3 Pilates Moves for Super Hot Abs

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Want an extra challenge. . .and an even sleeker stomach? Add these calorie-torching “afterburner” ab moves to your workout. And then check out Brooke Siler’s incredible book, The Women’s Health Big Book of Pilates, for even more toning and whittlingPilates workouts.

 

MOVE 1Kneeling Butterfly
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Beth Bischoff

Kneel on the mat facing away from the anchor, knees hip-width apart. Raise your arms out to shoulder height and lean forward slightly, keeping your body in a straight line from head to knees (a). Inhale and twist your torso to the left, pulling the right handle overhead and the left just behind your hip, maintaining equal tension in the bands as you twist(b). Exhale and slowly return to start. Repeat, twisting to the other side. That’s one rep. Do four.

Quick Tip: Brace your core and squeeze your glutes before you start.

MOVE 2Side-Bend Arm Circles
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Beth Bischoff

Holding both ends of the bands, walk your knees farther away from the anchor for more tension, then bend to the side toward the anchor and place your inside fist on the floor; extend your top leg away from you and raise the band overhead (a). Keeping your core tight, inhale and draw your arm above your top hip (b), then exhale as you continue to circle the band around (c) until your hand returns to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat three times and then repeat three full circles in the opposite direction.

Quick Tip: Keep your hip directly over your knee throughout the exercise.

MOVE 3Lotus
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Beth Bischoff

Grab the band’s handle with your right hand and kneel at the far end of the mat. With your right side facing the anchor, raise both arms to shoulder height(a). Inhale and raise both arms overhead, trying to touch your hands together (b). Exhale and slowly return to start. Do four reps per side.

Women’s Health Magazine

The Waist-Cinching Workout for Toned Abs and Obliques

Give your workout routine a new twist—literally. These six moves hit all of your major muscle groups with extra emphasis on your obliques to whittle your middle. Move from one exercise to the next without resting, then repeat this four-minute circuit three times with a 1-minute break in between sets. In less than 15 minutes, you’ll be on your way to defining your waist. All you’ll need: a 6- to 10-pound medicine ball or dumbbell.

—Amy Roberts, NASM-CPT

MOVE 1Criss-Cross Jacks
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Jen Weaver

Get your heart rate pumping with this variation to the standard jumping jack. Jump out to widen your feet and send your arms into a T position (A), then jump in, crossing your legs and your arms (B). Repeat, alternating the cross of your hands and feet. Do 20 reps.

MOVE 2Squat To Twisting Overhead Press
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Jen Weaver

Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell goblet-style in front of your chest (A). Sit back into your squat (weight in your heels, sending your butt back) (B). As you stand, press your arms straight up while twisting your torso so you’re turned to one side (C). Squat again, straightening out your upper body on the way down; on the way up, press and twist to the opposite side. That’s one rep. Do 8-10 reps.

MOVE 3Plank Curl-Unders
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Jen Weaver

Set yourself in a plank position, placing a dumbbell in line with the heel of your left palm. Shift your weight into your left hand and reach for the weight with your right hand (A). Pick up the weight and pivot up into a side plank, raising the weight toward the ceiling with your arms in a T position (B). Rotate your arm back down so your right hand curls under your left forearm(C). Do 8-10 reps then switch sides. (Plank too tough? Try it on your hands and knees.)

MOVE 4High-Knee Corkscrews
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Jen Weaver

Standing up straight, raise one knee and bend the opposite elbow (A), twisting at your midsection to bring the two joints to tap. Repeat to the opposite side (B). Do 20 reps.

MOVE 5Reverse Lunge with Side Twist
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Jen Weaver

Stand with your feet parallel, holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in front of your stomach (A). Step one foot backward into a lunge (B), and turn your torso so the weight crosses your front leg (C). Step forward to start position. Alternate sides for 8-10 reps. (Make it harder by doing all reps on one side then switching.)

MOVE 6Twisted Box Pushups
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Jen Weaver

Stand with your feet together, in line with a box and a few feet away from it. Place your hands against the box, then turn your torso so you’re resting on the outside of one foot with your legs stacked (A). From this position, do 8-10 pushups (B). Repeat on the other side. (You can make this move easier by doing the pushups against a wall.)

The 15-Minute Anytime, Anywhere Workout

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You don’t need a pricey new fitness class to shake up your routine. Work out any time, in any place, with this total-body plan—which uses nothing but a household hand towel—created by Melissa Paris, a New York City–based personal trainer. “The key to seeing continued results and avoiding plateaus is to keep challenging your body in different ways, whether that’s with new moves, a new environment, or new equipment,” says Paris. “Incorporating a towel into your routine is a no-cost and efficient way to take your workout to the next level.”

That’s because with every exercise, the towel provides either friction (as in the lateral lunge) or tension (as in the seated oblique twist) to help engage muscles that would otherwise be missing the action.

So rather than using the towel to dry off, use it to break a sweat. Complete the exercises as instructed, moving from one to the next with little or no rest in between. Stop for 30 to 60 seconds at the end (if needed), then repeat up to two more times.

Innovate your workouts with Shape-Up Shortcutsand get a smoking-hot body in shorter workouts!

MOVE 1Leg Curl
Leg Curl
Beth Bischoff

Lie faceup on the floor, knees bent and both heels on a towel; lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders (a). Slide your heels away from you as far as you can without dropping your hips (b). Pause, then return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15.

MOVE 2Seated Oblique Twist
Seated Oblique Twist
Beth Bischoff

Sit on the floor and hold the towel taut between your hands, arms straight and extended at shoulder height; lean back and raise your feet about a foot off the floor, keeping your core tight and knees bent (a). Pull the right end of the towel toward the floor, rotating your shoulders and torso (b). Pause, then rotate back to center and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do 20.

MOVE 3Lateral Lunge
Lateral Lunge
Beth Bischoff

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips, and your right foot on a towel (a). Bend your left knee and push your hips back as you slide your right foot out to the side as far as you can (b). Pause, then pull that foot back to start. That’s one rep. Do 15, then switch sides and repeat.

MOVE 4Superman Press
Superman Press
Beth Bischoff

Lie facedown on the floor, chest lifted, and hold a towel taut between your hands in front of your shoulders, elbows bent (a). Press the towel away from you until your arms are straight (b). Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 20.

PUBLISHED: OCTOBER 14, 2013   |   BY CAITLIN CARLSON

Women’s Health Magazine

The On-the-Go Cardio Workout

A workout that builds muscle and counts as cardio? That’s serious multitasking. One that blasts calories and increases strength using just your body weight? That’s seriously genius. Rev your heart rate and your hot-body results with this 24-minute no-equipment workout created by Brynn Jinnett, founder of Refine Method. Perform the following four exercises in order as prescribed. Complete four total rounds.

MOVE 1

Squat Jump
Squat Jump
Kagan McLeod

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then bend your knees to lower your body into a squat (a). Pressing through your heels, straighten your legs as you jump off the floor (b). Land softly and immediately lower into another rep, and continue for 30 seconds. Rest 15 seconds, then continue to the next move.

Quick Tip: Make it easier by skipping the jump every other rep (and just performing a regular squat)

MOVE 2Bear Crawl
Bear Crawl
Kagan McLeod

Start on all fours, back flat and core tight, then slightly lift your hips to raise your knees off the floor. Walk your right hand and left foot forward, then your left hand and right foot; continue crawling forward quickly for 30 seconds, then rest 15 seconds. Repeat the pattern, crawling backward, then move on to the next exercise.

MOVE 3Clock Lunge
Clock Lunge

Kagan McLeod

Step your right foot forward and lower into a lunge (a). Return to start, then step to the right and lower into a side lunge, keeping your left leg straight (b). Return to start, then step your right foot back and lower into a reverse lunge (c). Return to start. That’s one rep. Repeat for 40 seconds; switch sides and repeat, then rest 15 seconds before continuing to the next exercise.

MOVE 4Inchworm with Pushup
Inchworm with Pushup
Kagan McLeod

Place your hands on the floor in front of you, legs straight (a); walk out so your body forms a straight line (b), then complete a pushup (c); slowly step your feet toward your hands, legs straight. Stand; that’s one rep. Repeat for 30 seconds; rest for 15 seconds, then return to the first exercise.

Quick Tip: Make it harder by adding an X-jump (dip into a half-squat, then jump into the air and make an X with your arms and legs) before every rep.

PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 5, 2013   |  BY JESSICA CASSITY

Women’s Health Magazine

The Fast-and-Furious Interval Routine

Get a full cardio workout in just 20 minutes with this interval routine. 

When you’re short on time, your best bet for an efficient and effective workout is amping up the intensity of your slow-and-steady pace, which will burn more total calories each minute during your workout—and, some speculate, may also suppress your appetite. Whether you prefer to swim, run, bike, hike, or walk, this cardio intervals workout, created by Todd A. Astorino, Ph.D, an associal professor of kinesiology at California State University at San Marcos, will make sure you get the biggest calorie burnout of 20 minutes.

0:00-5:00
Warm up, moving at a slow pace.

5:00-6:00
Go all out, pushing yourself as hard and fast as possible.

6:00-7:00
Active recovery: Catch your breath.

7:15-18:30
Repeat minutes 5:00 to 7:15 five times.

18:30-20:00
Cool down.