Tone Your Entire Body With This 1 Move

Tone Your Entire Body With This 1 Move

Short on time? Don’t skip the strength-training session u2014 get playful with the plank! By doing multitasking variations of this basic move| you can target your arms| back| core| legs| and booty to chisel out a stronger| more toned you.

| Plank Jacks

Take your jumping jacks to the floor for this plank variation that not only works your arms| core| and lower body| it’ll also get your heart pumping.

  • Begin in plank position with your feet together. Keep your upper body stable and engage your abs.
  • Begin doing jumping jacks with your legs. Hop them wide| then hop them together. Jump as quickly as you want.
  • Do a total of 30 jumping jacks| which counts as one set. Then complete two more sets.

| Two-Point Plank

This exercise might remind you of the quadruped (a crunchless ab exercise) on crack. It’s superhard| but the payoff is a stable torso.

  • Start in a plank position. Cheat your right leg toward your center line| and lift your left leg off the ground so your heel is even with your pelvis.
  • Keeping your torso steady| reach your right arm forward. Really brace through the abs by pulling your navel to your spine. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  • Keeping your torso stable| bring your right elbow to your left knee under your body. Do not round your back or twist your spine| and keep your pelvis down. Then reach the arm and leg out and away from each other. This counts as one rep.
  • Do three sets of five to seven reps on each side.

| Elbow Plank

This is a killer move for your core| legs| and upper body. When holding elbow plank| be sure your shoulders are stacked over your elbows and your body is in one straight line.

  • 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 30 seconds| and work your way up to one minute as you get stronger.

| Elbow Plank With Donkey Kick

Elbow plank is tough enough| but make it even more challenging by adding a booty-strengthening donkey kick.

  • From elbow plank position| bend your right knee| flex your heel| and press your foot up toward the ceiling without moving your pelvis. Lower the bent leg slightly| and repeat for a total of 15 to 20 repetitions. Then switch sides. Do three sets on each leg.

| Up-Down Plank

Strengthen your arms| upper back| and core with this challenging exercise called up-down plank.

  • Come into plank position with your arms and legs straight.
  • Beginning with the right side first| lower your elbow to the floor where your hand was. Then lower your left elbow to the floor where your left hand was (now you are in elbow plank| with your forearms parallel).
  • Then come back into the starting plank position onto your right hand and then back onto your left. This completes one rep.
  • Perform 10 reps starting with your right elbow. Then reverse directions by bringing your left elbow down first for an additional 10 reps.

| Side Plank Leg Lift

This variation of plank called side plank leg lift targets your shoulders| waist| abs| back| outer thighs| and glutes.

  • Place your right elbow on the ground. Extend both legs out so that your body is in one straight line and you’re balancing on the outside edge of your right foot.
  • Flex both feet if you can| and either rest your top hand on your upper hip or extend it in the air. Keeping your spine lengthened and your abs engaged| lift your left leg up just higher than your top hip. Then slowly lower it back to your bottom leg.
  • Do three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.

| Easy Knee-Tuck Crunches

Capitalize on the instability of an exercise ball| and try the tuck crunch. This move strengthens your core while toning your arms| chest| shoulders| and lower abs.

  • Get into a plank with your shins on the ball.
  • Pull your knees toward your chest| and then shoot your legs back out. Keep your body in a plank position the entire time.
  • Do three sets of 15 to 20 crunches.

| Reverse Plank

This yoga-inspired tabletop lift will tone your triceps| quads| glutes| and abs using a reverse-plank variation.

  • Start in a tabletop position. Inhale and| as you exhale| lower your hips and straighten your legs so your hips are hovering above the floor. To make this move more challenging| hold each position longer.
  • Do three sets of 15 to 20 reps| flowing from one to the other| pivoting on your hands and heels.

| Reverse Plank With Leg Lift

Try this variation of the reverse plank to target your shoulders| legs| and abs.

  • Begin sitting on your tush with your legs straight. Bring your palms a few inches behind you| fingertips facing the toes.
  • Press into your feet and lift your bum off the ground. Try to keep your body in one diagonal line. You can also do this exercise on your elbows if it bothers your wrists.
  • Alternate between lifting your right leg up and then your left. Move with control| making the movements slow and steady| and keeping the hips lifted.
  • Complete three sets of 15 to 20 lifts on each leg.

| Circling Plank

Grab an exercise ball for this move that tones your upper body and your lower abs.

  • Begin in an Elbow Plank with your forearms resting on the top of a ball.
  • Keeping your core strong and your body still| use your arms to roll the ball in small counterclockwise circles.
  • Do five circles in this direction and five clockwise. This counts as one set.
  • Complete three sets.

| Plank Row

Add some rowing action to your plank to target not only your arms and back| but your core and glutes too. Talk about a full-body exercise!

  • Start in a plank position with your legs wider than hip distance; the wider stance makes you more stable. Hold onto your dumbbells| keeping your wrist locked to protect the joint.
  • With your core tight and your glutes engaged| exhale| stabilizing your torso as you lift your left elbow to row; feel your left shoulder blade sliding toward your spine as you bend your elbow up toward the ceiling.
  • Keeping your neck long and energized| return the weight to the ground| and repeat the movement on your right side.
  • Do 10 reps per arm| and repeat for three sets.

| Side Elbow Plank With a Twist

Adding a twist to a side plank challenges your balance| works your obliques| and tones your shoulders!

  • Come into a side elbow plank on your right side| with your feet stacked one on top of the other. Keep your weight on your right elbow with your fingers reaching away from your body.
  • Place your left arm behind your head| and inhale to prepare.
  • Exhale| and pull your navel to your spine| engaging your deep abs. Rotate your left ribcage toward the floor. Stay there for a second| and deepen your abdominal connection by pulling your navel in toward your spine even more.
  • Return to the starting position| and repeat seven more times for a total of eight reps| then switch sides. Repeat series again on your left side.

| Plank With Lateral Arm Reach

With this plank variety| balance and control are key. It’s definitely a move that will have you feeling the burn.

  • Start in a plank position.
  • Keeping your torso stable| slowly reach your left arm out to your side. Brace through the abs by pulling your navel to your spine. Hold this position for five seconds. If you feel too unstable| try moving your right hand so it is under the center of your chest rather than under shoulder right shoulder.
  • Keeping your torso stable| bring your arm back to the plank position. Do not round your back or twist your spine.
  • Repeat this same motion on the other side| extending your right arm to your side.This counts as one rep.
  • Do three sets of five to seven reps.

| Plank Side Walk

For shapely deltoids| take your plank for a sideways walk with this move that’ll target the core as well as the upper body.

  • Begin in plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders| body in one straight line.
  • Simultaneously cross your right hand over your left| as you step your left foot to the left. Then simultaneously step your left hand and right foot to the left| so you’re back in plank position. Your hands move together as your feet step apart.
  • Repeat this for five steps to the left| and five steps to the right to complete a rep. Be sure to keep the hips low as you move| drawing the navel toward the spine.
  • Repeat four more more times for a total of five reps.

| Side-Plank Crunch

We love how this move targets the entire side of the body.

  • Begin in a side elbow plank with your left elbow down and your right hand behind your head.
  • Keeping your torso stable and your waist lifted| bring your right leg up toward your shoulder to lightly tap your right elbow.
  • Lengthen your right leg back to the starting position to complete one rep.
  • Do 10 reps on each side to complete a set. Do three complete sets.

You Can Have a Stronger, Flatter Belly Using This 1 Move

Let’s face it: getting a stronger, leaner core only comes from putting the time in at the gym and eating right. But what if you could put in the effort and it wasn’t any harder than sucking in your gut? Got your attention? We thought so! It’s time to try out the stomach vacuum.

First things first: what is a stomach vacuum? Simply put, it’s the act of pulling in your abdominal muscles in very much the same way as you do when you suck in your tummy to zip up your favorite jeans. But before you think all you have to do is suck in your gut, think again. This isn’t just about breathing in and allowing your tummy to come inward. Rather, this is about contracting your abdominal muscles to actively bring your belly toward your spine.

Your best bet for results is to pull your abs inward and brace them as though you’re about to be punched. But you can also keep your abs drawn in while doing a crunch, working all the layers of your abs simultaneously with the deep abs (transversus) pulling the abdomen in and then superficial muscles (rectus) contracting to perform the crunch.

According to certified personal trainer Brian Pankau, “The vacuum is an isometric exercise that isolates the muscles that lie underneath the external abs and obliques, which are often neglected. Increasing the intensity placed on these underlying muscles could assist a person with flattening their stomach and defining their abs and obliques better. Another benefit is increasing maximum output during power lifts.”

If you want science to help you get in the gym and get the job done, then look no further than the research published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning and the Archives of Physical Medical Rehabilitation. Both outline how the abs are harnessed by such a maneuver. They also make note of the fact that this sort of exercise helps strengthen your back and alleviates lower back pain. Sounds like a win-win to us.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/Ericka McConnell

You Can Have a Stronger, Flatter Belly Using This 1 Move

Let’s face it: getting a stronger| leaner core only comes from putting the time in at the gym and eating right. But what if you could put in the effort and it wasn’t any harder than sucking in your gut? Got your attention? We thought so! It’s time to try out the stomach vacuum.

First things first: what is a stomach vacuum? Simply put| it’s the act of pulling in your abdominal muscles in very much the same way as you do when you suck in your tummy to zip up your favorite jeans. But before you think all you have to do is suck in your gut| think again. This isn’t just about breathing in and allowing your tummy to come inward. Rather| this is about contracting your abdominal muscles to actively bring your belly toward your spine.

Your best bet for results is to pull your abs inward and brace them as though you’re about to be punched. But you can also keep your abs drawn in while doing a crunch| working all the layers of your abs simultaneously with the deep abs (transversus) pulling the abdomen in and then superficial muscles (rectus) contracting to perform the crunch.

According to certified personal trainer Brian Pankau| “The vacuum is an isometric exercise that isolates the muscles that lie underneath the external abs and obliques| which are often neglected. Increasing the intensity placed on these underlying muscles could assist a person with flattening their stomach and defining their abs and obliques better. Another benefit is increasing maximum output during power lifts.”

If you want science to help you get in the gym and get the job done| then look no further than the research published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning and the Archives of Physical Medical Rehabilitation. Both outline how the abs are harnessed by such a maneuver. They also make note of the fact that this sort of exercise helps strengthen your back and alleviates lower back pain. Sounds like a win-win to us.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/Ericka McConnell

Tone Your Arms and Core With This 3-Minute Plank Workout

Tone Your Arms and Core With This 3-Minute Plank Workout

No weights? No problem. Tone your abs and core with one single bodyweight move u2014 the plank. These five variations will get your heart pumping and your arms and core burning. It only takes three minutes, so if you want a longer workout, repeat this circuit two or three times.

| Frogger

  • Begin in plank position with straight arms and legs.
  • Gently hop the feet forward behind the hands. Then hop the feet back to plank position. This counts as one rep.
  • Complete as many reps as you can for 30 seconds.

| Superwoman Plank

  • Come into plank position.
  • Bend the elbows, and lower the belly to the floor. Take a lift by actively bending the elbows behind you, squeezing the shoulder blades together and raising the legs as high as you can.
  • Plant the palms on the floor underneath the shoulders, and press back up to plank. This counts as one rep.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.

| Side Plank Crunch

  • Lower into a side elbow plank with your left elbow down and your right hand behind your head.
  • Keeping your torso stable and your waist lifted, bring your right leg up toward your shoulder to lightly tap your right elbow.
  • Lengthen your right leg back to the starting position to complete one rep.
  • Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds. Then switch sides for another 30 seconds.

| Plank With Creepy Crawler

  • Come into plank position.
  • Bring your right knee to your right elbow, and then return the right leg back to plank position.
  • Repeat this action on the left side to complete one rep.
  • Continue alternating for as many reps as you can for 30 seconds.

| Dolphin Dive

  • Come into Quarter Dog with the forearms parallel. Press your hips and shoulders back toward your feet, lengthening through your spine. Walk your toes away from you a couple inches.
  • With fingers spread wide, dive forward, lowering the chin so it’s barely touching the floor in front of the fingertips. The shoulders should hover over the wrists, and the elbows should remain in line with the middle fingers.
  • Press back to Quarter Dog to complete one rep.
  • Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds.

Add This 12-Minute Workout to Your Routine For Sculpted Abs

The following post was originally featured on Jill Conyers and written by Jill Conyers, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Ever have one of those weekends that is exceptional and you hate to see it end? That was my weekend. It was relaxing, productive, fun and with a lot of laughs. See why I didn’t want it to end?

Friday I mentioned a surprise date night with my husband. [Best surprise ever] we went to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra, my all time favorite Christmas music. The show was phenomenal and even better than I imagined it would be.

This week is a supplemental workout of 12 minutes targeting the core. First, how about a little anatomy?

Your core is more than your abs and they’re not synonymous. The abdominals are essential in the core muscle group and they include all the muscles of your back and your obliques.

Primary Core Muscles:

Rectus abdominis: the six-pack muscles in front of the belly that are activated when you do crunches.

Transverse abdominis: deep muscles under the six-pack that pull your abdominal wall inward.

Obliques: the ab muscles on the sides of your torso that help you bend to the side and resist rotation.

Hip flexors: the muscles that allow you to flex your hips and raise your upper legs to walk and run.

Lower back: the many muscles here play an important role in core mechanics by keeping your spine stable when you bend backward.

Now on to the workout.

Supplement your workouts with this workout 2 days a week to sculpt your abs and strengthen your core.

Equipment needed:Mat2-5 pound dumbbellTimerRemember:Brace your core.Use proper body alignment and good form.Reps and rest periods should be based on your fitness level.Modify as needed to meet your fitness level by increasing/decreasing reps, weight and sets.Gradually increase intensity based on your progress.

I am a certified personal trainer, but this workout was not created for your specific fitness level and needs. Make modifications as needed. Intensity and rest periods should be based on your individual fitness level. See your physician before beginning any exercise program. This web site is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice and supervision of your personal physician. Any application of this or any other exercise routine set forth in this program is at the viewer’s discretion and sole risk.

Wood Chop (1) Hold a single dumbbell with both hands above your right shoulder. (2) Rotate your torso to the right and, with control, swing the dumbbell down and to the outside of your left knee by rotating to the left and bending at your hips. (3) Reverse the movement to return to the start position. (4) Complete the prescribed number of reps on the left side, then do the same on your right side, holding the dumbbell over your left shoulder.

Toe Touch Crunch (1) Start in position of a basic crunch, then lift your legs off the floor and hold them up toward the ceiling with your feet flexed. (2) Holding your arms straight up with your fingers toward your toes, perform a basic crunch with your fingers touching your toes.

Boat Pose (1) Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. (2) Keeping them straight, raise your legs until they are at a 90-degree angle from your torso. (3) Your torso will naturally fall back, but instead of letting the spine collapse, make a V-shape with your body. (4) Bring the arms out straight in line with your shoulders to a balance. Beginners, bend your knees if necessary, bringing the calves parallel to the floor (Half Boat Pose).

Plank with Hip Rotations (1) Assume a plank position with your forearms flat on the floor and your palms down. Your body should form a straight line from your head to you ankles. Brace your core. (2) Keeping your hands in place and using your feet as the pivot point, twist your body to the left as far as possible without losing your balance. Don’t change your lower back posture as you twist your body. (3) Repeat to the right, that’s one rep.

Standing Oblique Crunch (1) Stand with your shoulders in line with your hips and raise your right arm. (2) Shift on to your left leg and lift and rotate your right leg at the hip, turning your toes out. (3) Crunch your right elbow and your right knee together, pinching your waist. Return to the start position. (4) Complete the prescribed number of reps on the right side, then do the same on your left side.

Circle Crunch (1) Lie face up with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor, and your hands behind your head with your fingers lightly touching. (2) Lift your shoulders off the floor until you feel a tight contraction. (3) Curl your torso around in a small, clockwise circular motion (starting from 6 to 9 to 12 to 3 o’clock and back down to 6). That’s one rep. (4) For the next rep, repeat in the opposite, counterclockwise direction.

Plank (1) Start in a push-up position except keep your hands directly under your shoulders instead of outside of your chest. (2) Legs are straight out behind you with feet together. (3) You are balancing on your palms and the balls of your feet. Hold this position. Gradually increase the time you can hold this position with good form.

Supplementing this workout with your workouts for the week might look like this:

Image Source: Jill Conyers

No Gym? No Problem! Try These 6 Easy and Effective At-Home Ab Moves

No Gym? No Problem! Try These 6 Easy and Effective At-Home Ab Moves

Core strength isn’t rocket science. No need to overthink this. Below are six exercises. You’ve seen them before. You’ve done them before. You’ve wished they worked before. The difference? You’ll be doing them in a sequence that is most conducive to targeting your core muscles.

The added bonus? You’ll only be doing one set of each u2014 until you can’t do them anymore. That’s right. You chose your intensity and your body will decide how far you can go. This allows you to progressively get better based on your own fitness level. You don’t need some guy telling you to reach 12 reps if you can’t get past eight on your first effort. You do your best each time and this plan will get you to your best core strength ever!

| Plank

The plank is a great starter to your core workout. As there arenu2019t actual reps here| the goal is to hold your body in a straight line like in the photo for as long as you can. According to certified personal trainer Brian Pankau| this is “the best core exercise you can perform because it activates muscles throughout your body.””

| Bicycle Crunch

Getting into the rhythm of the bicycle crunch is key. Mimic the motion your legs would make on a bike and bring your elbow to your opposite knee as in the photo. Pankau explains these crunches are “”great for the obliques and abs| but also help warm-up your trunk and lower body joints for training.””

| Double Crunch

Get a little old school here with the double crunch| but donu2019t you dare pull your neck forward or swing your legs to complete a rep!

Pankau told us| “”The key to this exercise is getting your tailbone and shoulders off the floor.””

| V-Sit

You hated V-sits as a kid and you might hate them even more now| but you can’t argue with results. Hold each rep for a second to get the real burn! Keep your form as accurate as possible to make a ‘V’ with your body. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you feel your lower abs and obliques burning! Enjoy!

| Wood Chopper

The wood chopper is perfect to do near the end of a workout for a good stretch while also hitting your entire core. Just remember to evenly move through the movement u2014 don’t swing your weight around.

| Superman

If you don’t thank us after doing this move| you’re doing it wrong. There may be nothing overly heroic about this exercise other than its name| but it stretches out your abs and activates all the muscles you’ve got so you stay loose and enjoy the benefits.

According to Pankau this move is “”great to end a core workout with since it stretches all muscles involved around the core simultaneously.””

16 Minutes Closer to Buff Arms: Push-Up Workout

Push-ups are one of the most effective exercises to target your upper body, and mixing in some variations to the basic move will help tone your abs, legs, and butt. Here’s a circuit workout combining six different dynamic variations of the basic push-up. If you’re unsure how to do each one, check out the description below.

Basic Push-Ups: Come into plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders and your feet hips-width-distance apart. Keep your core engaged as you bend your elbows out to the sides, lowering your torso toward the ground, then straighten the arms. Do regular push-ups for 30 seconds.

Wide-Arm Push-Ups: Separate your hands so they are slightly wider than shoulder-width-distance apart, and do 30 seconds of push-ups in this position.

T Push-Ups: From plank position, do one regular push-up, but as you reach the top of the push-up position, lift your right arm up toward the ceiling, stacking your shoulders and creating a T-shape with your body. Release your right arm back to plank position, do another push-up, and as you reach the top of the push-up position, lift your left arm up toward the ceiling. Alternate like this for 30 seconds.

One Elbow In, One Elbow Out: From plank position, as you lower, bend one elbow behind you, brushing it against the side of your torso, and bend one elbow out to the side like you’re doing a regular push-up. Repeat push-ups like this for 30 seconds on each side.

One-Legged Push-Ups: From plank position, lift your right foot a few inches off the ground. Keep that thigh engaged, and do 30 seconds of push-ups in this position and then 30 more seconds with the left foot lifted.

Backbend Push-Ups: Roll over onto your back, coming into Wheel Pose. As you exhale, bend your elbows and lower the top of your head toward the floor, stopping before it touches. Then inhale to straighten your arms, coming back into Wheel. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Complete this four-minute circuit four times. If your upper body isn’t strong enough to do push-ups with straight legs, then do this circuit with your knees resting on the ground ¡ª you’re still working your upper body.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Studios

16 Minutes Closer to Buff Arms: Push-Up Workout

Push-ups are one of the most effective exercises to target your upper body| and mixing in some variations to the basic move will help tone your abs| legs| and butt. Here’s a circuit workout combining six different dynamic variations of the basic push-up. If you’re unsure how to do each one| check out the description below.

Basic Push-Ups: Come into plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders and your feet hips-width-distance apart. Keep your core engaged as you bend your elbows out to the sides| lowering your torso toward the ground| then straighten the arms. Do regular push-ups for 30 seconds.

Wide-Arm Push-Ups: Separate your hands so they are slightly wider than shoulder-width-distance apart| and do 30 seconds of push-ups in this position.

T Push-Ups: From plank position| do one regular push-up| but as you reach the top of the push-up position| lift your right arm up toward the ceiling| stacking your shoulders and creating a T-shape with your body. Release your right arm back to plank position| do another push-up| and as you reach the top of the push-up position| lift your left arm up toward the ceiling. Alternate like this for 30 seconds.

One Elbow In| One Elbow Out: From plank position| as you lower| bend one elbow behind you| brushing it against the side of your torso| and bend one elbow out to the side like you’re doing a regular push-up. Repeat push-ups like this for 30 seconds on each side.

One-Legged Push-Ups: From plank position| lift your right foot a few inches off the ground. Keep that thigh engaged| and do 30 seconds of push-ups in this position and then 30 more seconds with the left foot lifted.

Backbend Push-Ups: Roll over onto your back| coming into Wheel Pose. As you exhale| bend your elbows and lower the top of your head toward the floor| stopping before it touches. Then inhale to straighten your arms| coming back into Wheel. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Complete this four-minute circuit four times. If your upper body isn’t strong enough to do push-ups with straight legs| then do this circuit with your knees resting on the ground ¡ª you’re still working your upper body.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Studios

An Amazing Variation on Crunches That Will Melt Inches Off Your Waist

Try cross-leg diagonal crunches for a cinched waist ¡ª HealthIrresistibly delicious and simple party appetizers your guests will love ¡ª Real SimpleCreative ways to keep moving during holidays ¡ª Shape8 beginner tips to make you a better runner ¡ª SelfHow to work core muscles during any workout routine ¡ª Women’s HealthThe healthiest desserts of the year ¡ª Cooking LightWhat not to say to people with anxiety ¡ª YourTangoHow to become your best self in 2016 ¡ª HuffPost Healthy LivingComfort foods that are oh so perfect for Winter ¡ª POPSUGAR LatinaImage Source: Shutterstock

An Amazing Variation on Crunches That Will Melt Inches Off Your Waist

Try cross-leg diagonal crunches for a cinched waist ¡ª HealthIrresistibly delicious and simple party appetizers your guests will love ¡ª Real SimpleCreative ways to keep moving during holidays ¡ª Shape8 beginner tips to make you a better runner ¡ª SelfHow to work core muscles during any workout routine ¡ª Women’s HealthThe healthiest desserts of the year ¡ª Cooking LightWhat not to say to people with anxiety ¡ª YourTangoHow to become your best self in 2016 ¡ª HuffPost Healthy LivingComfort foods that are oh so perfect for Winter ¡ª POPSUGAR LatinaImage Source: Shutterstock