Tag Archives: abs

Uplift Studios!

Whoever says upscale has to be snobby has never been to Uplift Studios! I love this place. Every time I go, I feel so welcome.  The studio is like a girl’s retreat, it’s set up for sweating, relaxing and socializing–and often a cocktail or two.

Let me give you a brief tour!

Personal Training Area

Comfy Chairs with Mags+Books!

Plenty of Membership Options :)

Bathroom Stocked with supplies and Lockers with locks!

Small Group Studio not pictured–use your imagination :)

Last week, Dori invited me to a Fit and Flow class, which I was really excited about because it’s on my fall fitness must try list. Unfortunately, I put the wrong time in my calendar and got stuck at work to boot, so I arrived 45 minutes after the class had started.  Oops.  Rather than make me feel like the ditz I sometimes am, I was invited to either stay and hang out with the ladies or to take the next set of classes.   I ended up briefly chatting with Dori, Missy, Ashley and Mariell and hopping into the Guns and Gams and Hardcore classes.

Guns and Gams was a 30 minute class focusing on–you guessed it, arms and legs!   We started standing with 5 and 10 lbs weights.  The first few sets focused on standing combination exercises, like lunges and curls and one leg deadlifts. Then we moved to the floors for exercises with the magic ring and exercise ball. Most of the exercises were pretty much what you would expect from a strength training session, nothing crazy or exotic.I liked that we never did the same thing for more than a couple sets, so I never got bored, in fact I couldn’t believe when we are on to the next class.  I also really liked the instructor, since the class was only 6 people, we got lots of personal attention and form correction–which I always need.

Hardcore a 30 minutes ab class. We spend most of our time on the ground with a mix of pilates and class ab work.  30 minutes of ab work is tough!  I was definitely suffering through some of the sets, but again the class went fast overall.  I also definitely felt a little sore over the next couple days–score.

Overall, I liked the classes, and loved the instructor and the studio itself.  The classes weren’t as unique as some boutique studio classes tend to be, but they definitely served their purpose and worked the intended muscle groups! I definitely want to go back and try some of the other classes as well.  The Workout and Wine classes are genius because it’s the perfect girlfriend time activity.

AB-Vincible

So, I have been polishing my ab routine for the last few months, and it has gotten pretty kick-ass.  I ALWAYS feel it a day or so later.  So this is my current fav ab routine.

PS I started with just phase one, and you will feel just that ;)

Phase 1-Planks!

The following 4 moves you do back to back, no rest or stopping.

  • Plank position-15 leg raises each side.
  • Plank position-alternating knee touches to ground-30
  • Plank position-double knee touches to ground-20
  • Plank position—hips touch ground alternating sides-20

Rest 20 seconds, repeat twice more.

  • Side planks—hold 40 seconds each side (repeat)

Phase 2 Cardio/Ab Super Set:

These moves and sets are done back to back no rest or stopping.

  • 12 mountain climbers, flip on to back
  • 12 bicyles
  • repeat immediately

rest 15 seconds

  • 12 double leg mountain climbers
  • 12 double crunches, legs and arms fully extended—almost like a V up.
  • repeat immediately

Phase 3 Double Crunches with Exercise Ball Pass Off

  • Hold ball in hands, feet in the air at 90 degrees.  Extend arms behind your head, and legs to the ground at the same time.  Bring both arms and legs to meet in the air at 90 degrees and pass the ball to between your feet.  Extend again this time the ball will touch the ground at your feet and arms will extend to the floor above your head.  Come back up and pass ball to hands.  Do ten reps.
  • rest 30 seconds, repeat twice more.

Phase 4  Leg raises on Bar

On this thing:

Mega Chin Up - Dip - Leg Raise Station

  • Do ten pike leg raises, followed by 8 tuck leg raises
  • rest 20-30 seconds
  • repeat two more times.

STRETCH!

I have more to say, but no time to say it!

A couple quick things!

EATALY is open—Mario fans can celeb spot all this week!

Central Park Guide—LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reader Question-Best Abs Exercises

Yesterday, I received a great question about the most effective ab workouts.

I don’t think I alone in coveting the Britney Spears abs pre-train wreck circa I am a Slave for You video.  In my swimming/lifeguard days, I came a lot closer, for a lot less effort.  One because I was younger, and two because swimming requires you to constantly work your abs to stay afloat.

These days, I have to use them or lose them–flat abs that is.

The great thing about AB workouts is that you see results in very little time.  A few weeks of consistency and those little muscle outlines start faintly appearing.  To get the full on Spears-pack ab work alone will never be enough.  You have to tone muscles all over your body and do cardio to blast that pesky layer that women have above the muscles.  Men have far less fat above the muscles, thus they can have a “situation” going on with much less effort.    That said, not all women are created equal.  Some women carry weight in the middle, but have no problem rocking a mini skirt.  Others (myself included) have stubborn pear shapes that require endless lunges, but have less trouble toning their tummies.  Obviously, there are more than two body types, but you get the idea.  You have to work with and embrace what you have today, and I actually find that a slight softness in the tummy is very sexy and womanly.

Anyways, enough with the verbose intro, on with my best ab advice!

Here are a few things I have done for abs and seen really impressive results:

1.) Fitness Stay Slim on the Road I love this quick, equipment-less workout.  I always see results in my abs pronto. However, it works the whole body, which as mentioned is necessary in the quest to be absolutely fabulous.

2.) Core Fusion Body Sculpt Ab Section — This is the hardest ab work I have ever done.

3.) Sit ups, crunches and oblique crunches on the bosu ball and stability ball always seem more effective than those done on the mat–perhaps because correct form is easier to achieve.  Try doing them with arms straight over your head for added challenge.

4.)  Angela had a great “whittle your middle” ab routine over at Oh She Glows.  The  ab work includes good variations on planks and utilizes the stability ball.

5.) Fellow blogger Diana said that the Physique 57 videos gave her a “rock solid” core.  I don’t doubt this is true, P57 is amazing!I am jonseing to check out these dvds and see the results for myself!

6.)  Our favorite Fitnessista also did a great post on obtaining Fab Abs!

In just a few I am off to review a new class, than to meet up with Liz (aka VeggieGirl) while she is in town.  But later tonight, I will announce the first of several giveaways to come this week!

Tis the season and have a fit weekend!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Friday! What a week! I am ready to detox mentally and settle into a weekend full of homework.  Sounds fun, huh? 

Apparently this is the season to guest post!  I will be posting on a number of my favorite blogs over the next few weeks, so that’s pretty exciting.  In fact, the guest posting frenzy starts right now.  Rachel from Shedding It and Getting It suggested that we do guest playlists on each others blogs.  I hope you will you check out my post, I have to say it is one of my favorite playlists ever!

Let’s get right into the Leaner Legs Workout #3!

Bikini Body 2008

As you might have guessed, I borrowed heavily from Tina’s workout and I loved it!  I modified slightly:

Set 1

  • 30 alternating lunges with bicep curls on bosu ball (5 lb. weights)
  • 40 Squats holding weights on bosu
  • 15 stationary lunges  (each side) on bosu with hammer curls
  • 30 plie squats with upright row holding weights

Set 2

  • 30 alternating lunges with bicep curls on bosu ball (5 lb. weights)
  • 40 squats on bosu
  • 15 stationary lunges  (each side) on bosu holding weights
  • 15 plie squats with upright row

I forgot to stretch!  Ooops

But I did go right into my second cardio session of the day.  30 minutes on the elliptical alternating one minute of moderate intensity with one minute of high intensity (I did the same thing that morning, so a total of 60 minutes).

I have a bunch of great leg workouts I am excited to try and share, but if you would like to do a guest post leaner legs workout, I would be happy to feature you!

For my AB ATTACK

aka Whittle My Middle, I busted out the ab moves I featured in a video post quite a while ago.  The post is a little embarrassing, but the ab moves are good!  Speaking of abs, someone asked what the ragdoll move is.  It’s hard to explain in words, but basically, it is a standing ab move where you drop to one side quickly as if your arm was moving down along the outside of your leg, limp like a doll, and the come up from an L with one arm up and the other straight out and reach to the side.  Repeat on the other side.   While this is nothing like my standing ab routine, it’s a good example of a standing ab work (if the video doesn’t work just click over to youtube):

Other fitness musings…

I am loving my cardio intervals lately, they really help me get out of my comfort zone without too much discomfort :)  For once, I have a good balance of cardio and strength in my regimen, I usually tend to get sucked into one or the other.  But I do have to start running, less than a week until Turkey Trot! 

Oh, we just switched cable companies and I finally have FitTV!  Yay!

Video:Ab Moves

Here are some of my favorite ab moves.   I went through the moves a little faster in the video than I typically do–I still get nervous!  It is best to go a little slower, especially on the plank to downward dog, gymnast sit up and table top moves.  Oh, I meant to say rest in child’s pose, not downward dog!

I apologize in advance for a few shots that are up close and personal with my butt…next time I won’t be so close to the camera! 

Moves:

  • plank to downward dog warm up-15 reps (it is best to hold each position for 2 full counts)
  • plank hold-30 seconds
  • plank single knee jog, 30-60 reps
  • child’s pose
  • plank hold-30 seconds
  • plank double knee touch-30-60 reps
  • plank side dip-20 each side
  • oblique variation-15-30 each side
  • cobra stretch
  • gymnast center and side sit up-15-30 complete sets (my form was a little weak on this one, it was my third take :)
  • Table top leg raise-30 each leg
  • Back bend stretch

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Coming up tonight: Vita-mix review and recipe.  I promised myself I would tackle my to-do list before posting again! :)

Today’s Workout

Okay yesterdays workout, but for the sake of tagging, today’s.

Thursday:

30 minute elliptical

600 crunches-different variations. My favorite: plank position, alternating touching your knees to the ground quickly–or jogging it out as they say at Physique–then touching both knees down together, then touching hips to the ground, right then left. This one REALLY works the obliques.

I walked about 30 blocks to where I was having dinner.

So I managed to stay out way too late with friends Wednesday and Thursday, and ended up not getting to yoga either morning! Boo. I wake up early enough, but I don’t have the energy!

Tonight I am just planning a regular running, elliptical combo with at least 25 minutes of strength.

This weekend I will take you on a virtual run through my favorite battery park city route and resume my rock your body challenge with a great workout to do while watching tv!

Oh Hungry-Girl isn’t always my fav, but today she has a GREAT post!

Happy Friday!
I felt like I needed a picture, and one of my favorite things about the beginning of spring in the city is seeing the cherry blossoms open up. It is always a serendipitous surprise!