10-Minute Ab Burner with Alternating Planks

Happy Monday, everyone!  How was your weekend?  Mine was pretty good.  I'm getting things squared away little by little for my move, which is a huge stress reliever.  Yesterday, my boyfriend and I tried out a new gym (new to us anyway) - LA Fitness.  It opened up a few years ago in our neighborhood and we decided to try it out with their 3-day guest pass.  It was a pretty nice facility with all new equipment, and our 3-day pass turned into a week for free!  So, I'm excited to go back there this week to try out the other machines I didn't get to use.  Lately when I go to the gym, I've been trying to force myself to learn the machines.  Why?  Well, I wasn't ever a machine person and decided that I need to know how these babies work given the profession I'm branching out into.  I was always a loose equipment type person (dumbbells, resistance bands, barbells, TRX straps, stability balls, etc.).  I've decided I've stayed in my comfort zone for too long!  (And jeez, it's about time I branch out!)

Okay, now on to the workout.  Today's ab burner takes a quick 10 minutes, but boy you'll feel it when you're done!  Pin it now so you'll have a quick routine to do the next time you hit the beach or need to pump up those ab muscles!

10-Minute Ab Burner with Alternating Planks

10-Minute Ab Burner with Alternating Planks

Do each exercise for 1 minute, alternating holding a low plank on your elbows for 1 minute between each.

Sit & Reach + Toe Touch - sit on the ground with your legs out straight.  Reach for your toes.  As you come back, roll onto your back bringing your legs straight up into the air.  Reach for your toes, engaging your abs.  Roll back up to a seated position and reach for your toes again.  Keep alternating that back and forth for 1 minute.

Supine Leg Circles - lie on your back, legs out straight and feet hovering slightly above the floor.  Keeping your legs straight and feet together, make small circles in one direction for 30 seconds.  Immediately switch directions without dropping your feet for the next 30 seconds.  Trainer Tip: if your lower back gives you trouble, try placing your hands underneath it for support.

Slow Bicycles - stay lying on your back, and alternate bringing opposite elbow to opposite knee slowly (count to 4 between each).  Keep "pedaling" for 1 minute.

Oblique Crunches - lie on one side, keeping your bottom arm extended out on the floor and top arm bent with your hand behind your head.  From there, crunch up to the side so your elbow meets your knees.  Continue the crunches for 30 seconds on one side, then switch to the other.  Trainer Tip: if you want to make it easier, only crunch up using your top leg instead of both.  Harder = keep legs straight and "V" up.

10-Second Knee Press Hold + 10 Pulses - lie on your back with your knees bent at 90˚, hands pressed into them.  Push against yourself (hands against knees and knees against hands), engaging your abs.  Hold that for 10 seconds, then do 10 quick presses (pulses) in that position.  Keep alternating 10-second holds & 10 pulses for 1 minute.

Readers: chat with me!  what are your favorite ab exercises?  Do you go to the gym for your workouts?  If so, do you use machines or other equipment to get your workout done?  Or maybe a combo?  I'd love to hear!  Happy Monday - I hope it's off to a great start!

Fitness Friday 5/22: Get Your Body Moving

Happy Friday to you all!  We made it through another week.  I hope you're energized for the weekend, especially if yours is a long one.  I'll be working on Memorial Day, but I'm definitely excited for these next few days off!  If you feel like your Friday is dragging on today, try this mini workout you can do anywhere and everywhere you find yourself.  I hope it helps get you through your morning AND your afternoon.  Keep reading for the details!

Fitness Friday mini workout #14


Fitness Friday 5/22

2 x 2 (twice through, two times today)

Slow Bicycles - lie on your back, hands behind your head, elbows out.  With one leg out straight and the other knee bent, bring your opposite elbow to the opposite knee and touch if you can, using your abdominals to raise your shoulder off the floor.  Switch to the opposite side, moving slowly and focusing on engaging your abs the entire time.  Do 20 reps.  Trainer Tip: make sure to keep a light touch of the hand behind your neck.  You don't want to pull on your neck when crunching up. 

Tricep Dips in Table - get into a table top position (supine, feet flat and hands under shoulders, hips raised so the torso is flat like a table).  From here, bend your elbows so your upper body lowers toward the floor.  Do 10 dips.  Trainer Tip: go as far down as you can, but keep in mind that might only be a very little bit.  That's perfectly okay as long as you're feeling it work your tricep muscles.

Standing Leg Sweeps - from standing, take your right leg and sweep it up laterally as close to hip height as you can.  Bring it immediately back down and cross in front of your left leg.  Immediately sweep it back up to the side again, without letting it touch the ground.  Continue that sweeping pattern for 20 reps on one leg before switching to the other.  Trainer Tip: keep your leg as straight as you can and keep your foot turned with toes facing forward as much as possible (i.e. fight the urge to turn your toes outward in the direction of the sweep).

There's your office workout for this Friday!  I hope this helps keep you energized for the long weekend ahead, or at least until happy hour today. :)

What's everyone up to this long weekend?  How do you stay active and healthy over a celebratory holiday like Memorial Day?