Tag Archives: Abs

Quick plank series

6 Oct

Earlier in the week I did a fun, 20 minute, bucket sweating workout.  I basically had 5 different circuits I went through twice, ending with some pulse squats and a plank series.

The circuits are a bit difficult to explain, so once I have photos it will be much easier to share what ‘sprinting spider monkey’ or ‘step, dip and fly’ are.  In the mean time I did want to share my plank series that I ended with because it was challenging and can be added to any workout, or just done on it’s own.

This plank series is going to help strengthen you abs, obliques, chest, glutes, shoulders, triceps and back.  The only way to make sure that you are using those muscles is to tighten and engage your entire body, keeping it in a straight line from head to toe.  Make sure you do not raise your back creating a hump or allow your hips to drop down toward the ground.

Quick Plank Series

The entire series takes 3 minutes and 15 seconds.  Hopefully you feel some shake near the end.  If not, rest for 30-60 seconds and run through it again!

Getting started:

Start in a table top position, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

Keeping your shoulders in the same position, extend your feet back (squeeze your abs and glutes!) until you are in a straight line from head to feet.

Now you are ready to start the workout.  Keep a stop watch at eye level.

The first and last planks are 30 seconds long.  All the planks in between those are 15 seconds long.  If you need breaks take them and pick up where you left off.

1.  Plank (30 sec)
2.  Chaturanga plank -like you are going down into a push up with your elbows close to your side – stop 4-5 inches away from the ground (15 sec)
3.  Plank (15 sec)
4.  Side arm balance on right – transfer your left foot on top of your right foot while you raise your left arm straight up.  You will be balancing on your right arm and right foot, keeping your core engaged and hips from dropping  (15 sec)
5.  Plank (15 sec)
6.  Side arm balance on left – transfer your right foot on top of your left foot while you raise your right arm straight up.  You will be balancing on your left arm and left foot, keeping your core engaged and hips from dropping  (15 sec)
7.  Plank (15 sec)
8.  Staggered arms (right hand further past shoulder, left hand closer to chest) with holding left leg lift (15 sec)
9.  Plank (15 sec)
10.  Staggered arms (left hand further past shoulder, right hand closer to chest) with holding right leg lift (15 sec)
11.  Plank (30 sec)

By the end of this I hope you feel a bit shaky.  That’s the point – to challenge your muscles!

Let’s work our legs and abs

28 May

Sometimes I just want a workout that gets to the point.  I want a tough workout where I’ll feel the burn and later know that I really worked and challenged by body. 

This workout will do that.

Legs – Plyo – Abs

Legs = 15 reps (single or double leg depending on the exercise)
Plyo = 15 reps
Abs = 30 reps

Starts with a 5 minute warm up before getting into the moves.

1. single leg ice skater lunge – squat jack – hinge crunch

2. pendulum lunge – burpee – side laying oblique v up (straight or bent leg)

3. wall squat (15 seconds at 90 degrees, 10 seconds a bit higher, 15 seconds at 90 degrees, 10 seconds a bit higher, 15 seconds at 90 degrees) – jump tuck – seated leaning back in and outs with your legs

4. three way calf raise: feet forward, toes out and toes in (15 slow then 5 fast) – monster tires – plank oblique crunch (bring your knee to your triceps)

5. extended stationary lunge (back foot on bench or chair) – mountain climbers – bicycle crunch

6. plié squat – high knees –  seated leaning back single leg out-up-in

7. quick single leg squats with jump – wide leg jump tuck – mason twist with weight

Cool down and stretch for 5 minutes.

This should take about 30 minutes.  If you have more time then repeat before moving onto the next set (1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3… etc.)

If you’re not sure what some of the exercises are feel free to ask!

Have fun working out 🙂

Exercise and cupcakes

23 Apr

Yesterday and this morning have been filled with exercise and I loved every minute of it. 

I started my Thursday morning out with a quick, but tough chest, shoulder and tricep workout.  Moves that made my workout: slow-mo push ups, alternating shoulder press, chair dips, chest fly, frontal and lateral raises and skull crushers.  I also threw in some jumping jacks and burpees to keep my heart pumpin and it definately worked.

A little bit after that I rode my bike into work.  It was 40 degrees out and felt amazing.  I had take my coat off after about a block, I just got too warm.  I rode the bike home and just felt so energized from it.  Biking seems to do that, give me energy instead of take it away.

This morning I got to run with my mom which I always love doing.  We took off from my place and just decided to run around and explore an area where a new bridge is being put in.  After 43 minutes we were back home, so probably 4.3-4.5 miles I’d guess.  There was a killer hill we had to go up so I’ll be calling this a hill run.  I may do some ab work a bit later too.  P90X ab ripper might be calling my name.

Last weekend my family threw a babyshower for my sister in law.  I was in charge of food and cake so I made cupcakes.  The theme was jungle animals so I made sure the cupcakes went with the theme too.

I thought the elephant was the cutest 🙂

The cupcakes were orange poppyseed.  So yummy.

Want to know my tip I used to keep my cupcakes moist?  I take a toothpick and poke holes in the cakes once they cooled a bit, then I take 1/2 an orange and squeez juice all over them.

Do you have any baking tips or tricks you use?

Tuesday is the new Monday

26 Jan

Since I had yesterday off from work today was my Monday.  I don’t know why the first day back to work is always the hardest… at least for me.

Started off great though with these O’s

Toasted whole wheat bagel smeared with PB, topped with 1/2 a sliced apple and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Loved it 🙂

Today’s stability move of the day is amazing!  It’s so difficult but works your abs so well.  Let me know how you like the stability ball pass.

Bout to eat a veggie filled dinner, drink some antioxidant filled red and watch The Invention of Lying with my love.

Breakfast for all

19 Jan

Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day.  I’m glad because it’s also the most important meal of the day too.  A balanced healthy breakfast will give you energy to start your day, improve your mood, enhance memory and focus and even help you maintain your weight by not starving yourself in the morning and then later on in the day eating those calories plus possibly even more calories than you would have eaten at breakfast anyway.

If you just don’t feel hungry for breakfast here’s something I’ve learned that works well for me.  Try not to eat a few hours before going to sleep.  By doing this you’ll wake up and want to eat breakfast (because your tummy will be yelling at you!), where as if you chow down before hitting the hay you may wake up still full from the night before and not feel the need to eat breakfast.

I enjoy breakfast every morning and know that I’m doing my body a favor by feeding it healthy, clean, flavorful foods.

Here are two recent pumpkin-y breakfasts I enjoyed that were fairly quick, delicious and had great staying power.

Pumpkin Oatmeal

On the stove top in a small pan over medium heat add 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup of water and a pinch of sea salt.  Bring to a soft boil, stir ever so often, and cook until a thick consistency (about 7-8 minutes).  Add 1 TBSP wheat germ and 1/3 cup pumpkin puree.  Stir to combine and heat through.  Pour into a bowl and top with a spoon full of almond butter and 2 TBSP homemade granola (homemade so I know what went into the granola).  Enjoy!

Pumpkin French Toast

In a shallow bowl (large enough to dip bread in) add 2 egg whites, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 TBSP cinnamon, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice and a splash of your favorite milk or non dairy substitute.  Beat with a fork until thoroughly combined.

Heat your skillet on medium heat.  Coat the skillet with olive oil spray.  Dip both sides of a whole grain bread slice(I enjoy Dave’s Killer Good Seed Bread) in your egg mixture and place it on the hot skillet.  Right away sprinkle the side facing up with 1 TBSP of the pumpkin seeds.  Repeat with a second slice of bread.  After about 4 minutes, carefully flip your pieces of bread over.  Cook the second side with the pumpkin seeds for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes.  The seeds toast very quickly so don’t cook it for too long.

Place both pieces on a plate, top with your favorite nut butter (brazil nut up there) or a bit of pure maple syrup.

What’s your favorite breakfast?


Continuing on with the stability ball theme for the move of the day I’ve got the plank to pike for you to try out.  This move is wonderful and focuses on your abs, back and shoulders too.

Awesome giveaways going on right now

Click here to enter the Vitamix giveaway and here to enter to win the book: Core Performance for Women.

Experiments and Exercise

17 Jan

We had yet again another wonderful weekend at the lake house.  Three out of four items on my agenda happened, just not the hiking 😦

Mom and I ran 9.25 miles(85 minutes) and they felt GREAT!  We were only planning to run 8 but it was just going so well we ended up adding an extra 1.25 miles.  We had a nice pace too- 9:11 minute miles, yowza!  This last long run before the 1/2 marathon (in 7 days!) really made me feel more confident that I’ll be able to do these 13.1 miles, and do them without dying at the end.  Should be fun 🙂

We experimented with a few different prune dishes

Prunes stuffed with goat cheese and topped with pecans

Prune and turkey patties
Prune panna cotta
A couple different granolas were made.

One of the granola is on top of my PB oats for breakfast… mmmmm

The other granola, the yumyumyum granola, is pictured near the bottom.  Look forward to a granola bar recipe made of it in a few weeks.

Kitchen experiments aside, we had some yummy dinners and lunches too

Lemony salmon

My favorites veggie!

Mixed roasted potatoes.  The purple potatoes were so cool!

Leftover salmon salad topped with my balsamic vinaigrette.

It was so much fun being up there and it’s always nice trying out new foods and ways to prepare them.


This morning after returning home bright dark and early I got a nice lower body and ab workout in.

25 minutes of lower body: stationary lunges, squats, calf raises 3 ways, plie squats, step back lunges, wall squats and leg circle and lifts.  I went through all of these 2 times.  The first time through with 5 lb dumbbells in each hand for the first 5 exercises, then for the 2nd time through I used 8lb dumbbells.

15 minutes of abs: bent leg ab lift, crunch 3 ways, plank, weighted diagonal body cross, weighted standing side bend, and the hundred.  I decided that I wanted to try out each ab move of the days I’ve added so I did.  I went through the first 5 exercises 2 times, then ended with the hundred 1 time.  It was a pretty nice and quick ab workout with variation, which I love!

Post workout fuel:

Plain greek yogurt with pumpkin purée and the yumyumyum granola on top.


Hope your weekend was wonderful and you got some time in for exercises as well.  Does the body good 🙂

Standing Ab Work

12 Jan

Are you tired on lying on the ground to get an ab workout in??

Try out today’s move of the day — the weighted diagonal body cross for a change!

Night 🙂