{wedding ready workout} my go-to core workout

I’ve always been slightly obsessed with my abs. I’ve tried every exercise, piece of equipment, program, and core workout touted on the internet. When I was still on my quest for a six pack, I did Tony Horton’s Ab Ripper X video at least three times a week. I’d roll out my yoga mat in my dorm room (cuz we def can’t do 300 sit ups on linoleum) and get to work. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I was sure to do this routine. At the end of each core workout, I’d shyly look at check my stomach in the mirror for results. And each time, I would be disappointed by the lack of a chiseled six pack.

Even though I don’t necessarily want a six pack anymore (see why!), having a strong, lean midsection is important to lots of us, especially during wedding season.

As we’re inching closer and closer to wedding season, I’ve created my Wedding Ready workout series to help my friends, teammates, and clients get ready to rock their wedding dresses. Over the last few weeks, I’ve put together three exclusive real time workouts to get you wedding dress READY.

In case you missed the first few workouts of the series, check them out here:

Upper body workout: perfect for shaping your back, shoulders, and arms

Lower body workout: special emphasis on your glutes and quads to build strong, shapely legs 

This week, we’ve got the last workout in the series: core! But let’s be real, this is not your typical six pack sit up workout, because I’m all about results. And in order to change your physique, we’ve got to incorporate both effective ab exercises to build strength AND interval cardio to reduce body fat [source 1, source 2].

If that seems like a lot, no need to stress. We’ve got it all in today’s workout.

Your wedding ready core workout

Today’s core workout is exactly how I like to structure my HIIT cardio workout days: sprints and core work. To get the absolute best results possible, we want to do both parts of this workout together. If you need to split up the parts of the workout, don’t stress too much, hit the core workout portion. Just make sure you work a sprint session into your weekly routine.

Before you begin, I highly suggest you do a substantial warm up (like this one). By activating your core, you ensure that it’ll work hard throughout both parts of the workout. Even without the core workout portion, if you sprint hard enough, I guarantee that you’ll feel your abs the next day!

Part 1: sprints!

Head to a track, treadmill, or hit the pavement to complete the following intervals.

Looking for a new core workout? This ab workout will get you wedding ready in no time. And, let's be real, this is not your typical six pack sit up workout, because I'm all about results. And in order to change your physique, we've got to incorporate both effective ab exercises to build strength AND interval cardio to reduce body fat.

Part 2: core workout

When you complete your sprints, it’s time to work that core. We’ve got five super effective ab exercises, with 10 reps each. Go through this super short circuit 2-3 times!

Looking for a new core workout? This ab workout will get you wedding ready in no time. And, let's be real, this is not your typical six pack sit up workout, because I'm all about results. And in order to change your physique, we've got to incorporate both effective ab exercises to build strength AND interval cardio to reduce body fat.

When you smash your workout, be sure to tag me on instagram and facebook so I can cheer you on 🙂 If you enjoyed this workout, you’ll LOVE my free weeklong fitness challenge. If you’re looking to jumpstart your fitness goals, there’s no better time than now!

What kind of workout do you want to see next?

Core and glute activation warm up workout

Hey friends! How’s your Friday going?! I’ve got a fun but busy weekend ahead, including a night out with friends and volunteering at our local Pit Bull Awareness Day.

However, today in blogland, I’m tackling another reader request. The reader asked for a core workout that’s safe for folks with diastasis recti (or abdominal separation). So, I’m sharing a core and glute activation workout for you to try this weekend!

Read More »

Wednesday WOD: Ab Exercises for Women (who get bored easily)

Happy hump day, friends!

Now that we are past the Labor Day Weekend craziness and another Workout Wednesday upon us, today I’m sharing a core workout I wrote for the woman who “doesn’t like lifting weights.”

Now, as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I hear this a lot! Normally though, it’s because it seems boring. Counting your reps, doing a bunch of sets of the exact same exercise, and standing in one place for an extended period isn’t always exciting. I get it…very meh.

Read More »

Gilmore Girls Abs Workout

When I sat down to write this week’s Wednesday WOD, I knew it was time for a core workout and I was struck with inspiration.

A core workout …

One that can be done in front of the TV…

Maybe one that is aligned with a TV show…

I want to watch…GILMORE GIRLS! 

Not sure about you but Gilmore Girls was a huge part of my teenage years. From the time the show launched, I watched it every evening while having a snack after cross country practice. I look back and remember sitting on our hardwood floors after a full day in high school, staring straight at the TV, escaping the “crazy” of the day.

When I heard that they were bringing back one of my favorite shows of all time, I definitely started re-watching all episodes. This is probably what brought on the inspiration for today’s Gilmore Girls workout.

Anyone else excited for the new season!? In true Gilmore Girls fashion, here's a workout you can do to work your core, in front of the TV.

This workout is pretty easy to follow and is similar to the TV show workouts that fill our Pinterest boards. Whenever something on the left side of the image happens in the episode you’re watching, you perform the ab exercise on the right.

You won’t need any equipment and can even do this one in your street clothes. It’s perfect to do on a rest day when you’re craving just a little bit of movement.

I hope you enjoy today’s silly Gilmore Girls workout! I did it during a Gilmore Girls marathon, and let me tell you, my abs were sore the next day! My obliques were especially tired, because woah do those ladies drink a LOT of coffee!

If you’re looking for more fun and effective workouts you can do absolutely anywhere, check out my free 7 day fitness challenge. I’ll be your trainer and training buddy for a whole week…for free. It’ll be fun, I promise!

Are you excited for the Gilmore Girls revival?

Core Exercise for Women: On the Fly Finisher

Every once in the while, inspiration strikes and I just need to share a workout with you! This one was inspired by my apartment gym (ha). It had a couple different sizes of squishy med balls, and I wanted to play!

After doing an intensive cardio workout, I love to finish my sweat sesh with core exercise. Why? One, it helps bring down my heart rate, kind of like a very moderate cool down (always stretch and do mobility AFTER a finisher such as this one). Two, strong core=strong body.  Having core strength:

  • Improved sports performance
  • Decreases your likelihood of developing low back pain
  • Reduces the chance of injury during functional activities
  • Decreases recurrence of injury

All very good things if you ask me, especially when you add them to a finisher.

What’s a finisher?

A finisher is a quick, intense burst of activity at the end of your training session that should ramp your heart rate and “finish” off the muscles you just fatigued in your workout.

Why use them?

Incorporating finishers into your workout can increase calorie burn, both during and after your workout.  Remember that just a little bit adds up! Adding five minute finishers could be the metabolic lift you need to see results. They also are just plain fun!

For today’s finisher, you can do it without any equipment. I use a medicine ball but you could sub a BOSU, an aerobics step, a DB, or even a large couch cushion for some of the exercises. You could repeat this twice through, time permitting. I was struggling that morning and was running late, so I only did it once.

For today's finisher, you can do it without any equipment. I use a medicine ball but you could sub a BOSU, an aerobics step, a DB, or even a large couch cushion for some of the exercises. You could repeat this twice through, time permitting. I was struggling that morning and was running late, so I only did it once.

 

If any of these exercises are unclear, follow along real time with me on YouTube! My bad for the video quality. I was not planning to film anything, so I didn’t have my tripod. Yay for a makeshift tripod with a DB!

If you try it, let me know! I hope you have as much fun with it as I did. Core exercise is super important to your overall strength, fitness, and lifestyle.

What type of finisher/workout would you like to see? 

Movement Monday: Single Leg Deadlift

Sharing one of my favorite balance and strength exercises, the single leg deadlift!

Hey friends! How was your weekend? We spent a lot of time studying and I ran my 10k! It went so much better than expected; I actually placed third of all women in the race. So exciting but let me tell you, I am soooo sore.

The morning started super early, with Juno and I up at 4:30am! At least once I parked, the sunrise was incredible. IMG_3692.jpg

I was definitely nervous and didn’t know what to expect! The trail was barely a “trail,” covered in rocks, uneven pavement, and even calf-deep water.  By the end, I had a smile on face and was so proud to be done.

Placing third got me a sweet coffee mug, so as I sip my coffee this morning, I’m sharing out one of my favorite posts of the week: Movement Monday!

IMG_3698.jpg

One of the most frequent comments I’ve been hearing from women around me is that it can be very hard to fit exercise into their daily routines. I want to help.

Each week, I profile one awesome exercise, explain why I love it, show some demos, and share a sample circuit you can throw into your day. Each movement will either be bodyweight or only require dumbbells. If there is an exercise you would like to see profiled, let me know in the comments below.

This week, I’m profiling the single leg deadlift.

Why I love the single leg deadlift

The single leg deadlift targets your booty big time. BUT at the same time, it will help improve your balance and stability. Any time you are standing on one leg, your entire core and all the little stabilizing muscles get involved, too. It’s a great move for both beginners and more advanced lifters, with the ability to progress and regress in so many ways.

Demo

Important cues:

  • Start with your feet shoulder width apart, with your feet point straight ahead.
  • Lift one leg directly beside the leg you’re balancing on.
  • Hinge at your hips and slowly reach down towards the toe of the balance leg. Engage your core and don’t hunch over!
  • Slowly return to standing.

Regression options:

  • Remove any additional weight.
  • Decrease your range of motion. Start by reaching to the knee, then the shin, and finally to the foot.
  • Use the wall for support.

Progression options:

  • Up the weight! Use either one heavy dumbbell or kettlebell or grab two.
  • Perform the exercise on an unstable surface, like a BOSU.

Sample circuit

The single leg deadlift targets your booty big time. BUT at the same time, it will help improve your balance and stability. Any time you are standing on one leg, your entire core and all the little stabilizing muscles get involved, too

 

Upon request, I’ve put together a circuit to strengthen two of our main problem areas: abs and booty! If you’re a beginner, you can do this workout bodyweight, but you can also progress it with dumbbells. It’s made up of supersets that you will perform in a circuit style. If you’d prefer to do a rep based workout or you don’t have a timer, perform 12 reps per exercise, 2-4 rounds through.

What’s one movement you would like to know more about?

Movement Monday: Squat Thrust

Learn more about the squat thrust, including a demo & sample core workout!

How’s your Monday?! We have had quite the stormy weekend in Austin. Juno relaxed while I volunteered at our free rabies clinic & went to a bridal shower. Besides those outings, we stayed in and studied! She also got her third bark box and went a little crazy. Gah. SO CUTE.

IMG_3640.jpg

Hopefully you had a more exciting weekend 😉

It’s that time of the week again: movement Monday!

One of the most frequent comments I’ve been hearing from women around me is that it can be very hard to fit exercise into their daily routines. I want to help.

Each week, I profile one awesome exercise, explain why I love it, show some demos, and share a sample circuit you can throw into your day. Each movement will either be bodyweight or only require dumbbells. If there is an exercise you would like to see profiled, let me know in the comments below.

This week, I’m profiling the squat thrust.

Why I love it

This dynamic movement is a little different than ones I have previously posted, because it’s both a core and cardio exercise. I also use this in combination with other moves, like a plank shoulder tap, to isolate other muscle groups, like your shoulders. Because it is such a dynamic exercise, it’s very important to hold your core in and eliminate the jump if you feel any discomfort in your lower back.

Demo

Important cues:

  • Bracing your core (pull belly button to your spine, squeeze your bum, push your heels towards the wall behind you), come up into a plank position. Do not let your butt lift up in the air–think straight line from your neck to your heels.
  • While maintaining a strong core, jump your feet up outside of your shoulders.
  • Hold for one second.
  • Jump your feet back into a high plank position.

Regression options:

  • Take the plank from your knees.
  • Eliminate the jump, stepping backwards and forwards.

Progression options:

  • Add a push up before the hop.
  • Turn it into a burpee, jumping up at the top!

Sample circuit

Here’s an awesome cardio and core workout for you to test out. It will take only ten minutes (repeat the circuit 2x) and would be awesome after a lifting session or short run.

This dynamic movement is a little different than ones I have previously posted, because it's both a core and cardio exercise. I also use this in combination with other moves, like a plank shoulder tap, to isolate other muscle groups, like your shoulders!

 

I’ll be posting a demo of the circuit on Instagram later today too!

What’s one movement you would like to know more about?

Movement Monday: Renegade Row

Learn more about the renegade row, including a demo & sample workout!

Hey friends! I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Juno and I spent the weekend with my momma, who came to visit. It was her first time in Austin, and it was so amazing to have her. Sad to see her go today but am looking forward to her next visit!!

It’s that time of the week again: movement Monday!

One of the most frequent comments I’ve been hearing from women around me is that it can be very hard to fit exercise into their daily routines. I want to help.

Each week, I profile one awesome exercise, explain why I love it, show some demos, and share a sample circuit you can throw into your day. Each movement will either be bodyweight or only require dumbbells. If there is an exercise you would like to see profiled, let me know in the comments below.

This week, I’m profiling the renegade row.

Why I love it

This movement combines a plank, one of the best ways to activate your entire core, with a row to target your back. These two moves will work your entire body, if done correctly. Every time I do renegade rows, they get my heart rate up and leave me pooped.

Demo

Important cues:

  • Bracing your core (pull belly button to your spine, squeeze your bum, push your heels towards the wall behind you), come up into a plank position, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Do not let your butt lift up in the air–think straight line from your neck to your heels. In my demo, I’m thinking my bum should have been lower!
  • While maintaining the plank position, row one dumbbell, keeping it skimming your rib cage.
  • Lower the weight and repeat on the other side.

Regression options:

  • Take the plank from your knees.
  • Eliminate (or reduce) the weight of your dumbbells.

Progression options:

  • Add a push up between rows.
  • Lift the opposite leg when rowing (row left, lift right leg).

Sample circuit

Today’s workout is a different style than I’ve posted in a while but it’s super fun. It’s called an “EMOM” or “every minute on the minute.” You will set a timer to ping every 60 seconds. When the timer goes off, you perform the allotted number of reps for exercise, rest until the next ping, and start with the next exercise in the list. Aim to repeat three times through! Email me if you have questions!

Upper Body + Abs EMOM

What’s one movement you would like to know more about?

Bodyweight Core Circuit for Busy Mornings

Quick, effective core workout in less than 10 minutes!

I love me a fast circuit I can throw in at the end of a crazy day, early in the morning when I’m still waking up, or at the end of a lifting workout. This is the core circuit I’ve been using recently.

It may look a little different from other “abs” workouts you’ve seen. This is because your core is a system of muscles, not just your rectus abdominis (that elusive six pack). It includes your lower back, glutes, and obliques. You gotta train it all! Some benefits of having a strong core…

  • Improved sports performance
  • Decreased likelihood of developing low back pain
  • Reduced chance of injury during functional activities
  • Less recurrence of injury

It is SO much more than a six pack (but that’s a post for another time 🙂 ).

Bodyweight Core

This circuit will cover all your bases and leave you sore the next day. I’ll also be posting a demo on instagram, so check it out! If you test it out, let me know in the comments below.

Looking for a longer workout? Add intervals of cardio between the core exercises: jump rope, do some burpees or perform high knees. These options will also increase your core burn.

What’s your go-to workout when you’re busy?

Movement Monday: Mountain Climber Pike

Learn more about a great arm and ab burner, including a demo & sample workout!

Somehow Monday is upon us again! I hope you had a great weekend. I cut my hair, did some orangetheory, and volunteered at a doggie event. Sweet.

Juno also completed her obedience training class–proud momma–and is continuing on to the AP class of dog training, prep for canine good citizen. Stoked.

It’s that time of the week again: movement Monday!

One of the most frequent comments I’ve been hearing from women around me is that it can be very hard to fit exercise into their daily routines. I want to help.

Each week, I profile one awesome exercise, explain why I love it, show some demos, and share a sample circuit you can throw into your day. Each movement will either be bodyweight or only require dumbbells. If there is an exercise you would like to see profiled, let me know in the comments below.

This week, I’m profiling the Mountain Climber Pike Press.

Why I love it

Abs and shoulders, ladies.

  • In addition to strengthening your abs and shoulders, it’s going to get your heart rate up. This is GREAT when you’re limited on time and want a lot of bang for your buck.
  • No equipment needed. Nuff said.

Demo

Important cues:

  • Hold the plank to start. Brace your core.
  • Complete two mountain climbers, one per side.
  • Jump your feet into a pike position.
  • Minding your low back, don’t let it arch, drop the top of head to the ground.

Regression options:

  • Eliminate the jump from the mountain climber.
  • Shorten your range of motion, no need to tap your head on the ground.

Progression options:

  • Elevate! Put your feet up on a chair to maximize the angle on the pike press and challenge your abs.
  • Pull your feet in closer when doing the pike.

Sample circuit

arms & abs

Here’s a five minute HIIT circuit that doesn’t require any equipment. Do it anywhere!

Aim for three rounds through, resting for one minute at the end of each circuit.

I’ll be posting a demo of the circuit on Instagram too. Be sure to follow me so you don’t miss out on the fun!

What’s one movement you would like to know more about?