3 Moves For Flat Abs by Halloween

3 Moves For Flat Abs by Halloween

With Halloween parties on the way| it’s time to get (or keep) those abs in tip-top shape! The next time you hit the gym or go to stretch after a workout| bring these three ab exercises to your usual routine. This combination doesn’t take very long| nor does it require equipment (commercial break activity| anyone?)| but the combination of the three will tighten and tone your tummy in no time| so you can rock that costume or LBD with confidence.

| Russian Twist

Russian twists are a great way to tone your abs| especially your obliques. You can do them without equipment| but for quicker results| try holding a dumbbell or adding a medicine ball at chest height. Watch this video for a few Russian twist variations| or follow these steps:

  • Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot from your bum.
  • Lean slightly back without rounding your spine at all. It is really important| and difficult| to keep your back straight| so don’t let it curve.
  • Place your arms straight out in front of you with your hands holding either side of the dumbbell. Your hands should be level with the bottom of your ribcage.
  • Pull your navel to your spine| and twist slowly to the left. The movement is not large and comes from the ribs rotating| not from your arms swinging. Inhale through center| and rotate to the right. This completes one rep. Lift your feet off the ground for a more advanced variation.
  • Do 16 full rotations.

Related: A Lazy-Girl Workout You’ll Love

| Toe Touches

If you often do traditional crunches| try bumping up the intensity with toe touches. The challenge here is trying not to bend your knees to fully target your upper abs. Follow these easy steps:

  • Lie on your back on the floor. Raise your arms to your ears or directly above your chest.
  • Without lifting your hips from the ground| raise your legs| holding them there throughout the set.
  • Use your abs to slowly curl your shoulders off the ground| bringing your fingertips to your toes. Now slowly lower your shoulders to the ground| pausing at the starting position to complete one rep. Don’t use your neck as momentum to make the motion.
  • Do 20 reps.

| Elbow Plank

A traditional elbow plank offers total-body tone and is a great way to target your entire middle. There are many variations to challenge your plank| but first master the basic elbow plank following these steps:

  • Start on the floor resting on your forearms and knees.
  • Step your feet out one at a time| coming into a plank position.
  • Contract your abs to prevent your booty from sticking up or sinking. Your spine should be parallel to the floor| with your abs pulling toward the ceiling.
  • Hold for 30 seconds; work your way up to one minute as you build strength.

Related: The Ultimate List of the Best Bodyweight Exercises

2 Ways to a Better Butt: Hilly Treadmill Walk-Run

Our Better-Butt Challenge has 21 days of workouts to help you take your butt from flat to full. In the end, you’ll have a tighter, stronger backside. Today is all about cardio! Be sure to check back tomorrow when we share the next workout of this three-week plan.

It’s time to hop on the treadmill; not only will today’s workouts help build a strong, shapely backside, but a dose of cardio will burn calories and melt away fat to help show off all that tone. Today, choose from two workouts depending on your running skill ¡ª a hilly treadmill run or a slower walk on higher inclines.

Rolling Hills

This rolling hills workout works your backside while burning major calories, too.

Time Speed/MPH Incline

0:00-5:005.01.05:00-8:006:51.08:00-13:006.03.013:00-15:006.51.015:00-18:006.04.018:00-20:006.51.020:00-23:006.05.023:00-25:006.51.025:00-28:006.03.028:00-30:006.51.030:00-33:006.05.033:00-38:005.01.0

Walking Hike

Not a runner? Try this walking treadmill workout that will ensure you feel the burn.

Time Speed Incline

0:00¨C5:003.02.05:00¨C8:003.54.08:00¨C11:004.05.011:00¨C16:004.58.016:00¨C21:004.010.021:00¨C26:004.58.026:00¨C31:004.510.031:00¨C34:004.08.034:00¨C37:003.510.037:00¨C40:003.55.040:00¨C45:003.02.0

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

2 Ways to a Better Butt: Hilly Treadmill Walk-Run

Our Better-Butt Challenge has 21 days of workouts to help you take your butt from flat to full. In the end| you’ll have a tighter| stronger backside. Today is all about cardio! Be sure to check back tomorrow when we share the next workout of this three-week plan.

It’s time to hop on the treadmill; not only will today’s workouts help build a strong| shapely backside| but a dose of cardio will burn calories and melt away fat to help show off all that tone. Today| choose from two workouts depending on your running skill ¡ª a hilly treadmill run or a slower walk on higher inclines.

Rolling Hills

This rolling hills workout works your backside while burning major calories| too.

Time Speed/MPH Incline

0:00-5:005.01.05:00-8:006:51.08:00-13:006.03.013:00-15:006.51.015:00-18:006.04.018:00-20:006.51.020:00-23:006.05.023:00-25:006.51.025:00-28:006.03.028:00-30:006.51.030:00-33:006.05.033:00-38:005.01.0

Walking Hike

Not a runner? Try this walking treadmill workout that will ensure you feel the burn.

Time Speed Incline

0:00C5:003.02.05:00C8:003.54.08:00C11:004.05.011:00C16:004.58.016:00C21:004.010.021:00C26:004.58.026:00C31:004.510.031:00C34:004.08.034:00C37:003.510.037:00C40:003.55.040:00C45:003.02.0

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

Intensify Your Push-Ups For a Natural Breast Lift

The push-up. It’s a classic calisthenic exercise with so many benefits! It works your arms| chest| and core like no other bodyweight move. And working your pecs| the muscle directly under your breasts| gives the area a bit of lift. And who doesn’t want to fight effects of gravity? You can change your hand positions to focus the work on different muscles| but if you want to truly challenge your pecs| try elevating your feet.

Related: 12 Ways to Push Your Push-Ups

I like to put my feet on a bench| or sturdy chair| that puts my shoulders and hips in one line| perpendicular to the floor. The higher your feet| the harder the push-up.

Start in a plank position with your feet on a weight bench| park bench| or sturdy chair. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders.Pull your abs in and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your core. Inhale and bend your elbows to lower your head toward the floor; exhale| pulling navel to the spine| and straighten your arms| returning to plank.For an even more intense challenge| place your feet on an exercise ball. The instability of the ball will challenge your core even more.

Related: The Intense Push-Up Variation That’ll Change the Way Your Abs Look

This variation is challenging| but push yourself to try to do as many elevated push-ups in a set as you do with your feet flat on the floor. But in pushing yourself| do not sacrifice your form. If you start sagging in your low back| take a break.

Related: This Push-Up Challenge Will Make You Insanely Stronger in 30 Days

Image Source: Megan Wolfe Photography

Intensify Your Push-Ups For a Natural Breast Lift

The push-up. It’s a classic calisthenic exercise with so many benefits! It works your arms, chest, and core like no other bodyweight move. And working your pecs, the muscle directly under your breasts, gives the area a bit of lift. And who doesn’t want to fight effects of gravity? You can change your hand positions to focus the work on different muscles, but if you want to truly challenge your pecs, try elevating your feet.

Related: 12 Ways to Push Your Push-Ups

I like to put my feet on a bench, or sturdy chair, that puts my shoulders and hips in one line, perpendicular to the floor. The higher your feet, the harder the push-up.

Start in a plank position with your feet on a weight bench, park bench, or sturdy chair. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders.Pull your abs in and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your core. Inhale and bend your elbows to lower your head toward the floor; exhale, pulling navel to the spine, and straighten your arms, returning to plank.For an even more intense challenge, place your feet on an exercise ball. The instability of the ball will challenge your core even more.

Related: The Intense Push-Up Variation That’ll Change the Way Your Abs Look

This variation is challenging, but push yourself to try to do as many elevated push-ups in a set as you do with your feet flat on the floor. But in pushing yourself, do not sacrifice your form. If you start sagging in your low back, take a break.

Related: This Push-Up Challenge Will Make You Insanely Stronger in 30 Days

Image Source: Megan Wolfe Photography

Today’s Better-Butt Challenge Workout: Boost Your Backside With Weights

Today’s Better-Butt Challenge Workout: Boost Your Backside With Weights

Our Better-Butt Challenge has 21 days of workouts to help you take your butt from flat to full. In the end| you’ll have a tighter| stronger backside. Be sure to check back tomorrow when we share the next workout of this three-week plan.

This quick and effective workout will build butt muscle while working your entire body. Adding dumbbells means extra work for your glutes| and that extra work is what builds the muscle. Grab a pair of dumbbells between five and 15 pounds.

Directions: After warming up with five minutes of light cardio| do each three-move circuit twice. End with three minutes of stretching to cool down.

Week one| day one: eight reps of each exercise
Week two| day eight: 10 reps of each exercise
Week three| day 15: 12 reps of each exercise

This workout is around 25 minutes long| including warmup and cooldown.

| Circuit One: Goblet Squat

  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width with toes pointed slightly out. Hold your dumbbell at chest level with both hands. Keeping your back flat| push your hips back| bend your knees| and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your elbows touch your knees.
  • With your weight focused in your heels| push yourself up to the starting position to complete one rep.

| Circuit One: Side Lunge to Curtsy Squat

  • Holding a dumbbell at your chest with both hands| step your left foot out to the left side| coming into a lateral lunge and bending your left knee. Transfer the dumbbell into your right hand| and bring it toward your left foot while keeping your chest lifted u2014u00a0this will make the glutes engage more.
  • Push off with your left foot| and cross the left leg behind your right coming into a curtsy| bending both knees while bringing the dumbbell back to your chest. This completes one rep. Finish all your reps on this side before switching and stepping out to the right.

| Circuit One: Bridge With Chest Press

  • Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart| holding weights by your chest.
  • Squeeze your glutes as you push your pelvis toward the ceiling| coming into a bridge. Keep your ribs aligned with your pelvis.
  • Holding the bridge| press the weights to the ceiling directly above your shoulders.
  • Lower the weights back to your shoulders| then lower your pelvis down to the mat to complete one rep.

| Circuit Two: Single-Leg Toe Touch

  • Holding a dumbbell in your left hand| stand on your left leg with your right foot lifted.
  • Keeping your back flat| bend your left knee while bending forward at your hips to lightly touch the dumbbell to the ground. Keep your right knee bent and your right leg close to your body.
  • Push through your left heel and return to the starting position to complete one rep. Try to keep your right foot off the ground as you complete all your reps on the left| then switch sides.

| Circuit Two: Split Squat With Overhead Press

  • Holding the weights at your shoulders with your palms facing out| step backward about three feet with your left foot. Press the weights up to the ceiling.
  • Lower the weights to your shoulders as you bend your knees| making 90-degree angles with both legs.
  • Straighten both legs as you press the weights back toward the ceiling. This completes one rep.

Today’s Better-Butt Challenge Workout: Boost Your Backside With Weights

Today’s Better-Butt Challenge Workout: Boost Your Backside With Weights

Our Better-Butt Challenge has 21 days of workouts to help you take your butt from flat to full. In the end, you’ll have a tighter, stronger backside. Be sure to check back tomorrow when we share the next workout of this three-week plan.

This quick and effective workout will build butt muscle while working your entire body. Adding dumbbells means extra work for your glutes, and that extra work is what builds the muscle. Grab a pair of dumbbells between five and 15 pounds.

Directions: After warming up with five minutes of light cardio, do each three-move circuit twice. End with three minutes of stretching to cool down.

Week one, day one: eight reps of each exercise
Week two, day eight: 10 reps of each exercise
Week three, day 15: 12 reps of each exercise

This workout is around 25 minutes long, including warmup and cooldown.

| Circuit One: Goblet Squat

  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width with toes pointed slightly out. Hold your dumbbell at chest level with both hands. Keeping your back flat, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your elbows touch your knees.
  • With your weight focused in your heels, push yourself up to the starting position to complete one rep.

| Circuit One: Side Lunge to Curtsy Squat

  • Holding a dumbbell at your chest with both hands, step your left foot out to the left side, coming into a lateral lunge and bending your left knee. Transfer the dumbbell into your right hand, and bring it toward your left foot while keeping your chest lifted u2014u00a0this will make the glutes engage more.
  • Push off with your left foot, and cross the left leg behind your right coming into a curtsy, bending both knees while bringing the dumbbell back to your chest. This completes one rep. Finish all your reps on this side before switching and stepping out to the right.

| Circuit One: Bridge With Chest Press

  • Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart, holding weights by your chest.
  • Squeeze your glutes as you push your pelvis toward the ceiling, coming into a bridge. Keep your ribs aligned with your pelvis.
  • Holding the bridge, press the weights to the ceiling directly above your shoulders.
  • Lower the weights back to your shoulders, then lower your pelvis down to the mat to complete one rep.

| Circuit Two: Single-Leg Toe Touch

  • Holding a dumbbell in your left hand, stand on your left leg with your right foot lifted.
  • Keeping your back flat, bend your left knee while bending forward at your hips to lightly touch the dumbbell to the ground. Keep your right knee bent and your right leg close to your body.
  • Push through your left heel and return to the starting position to complete one rep. Try to keep your right foot off the ground as you complete all your reps on the left, then switch sides.

| Circuit Two: Split Squat With Overhead Press

  • Holding the weights at your shoulders with your palms facing out, step backward about three feet with your left foot. Press the weights up to the ceiling.
  • Lower the weights to your shoulders as you bend your knees, making 90-degree angles with both legs.
  • Straighten both legs as you press the weights back toward the ceiling. This completes one rep.

Cool Down, Stretch Out: The Postrun Yoga Sequence You Need

Cool Down| Stretch Out: The Postrun Yoga Sequence You Need

After a tough run| this yoga sequence is the perfect way to cool down. By targeting the legs| lower back| and hips| these poses stretch all the areas that need special attention after running. And since the muscles are already warmed up| it’s the primetime to work on extending flexibility.

| Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog lays a strong| active foundation for the rest of your practice:

  • Begin on your hands and knees; your wrists should be underneath your shoulders| and your knees should be underneath your hips.
  • Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips| coming into an upside down “V”” shape called Downward Facing Dog.
  • Spread your fingers wide and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths.
  • Traditionally| this pose is done during Sun Salutation A| so you can also come into it from Upward Facing Dog.

| Warrior 1

Warrior 1 will give a big stretch to your hip flexors:

  • From Downward Facing Dog| step your left foot forward between your hands. Turn your right heel in| press into your feet| and lift your torso up. You want your left foot to be slightly to the right of the center of your mat (not directly in front of your right heel).
  • Once your hips are square| lift your arms up| and press your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down towards your hips and gaze up toward your hands.
  • Stay here for five breaths. Then come back to Downward Facing Dog| step your right foot forward and do Warrior 1 on the other side| and come back to Downward Dog.

| Sugar Cane

Sugarcane Pose is an essential asana for any runner who needs to give her legs and back a little love:

  • After you’ve completed Warrior 1 on both sides| you’ll be in Downward Facing Dog.
  • From here| step your left foot forward between your hands| and float into Half Moon Pose with your left hand planted firmly on the floor and your right leg lifted in the air. Stay for a few breaths to relax into the posture.
  • On your inhale| bend your right leg in toward your chest. On the exhale| reach back for your right foot with your right arm. Your right hand will catch the top of your right foot.
  • Once you’ve got a firm grip and you’re stabilized in the pose| imagine you’re kicking back. Press the top of your right foot into your right.
  • Hold for five breaths before releasing the right foot back into Half Moon Pose. Return the foot to the floor| and try it on the other side.

| Wide-Legged Forward Bend C

Wide-Legged Forward Bend C is a perfect pose to alleviate any stress in the back of your body. After any tough cardio| your legs will appreciate this posture:

  • From Sugarcane Pose| come back to standing. Stand with your feet three to four feet apart| turning heels out slightly wider than toes.
  • Bring your arms behind your back| clasping your fingers and pressing the heels of your palms together in a fist.
  • Fold forward| hinging at your hips| drawing the crown of your head and your hands toward the floor. Relax your toes| and try to shift the weight of your hips forward so they’re in line with your feet.
  • Stay here for five deep breaths. Then press into your feet| engage your quads| and inhale as you stand up.

| Hero Pose

Hero Pose is a contemplative posture that really stretches your quadriceps:

  • From Wide-Legged Forward Bend C| come to kneel on your mat with your knees together. Separate your feet| so you can sit down on the ground in between them.
  • Use your hands to roll your calves away from your thighs. Curl the arches of your feet around the curve of your bum| so your toes are pointing behind you and slightly toward one another.
  • Rest your hands on your thighs| press your palms together in front of your chest| or raise your hands overhead. Stay here for five deep breaths.

| Butterfly

Butterfly Pose opens up the back and inner thighs:

  • From Hero Pose| sit on your bottom. Bend both knees| and bring your feet together.
  • Using your hands| open your feet up like a book| pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch| then extend your arms out in front of you.
  • Stay here for five breaths.

| Legs Up the Wall

Tight legs and stiff lower backs will find comfort in this simple but important posture| Legs Up the Wall:

  • After Butterfly Pose| grab your mat| and move it toward the closest wall.
  • Sit sideways| and position yourself a few inches away from a wall. On your exhale| swing your hips 90 degrees to bring legs up the wall.
  • Allow your shoulders and head to rest lightly on the floor| relax your arms at your sides| and close your eyes.
  • Keep your legs firm against the wall| but don’t force anything in this pose. If it feels uncomfortable on your lower back| then move a few more inches away from the wall.

Skip the Inner-Thigh Machine With 3 Equipment-Free Moves

Skip the Inner-Thigh Machine With 3 Equipment-Free Moves

Don’t waste precious time squeezing your legs together on the boring adductor machine. Instead| opt for these three effective exercises that require no equipment whatsoever.

| Pilates Side-Lying Leg Lifts

This Pilates move will help tighten and tone your inner thighs:

  • Lying on your side| lengthen your bottom leg| and cross your top leg over it. Rest either your knee or your foot on the floor. Prop your head up with your hand| or rest your head on your arm.
  • As you exhale| lift your bottom leg up| and inhale as you lower it back down. Your torso should stay still while you do this.
  • Do as many reps on one side as you can for 30 seconds| and then repeat on the other side for an additional 30 seconds.

| Sumo Squat With Side Arm Raises

Forget the weights| and focus on your form with this leg-sculpting move. You’ll feel the burn with this one!

  • Stand with legs wide and toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Bend down until your knees are over your ankles; raise your arms to just below shoulder height.
  • Straighten your legs| and lower your arms simultaneously.
  • Complete three sets of 15 reps.

| Gate Swings

Add a plyometric jump to bring a boost of cardio to this energizing and tough inner-thigh exercise.

  • Start with your feet in a wide| second-position stance with your toes pointed slightly outward. Bend your knees| and lower into a squat| using your hands to help push your knees wide apart to deepen the inner-thigh stretch.
  • Push off your knees to get leverage| and jump your right leg in front of your left| landing in a standing “cross-legged”” stance.
  • Immediately jump your legs back out to a wide squat with your hands at your knees.
  • Push off your knees| and jump your legs together| crossing your left leg in front of your right.
  • Repeat as many times as possible for at least 40 seconds.

After an Intense Butt Workout, Do This 10-Minute Yoga Sequence

After an Intense Butt Workout, Do This 10-Minute Yoga Sequence

Our Better-Butt Challenge has 21 days of workouts to help you take your butt from flat to full. In the end, you’ll have a tighter, stronger backside. Be sure to check back tomorrow when we share the next workout of this three-week plan.

After all those squats and lunges to get a bounce-quarters-off-your-buns butt, here’s a relaxing and essential yoga sequence to stretch out the quads, hips, hamstrings, and lower back. After moving through the seven-sequence flow, repeat again on the other side.

| Reclining Hero

This must-do quad stretch will feel so good after all those squats.

  • Begin sitting in between the heels with both knees bent. If this is too much, place a block under your tush.
  • If your butt is on the floor, intensify the stretch by walking your hands behind you, lying all the way down, with the arms extended above your head.
  • Enjoy this stretch for five deep breaths.

| Open Lizard

This variation of Lizard pose will open a different part of your hip, as well as offer a nice stretch for the hip flexor.

  • From Reclining Hero, sit up and come into a low lunge position with the right knee bent in front, and the left leg extended behind you, knee resting on the mat.
  • Slowly lower your right knee to the right, so you’re resting on the outside of your right flexed foot. Keep your arms straight, pressing your chest forward to help encourage your hips to sink lower.
  • Gaze forward, and enjoy this pose for five breaths.

| Head to Knee

This classic pose will target the hamstrings and hips.

  • From Open Lizard, step your left leg forward and press the sole of your right foot against your left inner thigh.
  • Fold over your left leg, resting your hands on the floor on either side of your leg, on your shin, or wrap your hands around your left foot.
  • Stay here for five breaths.

| Seated Spinal Twist

This pose targets the oh-so-tight piriformis muscle.

  • From Head to Knee, bend your left knee, cross your right foot over your left knee, and plant it on the floor so your outer right ankle is next to your left knee.
  • Reach your right arm behind you, and place your palm on the floor. Cross your left elbow over your outer right thigh to gently increase the twist.
  • Gaze behind you and over your right shoulder, staying here for five breaths.

| Figure Four

This relaxing variation of Pigeon really targets the outer hip and glute muscles.

  • From Seated Spinal Twist, keep the knees in the same position as you roll down onto your back with both legs in the air. Keep your right ankle on your left thigh above your knee.
  • Reach your right hand through the open space created by your right leg and grab your left hand, which is reaching around the outside of your left thigh. Slowly bend your left knee toward your chest.
  • Hold for five breaths.

| Reclining Straddle

Here’s another stretch for the hamstrings that will also target the lower back.

  • From Figure Four, release hold of the left knee. Grab onto the big toes and straighten your legs out as wide as you can.
  • Keep your head and shoulders relaxed on the floor, enjoying this stretch for five deep breaths.

| Half Wheel

Backbends always feel good, and this one also stretches the hamstrings and the upper neck.

  • From Reclining Straddle, release the toes and bend your knees, placing your heels as close as you can to your bum.
  • With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground, lift your hips up. Keep your palms on the mat or clasp your hands together below your pelvis, extending through your arms. Or you can also bend your elbows and rest your hands on your lower back (as shown). If your feet are close enough, you can also hold your ankles.
  • Stay here for five deep breaths, lifting your hips up as high as you can.

| Happy Baby

This calming hip opener offers one of the best stretches for the hips and lower back.

  • Begin lying flat on your back. Bend both knees, and hold the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands.
  • Gently use your upper-body strength to equally press both knees to the floor below your armpits. Try not to tense your shoulders or chest, but keep everything relaxed.
  • Stay here for five deep breaths.
  • Sit up and repeat this entire sequence on the other side.