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

Push-ups have got to be my all-time favorite upper-body exercise since they are so effective at targeting your chest and shoulders. There are so many variations to this basic exercise, so here’s another one to add to your routine. Bonus: this move helps define your core, especially your obliques, the muscles on the sides of your torso that cinch your waist.

Come into plank position (top of a push-up), with your hands under your shoulders, and your body in one straight line. If you can’t do a push-up this way, just lower your knees to the floor (as shown in the second half of the video).As you bend your elbows out to the side and lower your torso toward the floor, bend your left knee and touch it to your left elbow.As you straighten your arms, come back to plank position with your left foot next to your right. Now lower your torso down and touch your right knee to your right elbow. Then return back to plank position.This counts as one repetition. Complete as many as you can, then stretch out your lower back and shoulders in Child’s Pose for five breaths and then stretch out your pecs by doing Seated Heart Opener for five breaths. Image Source: POPSUGAR Studios

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

Push-ups have got to be my all-time favorite upper-body exercise since they are so effective at targeting your chest and shoulders. There are so many variations to this basic exercise| so here’s another one to add to your routine. Bonus: this move helps define your core| especially your obliques| the muscles on the sides of your torso that cinch your waist.

Come into plank position (top of a push-up)| with your hands under your shoulders| and your body in one straight line. If you can’t do a push-up this way| just lower your knees to the floor (as shown in the second half of the video).As you bend your elbows out to the side and lower your torso toward the floor| bend your left knee and touch it to your left elbow.As you straighten your arms| come back to plank position with your left foot next to your right. Now lower your torso down and touch your right knee to your right elbow. Then return back to plank position.This counts as one repetition. Complete as many as you can| then stretch out your lower back and shoulders in Child’s Pose for five breaths and then stretch out your pecs by doing Seated Heart Opener for five breaths. Image Source: POPSUGAR Studios

Transform Your Abs With This 2-Week Crunch Challenge

Transform Your Abs With This 2-Week Crunch Challenge

It’s time for another workout challenge, and this one is all about the abs. Perfect for those new to strength training, it’s short and sweet u2014 all it takes is a few minutes each day for the next two weeks and you’re sure to notice stronger and more defined abs. Instead of doing basic crunches, this challenge involves five crunch variations to target different areas of your midsection.

Here are instructions for the five different variations followed by a 14-day plan to get you all the way to 100. It’s not advised to skip right to day 14 (if you want to be able to laugh the next day without rolling over in pain), so follow the plan and adjust it as needed according to your schedule and ability level. Here’s printable version to help keep you on track.

Related: Try Our 30-Day Squat Challenge

| V Crunch

  • Lie on your back, and lift your legs and arms up so they are extended toward the ceiling. Lift your upper back off the floor, reaching your hands toward your feet.
  • Lower your legs toward the floor while reaching your arms overhead, keeping your shoulders off the mat and lower back pressed into the mat.
  • Repeat the crunch motion to complete one rep.

| Runner’s Crunch

  • Start on your back with your elbows resting on the floor at a 90-degree angle.
  • With your core engaged, roll up to almost sitting while bringing your right knee up to meet your left elbow. It should feel a little like running.
  • With control, straighten your leg as your slowly peel your back down, vertebra by vertebra, until your shoulders touch the mat last.
  • Alternate with your other leg to complete one rep.

| Reverse Crunch

  • Lying on your back, lift your legs in the air with your knees bent. Place your hands on the floor beside you.
  • Without momentum, use your lower abs to slowly curl the hips off the floor and into your chest. Slowly lower them back to the starting position.
  • This counts as one rep.

| Diamond Sit-Up

  • Lie on your back and open your legs into a diamond shape (aka butterfly legs), with the soles of your feet pressed together and knees out wide. Extend the arms overhead.
  • Inhale to curl the torso up, and tap the floor in front of your feet to stretch your glutes a bit.
  • Slowly lower back to the starting position.
  • This counts as one rep.

Technically considered a sit-up, this effective move works the abs through a larger range of motion and adds some functional fitness training to the challenge.

| Bicycle Crunch

  • Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground.
  • With your hands behind your head, bring your knees toward your chest and lift your upper back until your shoulder blades off the mat. Be sure not to pull on your neck.
  • Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
  • Switch sides, and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep.

End by doing Sphinx pose to stretch out the abs.

Transform Your Abs With This 2-Week Crunch Challenge

Transform Your Abs With This 2-Week Crunch Challenge

It’s time for another workout challenge| and this one is all about the abs. Perfect for those new to strength training| it’s short and sweet u2014 all it takes is a few minutes each day for the next two weeks and you’re sure to notice stronger and more defined abs. Instead of doing basic crunches| this challenge involves five crunch variations to target different areas of your midsection.

Here are instructions for the five different variations followed by a 14-day plan to get you all the way to 100. It’s not advised to skip right to day 14 (if you want to be able to laugh the next day without rolling over in pain)| so follow the plan and adjust it as needed according to your schedule and ability level. Here’s printable version to help keep you on track.

Related: Try Our 30-Day Squat Challenge

| V Crunch

  • Lie on your back| and lift your legs and arms up so they are extended toward the ceiling. Lift your upper back off the floor| reaching your hands toward your feet.
  • Lower your legs toward the floor while reaching your arms overhead| keeping your shoulders off the mat and lower back pressed into the mat.
  • Repeat the crunch motion to complete one rep.

| Runner’s Crunch

  • Start on your back with your elbows resting on the floor at a 90-degree angle.
  • With your core engaged| roll up to almost sitting while bringing your right knee up to meet your left elbow. It should feel a little like running.
  • With control| straighten your leg as your slowly peel your back down| vertebra by vertebra| until your shoulders touch the mat last.
  • Alternate with your other leg to complete one rep.

| Reverse Crunch

  • Lying on your back| lift your legs in the air with your knees bent. Place your hands on the floor beside you.
  • Without momentum| use your lower abs to slowly curl the hips off the floor and into your chest. Slowly lower them back to the starting position.
  • This counts as one rep.

| Diamond Sit-Up

  • Lie on your back and open your legs into a diamond shape (aka butterfly legs)| with the soles of your feet pressed together and knees out wide. Extend the arms overhead.
  • Inhale to curl the torso up| and tap the floor in front of your feet to stretch your glutes a bit.
  • Slowly lower back to the starting position.
  • This counts as one rep.

Technically considered a sit-up| this effective move works the abs through a larger range of motion and adds some functional fitness training to the challenge.

| Bicycle Crunch

  • Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground.
  • With your hands behind your head| bring your knees toward your chest and lift your upper back until your shoulder blades off the mat. Be sure not to pull on your neck.
  • Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left| bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
  • Switch sides| and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep.

End by doing Sphinx pose to stretch out the abs.

A 20-Minute, Calorie-Burning Treadmill Workout

If you only have a short window to spare for a workout, try this challenging 20-minute treadmill routine. Beyond switching up the speed every two minutes, you’ll also be changing the incline, which challenges the body to work even harder. Even after this short cardio session, you’ll feel light, energized, and ready to power through the rest of your day.

Before you head for your run, be sure to print this workout to bring to the gym with you!

Related: 20-Minute Abs and Arms Blast

Image Source: Corbis Images

A 20-Minute, Calorie-Burning Treadmill Workout

If you only have a short window to spare for a workout| try this challenging 20-minute treadmill routine. Beyond switching up the speed every two minutes| you’ll also be changing the incline| which challenges the body to work even harder. Even after this short cardio session| you’ll feel light| energized| and ready to power through the rest of your day.

Before you head for your run| be sure to print this workout to bring to the gym with you!

Related: 20-Minute Abs and Arms Blast

Image Source: Corbis Images

The Sit-Up Variation You Need For Flat Abs

Take your sit-ups to another level with this powerful variation that feels more like a full-body move than a simple ab exercise. Adding the twist works the obliques and lifting a leg fires up muscle fibers in your lower abs. This exercise will likely leave your abs pleasantly sore the next day.

Begin lying on the floor with your legs straight and arms out wide to the sides, making a T with your body.In a slow and controlled motion, sit up, lifting your right leg and twisting to the right to bring your left hand to your right toes. Hold this position for a moment, pulling your abs toward your spine.Slowly roll down to return to the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat on the other side.Do two to three sets of 12 reps.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

The Sit-Up Variation You Need For Flat Abs

Take your sit-ups to another level with this powerful variation that feels more like a full-body move than a simple ab exercise. Adding the twist works the obliques and lifting a leg fires up muscle fibers in your lower abs. This exercise will likely leave your abs pleasantly sore the next day.

Begin lying on the floor with your legs straight and arms out wide to the sides| making a T with your body.In a slow and controlled motion| sit up| lifting your right leg and twisting to the right to bring your left hand to your right toes. Hold this position for a moment| pulling your abs toward your spine.Slowly roll down to return to the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat on the other side.Do two to three sets of 12 reps.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

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

The 1 Move You Should Be Doing For Flat Abs

Our schedules don’t always allow for a 20-minute abs workout ¡ª we get it. But for those mornings that do grant you a few extra minutes, Tone It Up cofounders and trainers Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott suggest taking your standard plank up a notch with this tummy toner that targets your core and obliques. Add this plank variation to your existing routine or try it alone for a quick toning session.

Begin in a plank position with your hands below your shoulders and your core engaged.With control, slowly bring your right knee up toward your right elbow, squeezing your lower abs to activate the obliques, perform the move on the other side. This counts as one rep.Complete three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

If you’re looking to refuel ¡ª?but don’t want to feel bloated ¡ª?after working your abs, Karena and Katrina suggest adding Perfect Fit Protein (or any protein) to coconut water for a lighter alternative to smoothies.

Image Source: Tone It Up