You don’t have time for a daunting, Monday through Friday workout routine, we get that.
You don’t have time to shrug off dinner dates (especially when they’re free), or Happy Hour (especially when drinks at your favorite bar are a fraction of the cost).
But with summer just minutes away, it’s hard not to feel SOL in the body department when you spent all winter snacking on macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes.
Today, though, you’ve got two choices: You can regret all those wings you downed last night after your third round at the bar or you can do something about it. We suggest the latter.
Elite Daily put together a simple, easy trouble spot-focused series to attack areas of your body typically most difficult for women to tone and strengthen (but are the easiest to complain about).
Because when it comes time to get into your beach suit of choice, nothing else matters but the way you feel about the way you look.
This week, we’re tackling your abs. (Yeah, we know. Those abs.)
We paired up with certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor Katie Kendall from Uplift Studios in NYC to give us the rundown on the moves that’ll make your trouble spots sing and have you feeling sexy AF in time for whatever beach getaway you’ve got planned.
Don’t worry about whether or not the boys and girls will come running (they will) or if you’ll be the object of every woman’s jealousy (you will); what matters more than anything is you’re confident, empowered and proud of the way your body looks.
And trust us, you will be.
You’ll need 30 minutes, a yoga mat and a set of 5- to 8-pound hand weights (or if you’re really pressed for equipment, a jug of Franzia in each hand will do just fine).
Added bonus? We won’t even tell anyone you did this entire routine while marathoning “Real Housewives.”
Now, get to work.
Move 1: Russian Twist with a medicine ball
What you’ll need: One 5- to 8-pound medicine ball, yoga mat
Where you’ll feel the burn: Kendall promises this move “targets your entire core” so prepare to feel a burn similar to how you feel after your third helping of waffle fries. You’ll specifically target your “internal and external obliques” (code name for “side abs”), the front of your abs and also your back abs.
When you’ll be done: Before you can throw in the towel, you need to complete three sets of 15 to 20 twists on each side.
What to do to make it easier: If you’re not ready to commit all the way (remember, you’re doing this at home, so no one is judging you!), Kendall suggests keeping your heels on the ground — but be sure to keep your torso in the same position as you would with legs elevated. Make sure to keep your spine straight. Need more give? Ditch the medicine ball.
Move 2: Jackknives
What you’ll need: Yoga mat
Where you’ll feel the burn: It may seem like this move isn’t really working much (especially after the killer set you just did with the medicine ball), but trust: You’re going to change your tune real quick. These speak-softly-but-burn-intensely jackknives target your abs with a vengeance. Kendall says you’ll feel your core working throughout your “entire front abdominals, lower and upper.”
When you’ll be done: Give yourself a 10-second rest between reps (you’ll need it), but you’re here for three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
What to do to make it easier: Not ready for all the upper and lower lifting? Kendall advises modifying the move by “keeping your legs straight in the air at a 90-degree angle.” From there, just move your upper body only.
Move 3: Downward Dog Crunches
What you’ll need: Yoga mat
Where you’ll feel the burn: Get ready for a full-body burn. Kendall teases this move is a “full core conditioning exercise” and it “incorporates both your side and front abdominals.” That’s not all, though. She adds you’ll also “work your glutes, hamstrings and your shoulders.”
When you’ll be done: This move differs from all the others because now you’re going for time instead of trying to meet a certain number of reps. Set the timer for one minute and see how many you can do. Rest in between each set (you’ll do three) for 30 seconds.
What to do to make it easier: This power-packed move comes with lots of moving parts. In order to simplify, Kendall says you can try one of two things. First, “try moving from back and forth from downward dog to plank position” and completely ignore the knee crunches. If that’s not for you, she suggests “lowering your knees to a modified plank position and bringing your knees to the outsides of your elbows.” Last, Kendall says people with wrist issues can try this move on their forearms instead of their hands.
Move 4: Plank Up-Down
What you’ll need: Yoga mat
Where you’ll feel the burn: Like double-dipping? Us too. How about triple-dipping? Yeah, we thought so. Since we’re all for getting our money’s worth, get ready to put in work on this last set. This exercise “targets your upper and lower abdominals,” says Kendall, while also “strengthening your shoulders and arms.” Surprise treat? Your back will get a workout, too.
When you’ll be done: Like Move 3, you’re doing this move for time. Set the clock for 45 seconds and see how many reps you can do. (Kendall reminds us you’re not working against the clock; you’re moving at your own pace, so don’t feel like you need to race to get a ton of reps in). You’ll do this move three times with 10 seconds of rest in between.
What to do to make it easier: If you can’t already tell, you’re going to feel this move all over. To modify, Kendall says it’s fine to “lower your knees to the mat,” but continue with the arm movements.
The Trouble Spot Series: 4 Killer Moves To Sculpt And Shape Your Abs