doing burpees!), many people use running for “weight management”. Granted, even though running can definitely help burn excess calories, you really can’t compete with what you eat. In the end, you can end up one very fit, but still overweight, runner.

3 Reasons Running Isn’t Taking It Off

1. We eat more calories than we think.

calories in vs outMost people aren’t tracking calories. People are busy, and tracking calories takes work. Even though there are so many great calorie tracking devices like the LoseIt app, most people are not tracking calories consistently or accurately.

To really know how many calories you are eating, you have to weigh and measure food. Sadly, most people rely on their best guesses. Also, many online calorie count databases are filled with bogus data inputed by consumers making the same type of guesses. Lastly, people forget to input foods. Whether they forgot to log the handful of almonds they took from the pantry while cooking dinner, or they didn’t add their condiments, unless you add everything right when you eat it, you will likely forget to add it at all – or add it correctly.

—> DID YOU KNOW? Applebees’ Fiesta Lime Chicken has 1310 calories and 77gms of fat.

2. Running makes us think we can afford to eat more. 

run off foodHow many times have you heard someone say they are carb-loading for a run? Sometimes I think running is just an excuse to eat. Unfortunately, being a runner myself, it’s easy to think “I ran today so I can afford to eat that”. Do you know how quickly you can erase your run? You literally can swig a coffee and a low-calorie protein bar and you’ve replaced all the calories you just burned off in a matter of minutes.

If you are running to get in shape and lose weight, you have to be very careful you do not replace the calories you are burning on your runs. You have to be very protective over your hard work and stick to a caloric budget if you want to get the best results. Sure, you might have been able to run off some of your weight initially if you had a lot to lose, but eventually you will plateau unless you work as hard on your diet as you do on your exercise.

—> DID YOU KNOW? The average calories burned for a 150lb person running at 5 miles per hour is 113 calories per mile.

3. We rely on running to erase our mistakes.

Honestly, running makes us feel like we work very hard. It gives us a false sense of security – like a weapon we can use for damage control. We get this mentality that if we cheat, we can run it off. The problem is, we often only make a dent in the damage done. If we go out to eat and splurge on a meal, and go for a 5 mile run the next day to make up for it, sometimes that only burns a fraction of the calories we consumed. But, in our head, we are making good choices and balancing out our lack of discipline in the kitchen with the disciplined lifestyle of running.

For instance, below is a list of modest food choices and the average distance you would have to run them off. This is based on the average 150lb person running a 10-minute mile. (Find your approximate average using this calculator.)

  • 1 Cup of Bear Naked Granola with a cup of milk = 6-mile run
  • Einstein’s Everything Bagel with Plain Cream Cheese = 4-mile run
  • Subway’s Tuna 6″ Sub = 4.5-mile run
  • Arby’s Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwich = 8-mile run
  • Olive Garden’s Lunch Lighter Fare Garden Primevera  = 5.5-mile run
  • Personal Pan Pizza From Pizza Hut = 6-mile run
  • 10 Buffalo Wild Wings without Blue Cheese = 7-mile run
  • Subway’s Tuna 6″ Sub = 4.5-mile run
  • Arby;s Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwich = 8-mile run
  • 2 craft beers = 4-mile run
  • 1 Cup of Ben & Gerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream = 5.5-mile run
  • Starbucks Grande White Chocolate Mocha Latte = 4-mile run
  • Medium AMC Popcorn = 10-mile run (CLICK HERE to read CBS News Report)

Are you guilty of running for food? Maybe today is the day you decide to be as disciplined in the kitchen as you are in your running shoes!

Can you relate? Comment your experience below and encourage other readers!

Top 20 Most Effective (& Most Hated) Exercises

Some Exercises Are Really A Chore


Seriously, I’d be lying if I told you I love every exercise. People need to be realistic. You may like a clean home, but that doesn’t mean you enjoy cleaning toilets. While you might not mind wiping down the counters, there will be some things you don’t like to do – but you sure are glad when they are done. In the same way, everyone has that exercise they really would prefer to skip, but you don’t want to skip the results.

No! Anything but THAT!

For most of us, it’s the exercise that takes the most work we hate the most. If only we could spray ourselves down with bleach to melt the fat away. Nope, it’s going to take some elbow grease I’m afraid! The fact is, if it’s an easy exercise, it probably isn’t as effective as the tougher ones.

Fitness requires going out of your comfort zone. This means you will have a love/hate relationship with some exercises. You will hate to do them, but you will love what they do for you! 

box jumpsIf you want an effective exercise, you will probably need the exercise that works you where you need it most (normally working your weakest areas). It will be that dreaded exercise that gets your heart pounding out of your chest to the point you think your heart is going to explode. Or, maybe it’s the exercise that burns so much you are convinced your muscles are going to spontaneously bust out in flames. You probably are already thinking of a few exercises that fit this category. It’s OK, we all have a secret list of most-hated exercises. We don’t have to love every exercise we do. We can just love the results!

As I pondered the most hated (and secretly loved) exercises, I decided to set out and find what other people HATE to do, but LOVE the results. Since we all have different strengths and weaknesses, I fully expected different opinions. At the same time, I also knew there would be a few top picks that almost everyone would agree on. The comments were awesome! Here is the result of my search.

Top 20 Most-Hated (But Very Effective) Exercises

Below, are the top 20 responses – from awful to worst
TIP: Click on the link to view video instruction.

20. Thrusters
19. Jump Squats
18. Rope Climb
17. Manmakers
16. Double Unders
15. Pistol Squat (Single Leg Squat)
14. Wall Ups
13. The Gauntlet (Step Mill)
12. Tuck Jumps
11. Wall Sits
10. Pull Ups
9. Stomps
8. Mary Catherines (Plyo split lunges)
7. Push Ups
6. Planks & Side Planks
5. Running
4. Lunges (all types of lunges!)
3. Big Ax Jacks (minus the football stomps in the video)
2. Mountain Climbers
1. Burpees


 10 Best Burpee Memes & Quotes



Add Your Most-Dreaded to the List!

What is your nemesis? What exercise do YOU hate to do, but love the results? Comment below!

live exerciseWANT MORE? Join us for some killer conditioning workouts on BCx Boot Camp on LiveExercise and learn how to incorporate these exercises in your workout. Steve and I lead a cross training workout show each week where we use some of the most hated (and loved) exercises to get you the results you want. We’d love to have you!! Click on the LIVE logo and get workout with us for 2 weeks free! We have 67 workouts you can do, plus over 4,000 other workouts to try too including kickboxing, yoga, chiseled bands, chiseled cardio, dumbbells, toning and more!

Safe Storage For Food Preppers

Food Storage

When I tell people what I cook for the week, often times people’s first response is “won’t it go bad?” If you don’t have a husband that eats your weight in meat, then you may want to divide your cook days up, freeze some of it, or trim down the food prep a bit. Below are some recommended storage times from Food Safety so you can determine how much you should cook at once.

refridgeratorSafe Storage for Cooked Food

Poultry: 3-4 days (4 months in freezer)
Poultry in broth or gravy: 1-2 days
Ham: 7 days for whole ham, 3-5 days for 1/2, 3-4 sliced
Fish: 3-4 days (4-6 months in freezer)
Smoked Fish: 14 days
Gravy or broth: 1-2 days
Left Over (carry out) 3-4 days if refrigerated within 2 hours of serving
Pasta: 4 days
Beans: Up to a week
Casseroles: 3-4 days
Rice: 3-5 days
Hard Boiled Eggs: 7 days

Food Prep

Ok, say this with me: “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail”. I know, I say this all the time, but it’s SO TRUE! If I want to eat healthy during the week, I have to shop and cook healthy on the weekend. The first thing on the grocery list chicken – and LOTS of it. We get a big family pack size of chicken from Sams and grill it with seasonings, light olive oil and either balsamic vinegar or lime juice. The next thing on the list is everything green. Salad greens, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, brussel spouts and spinach. I always buy oatmeal for Steve’s breakfasts, and Greek yogurt with some kind of fresh fruit, like berries or mango, for my breakfast. Last up are all the “fillers”, fats and extras like creamer, coffee, avocado, almonds, popcorn, hot sauce, BBQ sauce and any other ingredients needed for cooking.

Prepare to Succeed

As many of you might have heard, Steve is doing an experiment where he is trying to gain weight. So, sadly, my pantry is stocked full of donuts, cookies, PopTarts, cereal and all kinds of crazy stuff. He just went through the drive through at Taco Bell while I waited it out until I could get home and eat clean. The only way I’m going to avoid weight gain is staying prepared. Luckily I had some low-calorie soup on hand to dive into so I didn’t cave and order tacos!

While it has been challenging to watch him eat cookies and ice cream every night, it has been a really good experience for me so I can better relate with all the people who have a spouse who is not on the same diet and fitness page. I look forward to stepping my own discipline up a notch over the next few weeks to see if I can indeed lose weight while Steve gains it. :)


Curry Chicken & Mango Quinoa Salad

Chicken, Black Bean & Mango Quinoa SaladI think we are all creatures of habit when it comes to cooking and eating. We make the same few things over and over, week after week. While we may switch things up, we still pull from the same group of go-to favorites. Occasionally, we will try a new recipe, and as we add a new recipe, one old recipe may accidentally fall off the grid.

I realized I have been in a rut lately so I started digging around in my old recipe “files” (AKA…looking on my blog for recipes I’ve posted over the last couple of years) and I found this amazing Quinoa salad I completely forgot about.

I love the sweet with the spicy, and all the textures. This will definitely be one of those salads I bring to parties because all these yummy flavors are like having a party on your tongue!

Chicken, Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad

mango1 cup (uncooked) quinoa
Diced chicken (I cooked 3 breasts)
1 cup chopped mangoes
1/2 cup chopped
1 chopped onion
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
handful of cilantro


1/4 cup olive oil
 (you can dilute this with water to reduce calories)
4 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

Vidalia Chop WizardCook 1 cup of quinoa as directed (in 2 cups water for 15 minutes). I added a dash of salt and fajita seasoning. Remove from heat and let it to continue to steam (this makes it more fluffy). While cooking your quinoa, also cook your chicken and diced into small cubes. I cooked my chicken in lime juice, cumin and curry. While the hot food cools, start chopping up the cool ingredients. I use the Vidalia Chop Wizard and LOVE it! (Thanks Kristie – that’s a gift that keeps on giving!) In a separate bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Finally, combine the quinoa and chicken with the fresh ingredients and drizzle the dressing over it while mixing it until it is all well coated. Salt to taste. It makes 6 delicious servings.

369 Calories per Serving

  • 21 gms Protein
  • 12 gms Fat (only 1.7gm saturated fat)
  • 45 gms Carbs
  • 6.9 gms Fiber

This is a perfect salad for people who don’t have access to a microwave during the day.

Ways to reduce calories and make it even healthier:

  • Use Stevia instead of honey
  • Use less (or no) oil
  • Use more chicken, and less quinoa

This recipe was inspired by Curried Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango at

CLICK HERE to learn more about Quinoa – including where to get it, great nutritional information and more!

Reebok ZPump Fusion Now Available!

It’s finally here! Today (March 10th) is the official launch of Reebok’s new running shoe – ZPump Fusion! You can now start purchasing these shoes online at – today! Get the only shoes that allow you to customize the fit and change your running experience forever.

Cost: $109.99

For women: Pink & Black, Yellow & Black and White & Grey.
For men: Black & Grey, Yellow & Black and Black & Red.


OR Design Your OWN!!! 

reebok zpump

CLICK HERE to read my review!!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Simple (but TOUGH) Leg Workout

sexy legsHere’s one of our Leg Workout designed for our bikini boot campers, created for the gym using leg equipment/machines. Give it a try!

Rest Time: 45 SECONDS max rest time between sets. 2 minutes between exercises

Hack squats:
4 sets/15 reps
Suggested weight: start with 1-25lb plate on only one side. Try to increase each set,  BUT it is more important to get 15 reps than go heavier and stop early

Single leg leg press:
4 sets/20 reps each (each leg)
Suggested weight: start with 1-25lb plate on only one side.
Try to increase each set,  BUT it is more important to get 20 reps than go heavier and stop early hamstring curls

Ham string curls:
5 sets > #1 20 reps, #2 18 reps, #3 15 reps, #4 15 reps, #5 12 reps
Suggested weight: Start at 35lbs and go heavier by 5-10lbs every set.  Please maintain your reps

Leg Extension: 5 sets/ 15 reps
Suggested weight: Start at 40lbs and go up. But keep your reps up.

Graphic for Pinterest & Instagram


Bodyweight Leg & Cardio Workout

bonnie pfiesterI was stuck working at home one day, working in front of a computer for 10 hours straight. When I finally got done for the day, it was after 5:00pm and, although I was dressed and ready for the gym, I really just wanted to get my workout done at home.

So, I dug through some of my workouts and pulled out a couple of circuits I could do on my living room floor that required no equipment. This was the workout I did – and I’ll be honest. It KILLED ME! I took no rest at ALL except a quick rest to get water between the 2 circuits. Give it a try and let me know how you like it! Oh, and get a towel because by round 2 I was already dripping!!

The Bomb: Lower Body Circuit 

20 Alternating Forward Lunges
20 Squats
10 Burpees
1-Minute Jump Rope
20 Alternating Step Back Lung
20 Jax
10 Burpees
1-Minute Wall-Sits (sit against the wall with legs at a 90 degree angle)

Record your time at the end of the third round!

Matching Video:


Butt Workout 

20 Squats
20 Right Lunges
20 Right Stomps
20 Right Leg Cook Hip Lifts
20 Squats
20 Left Lunges
20 Left Stomps
20 Left Leg Cook Hip Lifts

REPEAT 2 TIMES (4 total)


Matching Graphic:

Leg & Butt Workout

Full Body Strength & Cardio Workout

Click on the exercise to view video instruction.

mountain climbersCardio Blitz
10 Air Squats
10 2-Count Mountain Climbers
10 Burpees
X 4
Do the cardio blitz between each circuit.

3 Circuits: 30 seconds of each circuit:

Pull Downs (or Pull Ups)
Hop Overs
Push Ups

Shoulder Press
X3Step Ups

Straight Leg Deadlifts
In/Out Squats*
Step Ups**

*In & Out Squats: Feet together in a narrow stance, squat and hop out into a squat with feet in a wide stance. Then hop back to a narrow stance squat. Each rep should include one narrow squat and one wide stance – so 20 total squats.

**Step Ups: Stay on one leg for 10. Pressure should remain on the forward foot (on the bench) for the best results. Do NOT put any weight on the back foot on the floor. Keep your forward foot on the bench and only tap the back foot to the ground before stepping back up. Be sure to extend fully into a complete stand on the bench.

Get over 4,000 workouts on

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