Deck of Cards Ab Workout

Deck of Cards Ab Workout -- all you need is a towel!Towel + hardwood floor = ghetto Megaformer?? In an attempt to mimic my beloved machine while visiting my parents this holiday, I put together this ab workout using a towel to recreate a couple of my favorite Lagree Fitness exercises.

Deck of Cards Ab Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • Exercise mat
  • Dish towel (if you have carpeted floors, use DVD cases or an overturned Frisbee; if you’re at a gym, use sliders)
  • Deck of cards (you can also use a smartphone app like RipDeck)

In a deck of cards workout, each suit corresponds to an exercise and the number on the card tells you how many reps to complete. Face cards = 10. Aces = 11. Flip the cards over one at a time, completing the given rep-exercise combo, flipping over the next, and continuing until you’ve gone through the entire deck.

Deck of Cards Ab Workout -- all you need is a towel!

HEARTS = Bear – Pike Sliding Plank Combo

Start in a plank position with your feet on a towel. Keeping your hips level with your shoulders, back flat, slide your feet forward, bending your knees in towards your elbows. Slide feet back out, straightening your legs into plank position. Now, keeping your legs straight, pike your hips up into the air, bringing your body into an upside down “v” shape. Try to keep your heels lifted as you do this, sliding on the balls of your feet. Once you hit your peak (if you have tight hamstrings, you may not be able to get your hips up very high—that’s ok!), slowly lower back down into plank position. That combo (1 bear with bent knees + 1 pike with straight legs) = 1 rep.

SPADES = Side Plank Hip + Leg Lifts

Start in a side plank position, right hand stacked under right shoulder. From here, dip your hips down towards the ground and then squeeze your right sidebody to lift them back up to starting position. Next, lift your top, left leg straight up and then back down to starting position. That’s one rep. When you do the leg lift, make sure you’re not letting your hips sag downward—hold ‘em up! Repeat on both sides (so if you draw a 7 of spades, do 7 reps on the right and 7 reps on the left). 

DIAMONDS = Oblique Towel Sliders

Start in a plank position with feet on a towel (or other sliding object). From here, slide both feet up towards the outside of your right hand. Slide back to center and starting plank position, and then repeat in the opposite direction. Once you’ve gone to each side, that’s one rep. As you do these, avoid letting your hips drop—you don’t want to sit on your heels as you slide your feet up to the side. Engage your obliques to keep hips relatively level with shoulder-height the whole time.

CLUBS = V-Up to Full-Body Crunch Combo

Start on your back with arms stretched overhead and legs hovering just slightly above the ground. Pull your abs in tight and press your low back to the ground. You’ll then crunch up, bringing your hands towards your toes (keeping legs and arms straight). When done correctly, your body will make a “v” shape as you crunch; this means you’re not just reaching your arms up, your chest needs to move towards your knees. Lower back down to starting position. Next, go into your full body crunch, bending your knees in as you crunch your chest up to meet them, wrapping your arms around your knees. Extend and lower back down to starting position. That sequence is one rep. If possible, your feet should never touch the ground between moves and reps.

workout outfit-- fabletics, lululemon, cory vines

WEARING | top & leggings: Fabletics // leg warmers: Lululemon // bra: c/o Cory Vines

As an added bonus to this workout, your floors will be beautifully polished by the end… :)

signature


Fabletics.com

Arm (+Core) Workout with Hand Weights

Arm (+Core) Hand Weight WorkoutI get tons of requests for arm workouts, and since this upper body workout using light hand weights was a big hit, I decided to do another. This time, I’m making all the arm exercises a little more dynamic so that you work your core as well. Instead of just doing a shoulder press, you do it while holding a boat pose; instead of just doing a triceps kickback, you do it while in plank. This one is quick (12-18 minutes, depending on the intervals you choose) so it’s great to pair with a cardio workout or to do on days you’re “too busy” to workout.

Arm (+Core) Workout with Hand Weights

Equipment I Used:

  • Set of 5-lb hand weights
  • Set of 8-lb hand weights

As you can see, I used two different weights (light and medium), but you could definitely get away with just using one light pair. I only used the heavier ones for one exercise.

This workout flows from right to left. You’ll start with exercises isolating the right side, move into exercises with both arms, and then end by isolating the left side. You go through that a total of 3 times, taking a 30 to 60-sec rest in between each round (try not to rest between individual exercises; push to make it through the entire sequence before shaking out those arms!).

Your fitness level and the weight of the dumbbells you’re using will determine how long you stay in each exercise. To start, do each exercise for 20 seconds. If you’re more advanced, spend 30 seconds on each exercise. To help you gauge where you should start, when I did this workout using 20-second intervals, I was able to make it through the complete sequence without breaking. When I did it with 30-second intervals, I had to cheat and put my feet down a few times during the boat pose exercises.

Arm (+Core) Hand Weight Workout

RIGHT SIDE (IN PLANK)

  • One-Arm Flys: Start in a plank position with your left hand stacked directly under left shoulder and right hand gripping a hand weight. Hips should be level—fight to keep them this way throughout the exercise (your right hip will want to open up, shifting weight towards the left—don’t let it happen!). From here, squeeze your right shoulder blade in towards your spine as you lift the hand weight up and out laterally, keeping a soft bend in the elbow. Pause at the top and then slowly return right arm down to starting position.
  • Triceps Kickbacks: In a plank position, have left hand stacked directly under left shoulder, right hand holding onto a hand weight, elbow bent. Keeping your hips level as you do this (fight your body’s natural tendency to shift all the weight into your left side), extend your right hand straight back behind you, really squeezing the back of the arm (triceps) as you do. Hinging at the elbow, bring the weight slowly back to starting position. This is the one exercise I used an 8-lb weight with instead of 5.
  • Serve the Platter: In a plank position, keep left hand stacked directly under left shoulder, right hand holding onto a hand weight, palm facing up, elbow softly bent. From here, keeping your hips level (resist your body’s tendency to lean into that left side), reach that right hand forward, getting as close to a straight arm as you can. Slowly return to starting position.
  • Push Ups: Use both arms for these! If you need to modify, drop down to your knees.

BOTH ARMS (IN BOAT POSE)

All the following exercises are down while holding a boat pose. For boat pose, you balance on your tailbone, leaning back slightly, legs and upper body lifted in a “v” shape. To do this, engage your core (I think of trying to squeeze my belly button and spine together). I keep my knees bent in boat with shins parallel to the ground (except for during shapers), but if you’re more advanced, you can try keeping them straight the entire time.

  • Shoulder Press: Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, press your hands up overhead, bringing weights together above your head. Lower back down, but only so far as brings your elbows back to shoulder height. Don’t let them dip down lower than that. As you do these, be careful not to shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Shoulder Shapers: Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, maintaining those 90-degree bends, bring your forearms and hand weights together in front of your face. Return back out to goal post position. Elbows should stay at shoulder height the entire time. As we do these, we’re going to bend and extend our legs in boat pose so that it almost feels like a crunch. When arms are out wide, legs straighten, when forearms come in together, bend the knees, pulling them in slightly towards your chest.
  • Arm Circles: Extend your arms straight out to the side, a weight in each hand. Keeping arms straight, trace small, controlled circles with your hands, not letting your hands fall below shoulder height. Each round, alternate the direction in which you trace those circles.
  • Crossbody Punches: These are pretty self-explanatory: twist and punch! With a weight in each hand, start by holding them in towards your chest. From here, punch the right hand across your body, twisting your torso to the left along with it. Alternate, doing the same thing with the left hand. These should be quick—punch, punch, punch!

LEFT SIDE (IN PLANK)

Repeat sequence you did on the right.

You will go through the entire sequence (right side, both, left side) three times. If you choose to stay in each exercise for 20 seconds, this workout will take you 12 minutes (plus a couple breaks). If you shoot for 30 seconds, it’ll take you 18 minutes + breaks.

Arm (+Core) Hand Weight Workout

WEARING | tank: Nasty Gal // leggings: c/o Puma // strappy-back sports bra: c/o Cory Vines // sneakers: Nike

Happy hump day!signature

Core Couch Workout

Core Interval Workout for the CouchI swear I’m not purposely being gimmicky with this workout. The other week I just really wanted to do a quick core workout while watching Netflix on my couch. Don’t judge me—you try teaching six megaformer classes in a day with the first starting at 6AM and the last ending at 8:15PM. Trust me, you’d want to workout on your couch, too.

It was perfect for doing at the end of a long day: challenging without being sweaty, and pretty mindless if you set an interval timer to beep at you when it’s time to switch it up.

Core Couch Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • 6-lb medicine ball (you can use any weight, dumbbell or just your bodyweight)
  • Gymboss Interval Timer
  • My couch (a stepper or bench would work, too)

Set an interval timer for 18 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the following circuit of exercises 2 times. In total this workout will take you 12 minutes. Want it to be more challenging? Go through for a third round.

Core Interval Workout for the Couch

  • Suitcase Crunch: Start by laying on the floor, butt up against the couch, knees bent and calves resting on the seat of the couch. With a weight in your hands (I used a med ball but you can really use anything—or nothing) overhead, you’re going to crunch your torso up off the ground, bringing the weight forward and tapping your shins with it before slowly lowering down to your starting position.
  • Suitcase Crunch Hold: In the same position as the previous exercise, crunch up, torso lifted off the ground, and bring the weight in front of you so that it’s just hovering over your shins (don’t rest it on them). Hold this position for the 30 seconds.
  • Reptile Incline Plank: Start in a plank position with your feet on the couch and hands on the floor, stacked directly underneath your shoulders. From here, crunch your right knee up towards your right shoulder. Bring your foot back to starting position and repeat with the left knee. Continue to alternate sides, crunching those obliques while holding a plank.
  • Straight-Back Seated Leg Hold: This isometric hold is so much more challenging than it looks (for me anyway). I admittedly can’t hold it for 30 seconds straight and have to tap my feet down to the floor for a quick breather every 10 seconds or so. Sit on the floor with your back flat against the couch. With your fingertips tented on the floor for support, contract your lower abdomen and lift your feet off the floor, knees softly bent. Hold your feet hovering off the ground with back straight against the couch for the 30-second interval, taking as few breaks as possible.
  • Side Plank Bottom Leg Lifts (RIGHT): Start in a side plank position with your right hand on the floor underneath your shoulder and your left foot on the edge of the couch. Your bottom right leg should be free to move. From here, you’re just going to pulse your right leg down and up, never letting it come fully to rest on the floor (or couch).
  • Side Plank Top Leg Crunches (RIGHT): Stat in a side plank position with your right hand on the floor underneath your shoulder and feet on the couch. From here, you’re going to crunch your top left knee in towards your left elbow, squeezing that left sidebody while also engaging the right oblique to keep hips lifted and level in that plank position.
  • Side Plank Bottom Leg Lifts (LEFT)
  • Side Plank Top Leg Crunches (LEFT)
  • Reverse Plank: This is a plank, only belly-side up. With feet on the couch and hands underneath your shoulders, engage your glutes and back to lift your body up into a straight plank position. Hold position for the whole 30 seconds, being careful not to let that butt start to drop down towards the floor—hold it up! 

Core Interval Workout for the CouchWEARING | tank: c/o Cozy Orange // leggings: c/o Champion

The tank I’m wearing in today’s workout is another piece gifted to me by Cozy Orange. The material is so comfortable, and I love the back strappy detailing. Usually if I have a tank with cups in the bra, I immediately rip them out and throw them away (I’m weird and like looking as flat-chested as humanly possible), but I actually kept them in this top—I like the added oomph for once. :)

signature