12-Minute No Rest Bodyweight Ab Workout

Hey guys!  How's your week going so far?  I realized I haven't posted a true workout in quite some time, so let's change that!  I taught an abs & core strengthening class last night and I think it went pretty well - we were all sweating, working, and having fun.  So today I thought I'd give you a glimpse into a few exercises we did, and make it easy for you to do this anywhere you find yourself today since it doesn't involve any equipment.  (Hint: it's perfect to save for a beach day when you want a little extra 'pop' to the core muscles!)

12-Minute No Rest Bodyweight Ab Workout

12-Minute No Rest Bodyweight Ab Workout

Set your timer for 12 minutes, and do each exercise for 1 minute.  Try not to rest between exercises or between circuits.  Let's get those abs fired up!

Circuit 1:

Plank to Pike - start in a high plank, keeping your shoulders in line with your wrists, abs engaged and spine aligned.  Hold this position for 15 seconds, then go into a pike position, arms & legs straight, like an inverted V.  Hold this for 15 seconds.  Keep alternating holds every 15 seconds for 1 minute total.

Supine Knee Press & Hold - lie on your back, knees bent at 90˚ and feet up, hands placed on knees.  Press your hands and knees together maintaining their position, engaging your abs the entire time (hands and knees shouldn't move).  Hold this press for 1 minute.

Boat Pose - like a V-up, except your hands reach straight out in front of you.  Your body should form a V by keeping your legs straight and spine aligned - don't round out your back!  (You should essentially be balancing on your butt/tailbone.)  Hold this position for 1 minute.

Supine Outer Knee Presses - get in the same position as the knee press & hold.  This time put your hands together (fingers unclasped), arms straight.  Reach to the side of your left knee and press the back of your right hand against your outer knee (and knee against hand).  Hold that press for 15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.  Alternate presses every 15 seconds for 1 minute total.

Circuit 2:

Plank Hip Touches to Floor - Get into a low plank position (on your elbows), and twist your hips to one side while lowering them to the floor.  Keep your abs engaged and legs as straight as you can throughout.  Return to start and immediately twist to the opposite side.  Keep alternating sides for 1 minute.

Alternating Diagonal Plank Jumps - start in a regular high plank and jump your feet to your hands diagonally - so, jumping to the left side first, then back out into a plank, and then over to the right side.  Make sure to bring your feet as close to your hands as possible.  Alternate quickly for 1 minute.

Oblique Crunches (Right & Left) - lay on one side, keeping your bottom arm extended out and top arm bent with your hand behind your head.  From there, crunch up to the side so your elbow meets your knees.  Extend back down to start.  That's one rep.  If you want to make it easier, only crunch up using one leg instead of both.  Harder = keep legs straight and "V" up.

Circuit 3:

5 In & Outs + 5 V-ups - sit down on the floor, legs extended with hands by your sides, elbows on the ground, chest up.  Bring your knees to your chest, keeping your hands planted.  Do 5 reps, then immediately go into 5 V-ups, trying to get your hands to your feet.  Keep alternating 5 & 5 for 1 minute. Trainer Tip: If you want to increase the intensity, take your hands off the floor and extend them overhead for the in & outs, and keep them off the floor for the V-ups.

Side Plank Hip Dips (Right & Left) - start out in a side plank, either on your elbow (easier) or up on your hand (harder).  From this position, dip your hips down, keeping your feet stacked and shoulder over your wrist/elbow.  Now raise your hips up to slightly higher than starting position. Continue the dips on the right side for 1 minute, then immediately switch to the left side for 1 minute.

Supine Heel Touches - lie on your back, legs bent and feet flat on the floor, arms at your sides. Lift your upper body slightly off the floor to engage the abs, and "sweep" to one side so your hand touches your heel.  That's 1 rep.  Go back to center, and "sweep" to the other side for rep 2.  Go back to center.  Repeat that "sweeping" motion for 1 minute and remember to keep your abs engaged the whole time. 

Good luck with this one and let me know how it goes!  And, a quick teaser for any of you following along lately, there are going to be some awesome giveaways and raffle prizes coming in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for those here!  Aaaand just because this is hilarious:

Hump Day Quotes

Readers: chat with me!  Do you love ab exercises?  What are some of your favorites?  How are you spending your Wednesday staying active?  I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday Warmup 5/13: AMRAP Edition to Make You Smile (and Sweat!)

Good morning and happy Wednesday!  How are you all doing today?  I've encountered a lot of people struggling with motivation recently, including myself, which is why I posted these quotes yesterday for a little encouragement.  I've decided to include a positive, uplifting quote at the end of some of my posts now to help get you going and give you (and myself!) a push in the right direction.  We all need someone in our corner sometimes, so know that I am rooting for you every step of the way.  (No really, I am!)

Now, onto today's workout... remember, getting the blood coursing through your body and a good sweat going in the morning (or any time of the day, really) is a GREAT way to combat stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression.  So give this AMRAP workout a try today and see how you feel when you're done.  My hope: better than when you started!

Wednesday Warmup Workout 5-13

 

Wednesday Warmup 5/13

Set your timer for 3 minutes for each AMRAP.  Get through as many rounds as you can during that time.

AMRAP 1: LOWER BODY - 3 MINUTES

Glute Bridge Leg Raises - lie on your back, hands by your side, knees bent with feet flat on the floor.  Raise your pelvis off the floor and extend one leg out straight so it hovers over the floor.  From here, lift that leg as high as you can, keeping it straight, and your pelvis raised.  Lower it back down.  Keep that pattern going for 10 reps on one leg, then immediately switch to the other leg without dropping down to the floor.

Side Kick Squats - start in a squat position, and press up onto one leg.  As you press to standing, extend the other leg out into a side kick.  Lower it back down to the floor and immediately squat again.  Then raise up onto the other leg and perform a side kick on the other side.  Repeat that pattern for 20 reps (each squat + kick = 1 rep).

Runner Stance Heel Touches - crouch down on your left leg, hands on the ground, right leg extended back behind you, toes lightly touching the floor.  (All your weight should be on the right leg here.)  From here, bring your right leg in so your toes meet the heel of your left foot.  Extend the right leg back out, tap your toes again, and bring it back in to meet you heel.  Continue that pattern for 10 reps, then switch sides.

AMRAP 2: ABS & CORE - 3 MINUTES

Slow/Fast Leg Extensions - we did this one in my group ex class last night and it worked great!  Lie on your back (hands under your butt for support if you need it), legs extended out hovering over the floor, abs engaged.  In one fluid motion, bring your knees to your chest, then extend your legs straight up, then lower them back down to hovering over the floor.  Hover for 1-2 seconds then repeat.  Each sequence is 1 rep.  Continue for 15 reps total.

Kneeling Lean Backs - kneel on the ground, butt off your heels, arms crossed over your chest forming an X.  From here, lean back slightly so you engage your abs, keeping your spine in one straight line as you lean.  Hold the position for 1-2 seconds, then go back to start.  Repeat that for 10 reps.

Reach-Through Crunches - just like they sound, you're going to lie on your back, legs up in the air, feet together.  From here, simultaneously straddle the legs, and reach though your legs, using your abs to get your upper back off the floor.  Repeat that for 15 reps.

AMRAP 3: UPPER BODY - 3 MINUTES

Decline Push Ups - find a sturdy chair or couch and plank out with your feet raised.  Do a push up, being careful to keep the spine aligned.  (Think about pulling your belly button in to your spine to keep the core engaged.)  Try to get through 5 push ups.  Trainer Tip: if the decline is too much, do regular push ups with your feet on the ground.

Raised Tricep Dips - we also did these in a recent group ex class that I took Monday night, and wow they were killer!  Give them a try... use that same chair or couch and place your heels on it, lifting your butt up off the floor, hands supporting you with your fingers facing toward your feet.  Dip yourself down using your arms only (i.e. your hips/butt should NOT dip, only your arms should be moving).  Get through 5 dips.

Sphinx Push Ups - they sound a lot scarier than they are, promise!  Get into a push up position from your knees, and lower yourself down so you're propped up on your forearms.  From here, press through your hands to raise yourself up so your arms are straight and chest is elevated.  Lower yourself back down to start.  Do this 5 times.

As promised, I'll leave you with today's motivating quote.  I challenge you to cheer someone else up today, and share this post with someone who needs a boost...

Cheer Somebody Else Up

Readers: chat with me!  How did that workout go for you?  Did you feel like you could tackle the day once you got done?  Also, do you like the motivating quote idea at the end of the blog posts?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Wednesday Warmup 4/29

Happy hump day!  (Did I really just say that? =P)  Rather, happy middle of the week, everyone.  We've made it through the dreaded Monday (and Tuesday).  Here's your workout to kickstart your day today (I know I'll be needing one!).  Try it at home, in the gym, or even outside if it's nice where you are!  Keep reading for the details on today's Wednesday Warmup workout.

 

Wednesday Warmup 4/29

Go through each round 3 times before moving onto the next, and work quickly!

ROUND 1: LOWER BODY x 3

Lunge to Straight Leg Kicks - start in a lunge on one leg, arms raised to shoulder height stretched out in front of you.  From the lunge position, rise up and kick your back leg up to meet your hands (or as high as you can get it).  Swing that same leg back, placing it back on the ground, and lowering back down into a lunge.  Repeat that motion for 15 reps on one leg, and then switch legs.  Trainer Tip: keep your front leg still - that foot doesn't come off the ground.

Lateral Step Touches - get ready to work your quads!  Get low in a wide-stance squat.  Staying in that low position throughout, step to the right with the right foot, and bring your left foot over to meet it.  Now step to the left, and bring your right foot over to meet it.  Alternate that step-touch pattern for 20 reps (remembering to stay low in a squat stance the whole time!).

Glute Bridges - lie down on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides.  From here, keeping your shoulders planted on the ground, raise your pelvis up off the floor.  Squeeze your glutes at the top.  Lower back down to start.  That's 1 rep.  Continue for 20.

ROUND 2: ABS & CORE x 3

Hip-Touch Planks - get into a low plank position (on your elbows), and twist your hips to one side while lowering them to the floor.  Keep your abs engaged and legs as straight as you can throughout.  Return to start and immediately twist to the opposite side.  Each hip touch is 1 rep.  Continue alternating sides for 20.

Shin Presses - this one's a killer, so get ready!  Lie down on your back, opposite arm and opposite leg raised in the air.  Press your hand into your shin (or knee) and engage the abdominals.  Hold that press for 15 seconds.  Switch sides and repeat.  Do this twice on each side for 15 seconds each, totaling 1 minute.

Supine Leg Lifts - stay down on the ground on your back, this time extending both legs out straight, heels hovering over the floor (but not touching!).  Using your abs, raise your legs up so your body form an 'L' (or get them as high as you can while keeping the legs straight).  Lower them back down to hovering over the floor.  Do 10 lifts.

ROUND 3: UPPER BODY x 3

Wide-Arm Push Ups - like a regular push up but bring your hands out past shoulder width.  Do 10 push ups.  This will concentrate on using more of your pectorals (chest muscles) than a regular push up does.  Trainer Tip: remember you can drop down to your knees here, but make sure your butt stays down and spine is neutral throughout the movement.

Up-Down Planks - start in a plank on your elbows, and one arm at a time, raise yourself up to a high plank position (on your hands).  Reverse that to bring yourself back down to a low plank.  That's 1 rep.  Continue that up-down pattern for 1 minute, switching which arm leads at 30 seconds.  Trainer Tip: you can also do these from your knees.

Tricep Push Ups - lie on your side, with your bottom arm crossed over your chest, and top arm over it with the hand placed on the floor.  Use that top arm to push your upper body off the floor.  Do 15 on one arm, then switch.

That's it for the workout today!  I hope it got you ready to tackle whatever today will bring.

Readers: chat with me!  How'd this workout go for you?  Where did you do it (gym, home, outdoors, etc.)?  Any exercises more (or less) difficult for you?  The more feedback I get on these workouts, the better the future ones will be for you, so don't be shy!