Happy #FitnessFriday to you all! Today's workout is one I've had in the works for a while now, and I'm really exited to finally share this! I've done this format in my classes many-a-time, and this combo in particular left everyone exhausted in the best possible way [insert evil instructor laugh here]. This one's great if you're short on time - 12 minutes is all you need. My favorite part about it is you don't need any equipment at all besides a soft surface to lie down/kneel on. You can do this outdoors, indoors, at the gym, at home, traveling, probably even on a plane if you were so inclined. (Hey... I've done it, haha).
Before we get started, I'm trying out something new(ish) here on the blog. I've recently been getting into making playlists on Soundcloud (I'm probably the last one on earth), and the songs on my workout mixes pump me up so much for the gym, so I wanted to start sharing them with you here. I've included my most recent compilation here in this post, but check the blog sidebar on the right for updated ones when I have them. My gym music tastes are usually electronic/dubstep/techno remixes (fair warning: there are some swears). Hope you like it!
12-Minute Abs on Fire Workout
What You'll Need: just about nothing! If you want an exercise mat, go for it. Otherwise, just a soft surface on the floor for your back and knees.
What You'll Do: each exercise you'll do for 1 minute, with 30 second breaks in between every set of moves (of which there are 4). You'll add on each subsequent move to the end of the preceding move in each set. So...
Set 1 = start with the first exercise for 1 minute. Then rest for 30 seconds.
Set 2 = exercise #1 again for 1 minute, and go immediately into exercise #2 for 1 minute with no break. Then take a 30 second breather.
Set 3 = 1 + 2 + 3 (all 1 minute each) + 30 second rest
Set 4 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4* (all 1 minute each)
*exercise #4 in this workout is done on each side. I'll leave it up to you whether you want to do the full minute on each side or 30 seconds each.
Heel Touches - lie down on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms straight reaching for your heels. From here, engage your abs by lifting your upper back and shoulder blades off the floor/mat. Rotate laterally so you alternate touching the back of each heel, as shown. Keep it going for 1 minute, trying to engage your abs the whole time. Trainer Tip: the closer your heels are to your butt, the easier this is; the farther away they are, the more difficult. I want you to really have to REACH for those heels, but if you need a rest briefly, bring your feet in closer to your butt for a few seconds.
In & Outs - stay on the floor, legs extended with hands by your sides, elbows on the ground as shown. Bring your knees to your chest (and chest to your knees), using your abdominals to pull your legs in and chest up (your hands don't do any pushing here). Elbows should come off the ground, but hands stay planted. Keep 'em going for 1 minute. Trainer Tip: if you want to increase the intensity, take your hands off the floor and extend them overhead and reach for your toes on the way up.
Scissor Pulses - start on your back, with your legs in an L (both straight, one hovering over the floor and one up in the air). Keep your legs in that L and pulse up twice towards the foot that's raised, trying to get your shoulder blades off the mat if you can. Once 2 pulses are done, switch legs, and do 2 pulses up on the other side. Keep alternating for 1 minute, 2 pulses each side before switching. Remember to keep the leg that's parallel to the ground hovering and not resting on the floor.
Leaning Oblique Twists (each side) - alright, you have a choice with this one. Stick with either 30 seconds each side, or do a full minute on each side... Let's start on the left side. So you'll kneel down on your left knee, and extend your right leg out straight. Place your right hand behind your head and lean to the left so your body forms a straight line from neck to toe (as shown - you'll feel your right obliques engage here). From this position, twist your torso to bring your right elbow down towards the floor (shown). Bring yourself back up to that starting position, maintaining that straight line from neck to toe (keep that spine straight).
New activewear brand alert: XXIV Active
The tights I'm wearing in today's workout are made by XXIV Active (24 Active), an up-and-coming activewear line, which debuted with some awesome high-waist leggings & matching bra sets back in late-2016. They have a small but amazing selection, which is steadily growing. (I'm eyeing these gorgeous bordeaux colored 7/8 tights now!) The ones shown here are really comfy. They're a bit too high-waisted for my liking (easy fix though - I just rolled them down a little), but I think they'd be perfect for the crop-top/high-waist legging trend that's going on in the yogi world. The 2-tone mesh at the back of the knee is a nice touch, too, and with mesh popping up everywhere now, they're perfect. If you like jumping on activewear brand bandwagons early, check these guys out - you'll be hearing big things from them soon!
Readers: chat with me! What's your favorite way to work your abs - bodyweight exercises? Equipment? What athleisure trends are you loving lately? Thoughts on workout playlists being included here? What music genre gets you pumped to work out?