Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

Quick Bodyweight Ab WorkoutToday’s ab workout is inspired by the megaformer class I teach at Btone. In Lagree Fitness, you work one muscle group at a time before moving onto the next, so when designing an ab sequence, you want to group ab exercises together, right oblique exercises together, and left oblique exercises together. You also stay on each ab exercise for 60 seconds (most of the time), which is what I’ve done here.

Ok, I guess those are pretty much the only similarities haha. Regardless, this workout is quick, challenging, and requires no equipment. You can pair it with cardio (maybe do it before or after a long run), or do it on its own when you’re short on time and want to fire up your core muscles. 

Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll do each exercise for a minute before moving directly into the next (no resting between!). I used my Gymboss Interval Timer and set the “work” interval for 60 seconds and the “rest” interval for 0 seconds so that it would beep every minute, signaling me to switch exercises. The workout targets abs, right oblique, left oblique, abs, in that order. This workout will take you 13 minutes.

Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

  • Plank
  • 1 Plank Jump 5 Plank Jacks: Start in a plank position. Jump both feet up towards your hands and then back into plank position. Jump feet out wide to the sides and back in (like a horizontal jumping jack) 5 times. Continue the sequence.
  • Knee Hug Full-Body Crunches:Start laying on your back, legs extended and hovering, arms outstretched overhead (shoulders lifted off ground, core engaged). Do a full body crunch, lifting your torso and crunching in your knees so that you can hug them. Extend back out, lowering onto back.
  • Boat Pose:If you practice yoga, you’re probably familiar with boat pose. Sit in a “V” pose with legs held straight up at about a 45-degree angle with the ground and arms out straight. If it’s too difficult to keep your legs straight, bend them at the knee for Half Boat Pose.
  • Side V Crunches RIGHT:Start laying on your side with bottom arm stretched outwards on the ground for support. Do a side crunch, lifting your legs up and crunching them in to meet your elbow and raised torso.
  • Side Plank RIGHT
  • Alternating Crossbody Knee Tucks: Start in a plank position. Bring your left knee to touch the right elbow, then your right knee to touch the left elbow. Make contact!
  • Side Plank LEFT
  • Side V Crunches LEFT
  • Boat Pose
  • Knee Hug Full-Body Crunches
  • 1 Plank Jump 5 Plank Jacks
  • Plank

Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

WEARING | leggings: c/o Ellie  (use code nicoleperr20 to get 20% off your first order!) / tank: Lululemon

Can you get through the entire 13 minutes without taking a break? Let me know in the comments!

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Cardio Core Workout

Cardio Core WorkoutThe following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of PUMA. All opinions are my own (duh).

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I taught three classes on Saturday and four on Sunday, so it was a megaformer-filled couple of days for me. I’ve found that I absolutely love instructing group fitness and am actually contemplating getting spinning certified this coming weekend so I can expand into different types of exercise and studios. I’ll keep you posted if that happens!

As for today’s routine, I got the chance to try out some new PUMA gear thanks to FitFluential, and put it to the test in this cardio core workout. The first thing I noticed about the Formlite XT Ultra sneakers was how lightweight they are—which I love. The outsole has a funky design of pods and flex grooves to help with dynamic motions and grip, so it’s a good sneaker for a lot of the workouts I post here where you’re jumping around all over the place.

I think the Graphic All Eyes on Me tank and Graphic ¾ Tight are both super cute. They’re comfortable and fit well, and held up great during a sweaty workout. The tank has a really cute cut-out back detailing and I love the ombre color paneling of the leggings. My girls are on the smaller side, so I didn’t find this to be a problem at all, but I should add that the tank’s cut and built-in bra make it super boobielicious (that’s now a word; go with it). I’ve recently noticed this is actually becoming more common in the cut of workout tanks—a lot of the tops I’ve gotten in the past couple months are like whabam! when I put them on (if you catch my drift haha). Again, not an issue with my little chest, but something to be aware of when buying.

Now on to the workout!

Cardio Core Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • Jump rope
  • 6-lb medicine ball
  • Exercise mat

You’ll go through 5 rounds of the following circuit as quickly as you can. Try not to rest; but if you do, take no more than a minute in between rounds.

Cardio Core Workout

  • 20 Reverse Toe Touch to Crunch: Start on your back with feet staight up, perpendicular to the ground, holding a medicine ball in outstretched arms over your head. Bring the ball up towards your toes, crunching your upper back and shoulders off the ground. Lower back down, reaching arms overhead (but not letting the ball come to rest on the ground) and do a reverse crunch, lifting your butt and hips off the ground, pushing feet towards ceiling. Lower back down. That’s one rep.
  • 20 Plank Jump Jacks:Start in a plank position. Jump both feet up towards your hands. Jump them back into plank position. Jump feet apart (like a horizontal jumping jack) and then jump them back together into your starting plank position. That’s one rep.
  • 50 Bicycle Crunches:Lay on back, hands behind head. When you crunch up towards your bent left knee, your right leg should be extended out and not touching the ground. Switch sides, crunching over towards the right with your left leg extended. That’s one rep.
  • 20 Side-to-Side Elbow Plank Hops: Start in a plank position. Jump feet to the left, back to the center, to the right, back to the center. That’s one rep.
  • 60 seconds Jump Rope (two-footed)
  • 60 seconds Jump Rope (high knees)

Cardio Core WorkoutWEARING | sneakers, tank, leggings: c/o Puma

Cheers to a productive Monday! Only five more days until the weekend…

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Dynamic 30-Day Plank Challenge

30-Day Plank ChallengeThis brutal Boston winter has honestly left me feeling a little uninspired when it comes to working out. I’m craving a routine refresh, and one of my favorite ways to do this is to start working towards a specific goal. Now that (fingers crossed!) I think the weather is taking a turn for the warmer, I’m feeling really motivated to switch things up and start working out with a defined purpose in mind. I’ve already decided to start training for another half marathon (more on that to come), and I thought setting up a 30-day plank challenge would be another way to add quick daily goals to my routine.

Dynamic 30-Day Plank Challenge

Dynamic 30-Day Plank ChallengeThere are plank and squat challenges all over the Internet, but I wanted to switch mine up a little bit. Instead of simply holding a plank position for a designated amount of seconds, you’ll do three different plank variations (each for the same length of time. Start on your forearms in an elbow plank, move into a walking plank (forearms to hands, up and down), and then finish in a standard plank on your hands. No breaks in between the three parts! I’ve also included three different levels of difficulty in the challenge so that you have some options when picking your poison.

To clarify, let’s take Day 1 as an example. You’re going to do each of the three moves for 10 seconds. So that’s 30 seconds total. If you’re following the intermediate challenge, you’ll take a 20-second break after your 30-second dynamic plank, and then do it again. If you’re following the advanced challenge, you’ll do a total of 3 rounds, resting for 15 seconds in between each.

Elbow Plank

30-day-plank-challenge-2This is your starting position. Place forearms on the ground with palms facing down, elbows under shoulders. Lift body up, core tight, not letting your back sag or, alternatively, your butt rise too far up.

Walking Plank (Forearms to Hands, Up and Down)

30-day-plank-challenge-3From the elbow plank, you’ll go right into a walking plank. Place one hand at a time underneath your shoulders, bringing body up into a standard plank position, arms straight (think push up position). Return back to elbow plank position, bringing one arm at a time back down onto the forearm. Alternate your lead hand each time you do these.

As you walk your hands up and down, focus on trying to keep your hips level, facing the ground. The less you rock back and forth, the harder your core and arms will have to work—and that’s what we want!

Standard Plank

30-day-plank-challenge-1Finish in a plank position, hands on the floor underneath your shoulders, holding core in tight, not letting your hips sag down or your butt lift too far up. Think of your head down to your heels being in one straight, inclined line.

By the 30th day, you’ll be holding a plank for 4 minutes total—80 sec in each of the three exercises. Yikes! :) Let me know if you guys try it out! I think I’m going to start it when I begin my half marathon training.

UPDATE: One reader suggested we make a hashtag for this plank challenge so everyone can follow the activity on social media–love that! I’m going to give a nod to the Entourage glory days and go with #letsplankitout

Get tagging and planking!

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WEARING | c/o Forever21: sneakers / leggings / bra / tank

I’m wearing head-to-toe Forever21 in these plank pics (courtesy of the awesome people over at F21), and have to say how impressed I am by their activewear selection. The line is on-trend and, as always with Forever21, is unbelievably affordable. My entire outfit—sneakers, leggings, sports bra and tank—sells for $72 total! Definitely browse through their activewear selection next time you want to affordably revamp your workout wardrobe. Lots of their styles come in tons of color variations, making F21 a good option if you need basics, too. If you’re like me, and tend to impulsively buy ridiculous items like neon-leopard-printed-fringed workout leggings, it’s important to have basic, solid-colored tanks to balance out the outfit haha.

I’ve included direct links to each item I’m wearing above (except the sports bra; it’s sold out), and you can also view the whole activewear collection here. The tank is probably my favorite item—I love low-cut sides on muscle tanks and racerbacks because it allows for fun layering with whatever sports bra color/patter you choose.

Have you done a plank challenge before? What’d you think?

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