Unless you didn’t get the memo from the nearly-nationwide heat wave last week, it’s go time for getting flat, bikini abs. To the rescue: FITNESS is sharing the latest core science and lab-tested exercises in part three of our Body Lab series in the April issue (on newsstands now). And talk about total tummy transformations! Testers who did the workout three times a week and followed the 1,500-calorie-a-day diet lost up to three inches from their waistlines in four weeks!
Not only can you try the workout in the magazine, but you can also do it with the creator—and model—herself, instructor Chelsey Korus at YogaWorks studios in New York City. If you’ve read the article already, you know that it’s Korus’s perfectly chiseled six-pack which is featured throughout it. And the workout is definitely getting buzz—Korus tells us that a friend even spotted a copy of the April FITNESS at Barnes and Noble with her “Core Knowledge” story torn out. “I consider that the highest form of flattery,” she says.
Korus is now infusing each of her classes at YogaWorks in New York City with the ab moves, and is already seeing a difference in her students. “They’re asking for the tolasana [see photo above] in class so they can show me their progress!” If you’re in the NYC area, find her YogaWorks schedule here and take the challenge yourself. You can also sign up for the complete Flat Abs Fast plan at fitnessmagazine.com/core.
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Steal slim kitchen secrets from top chefs. Surprise: Brownies are still on the good-for-you menu! — iVillage
- Whether your schedule is too packed for a gym visit or you’re looking for a commercial time workout, try one—or all—of these 50 body weight exercises. — Greatist
- Jazz up a ho-hum bowl of oats with these unique sweet and savory combinations. —Q by Equinox
- Beat boredom on the treadmill with these interval workouts. — Carrots ‘N’ Cake
- Wake up! These bedtime habits aren’t doing you any energy favors. — Fit Sugar
- Bypass the snack cookies and slushies and grab one of these 10 convenience store snacks when you’re road tripping for spring break. — Snack Girl
After Danica Patrick’s grandma struggled with emphysema, she knew she wanted to do more than simply focus on preventing more lung disease in her family. So for the past two years, the race car driver has worked with DRIVE4COPD to spread the word that COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is the only leading cause of death that’s increasing in prevalence.
We spoke with Patrick about her health crusade, how she stays in shape and how she’s feeling leading up to the big race coming up at Daytona on February 26.
Lung health has played a large role in your life. What do you do to keep yours in top shape?
I work out a lot. I lift weights to stay strong for my job. My routine includes a lot of functional training, like squats and lunges with an upper body move, for core stabilization. Cardio is also important, and it feels good to work my lungs and breathe deep. I think of taking care of my body from the inside out, especially as I’m getting older, and eat foods because they’re healthy. And not smoking is a big factor.
It sounds like you’re quite active! Do you have any favorite ways to stay fit?
I’ve been exercising since I was 14 and will be 30 next month, so I know that I have to change it up to make it fun. I enjoy DVD workouts—Beachbody does a great job with P90X and Insanity. They’re very difficult, and I’ve found it’s fun to add jumping and shake up my routine. My goal this year is to stick with yoga more. I used to skip it during the season since it would take away from my strength training time, but I know that flexibility is important.
You may be tempted to try to ease your pre-date nerves with a glass of wine or a few chocolates from your Valentine before your big date, but Stacy Berman, founder of Stacy’s Bootcamp, has a better idea. “A quick workout will give you a little color on your cheeks and will help you achieve that natural glow ,” Berman says.
She designed this 30-minute total body circuit exclusively for FITNESS to “help you look and feel your best and de-stress.” Try to take little to no rest between each exercise, but feel free to take a one-minute breather after you complete all nine moves. (Click on the name of each to see how to do it!) Complete the circuit three times.
More from FITNESS:
- The Busy Woman’s Guide to a Great Body
- 4 Easy Day-to-Night Hairstyles
- Happily Ever Fatter? How to Avoid Post-Wedding Weight Gain
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Of course pizza, wings and guac will be in the spotlight this weekend, but who knew Super Bowl Sunday is the most popular day of the year for carrots? — The Wall Street Journal
- It’s not too late to make a difference on National Wear Red Day (today!). Send a free virtual Valentine and Macy’s will donate $2 to the American Heart Association. — Go Red For Women / Macy’s
- Score! Try this fun exercise challenge to stay active like the players on the Super Bowl squads. — SparkPeople
- Diet, exercise and body image can be “weighty” topics to discuss with youngsters. Here are a few tips to do so compassionately. — Fit Bottomed Girls
- Don’t forget how awesome you are. “The best predictor of future success is past success.” — MizFit
- Two women are taking a 60-day challenge to go without makeup and primping. Could you do it? — Healthy Tipping Point
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
This Sunday Americans everywhere will plop down on the couch to see who takes home the title at Super Bowl XLVI as the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots for a rematch in Indianapolis.
But before you curl up, New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees wants you to get up and make this your most active Super Bowl Sunday yet. Brees is teaming up with Xbox 360 Kinect and NFL Play 60 to unveil the Kinect for Xbox 360 Super Sunday Challenge, a program aimed at getting kids off the couch and moving with the help of video games. We got the chance to chat with Brees before the football madness began on how his own family stays active, and his predictions for the game!
Video games are typically pretty sedentary activities. What makes this one so different?
The great thing about Xbox 360 Kinect is that it’s interactive; you’re not sitting on the couch with a controller. It’s control free and you have to move your body to play the game. When you play table tennis you’re swinging your arms to hit the ball and the track and field game requires you to sprint in place to get distance. I just finished doing Kinect Dance Central for a TV segment and it really makes you work up a sweat!
Do you have a favorite Xbox 360 Kinect game?
After that last segment it might actually be Dance Central, it’s pretty fun! But they are all really great, there is an activity for everyone and you can play at your own pace, so you don’t have to worry about different ages or skill levels.
Click read more to see how Brees keeps his family fit, and his thoughts on the Super Bowl!
We’ve been thinking a lot about our backsides the past few months here at FITNESS, as our team put together part one of our “Body Lab” to help you get a butt that defies gravity (see the February issue for more!).
While we work hard in the gym to sculpt a better behind, we don’t complain when we get a little help from a particularly flattering pair of pants. The minute we slipped on the GapFit gFast Color Binding Leggings ($60, gap.com), we fell in love with their comfy fit and cute colors. And after testing them out in a strength class at DavidBartonGym to celebrate GapFit’s new line, we knew they would be mainstays in our workout wardrobes. The fabric is just thick enough for cool morning runs, but doesn’t feel too heavy for the gym.
If you’re feeling a bit timid about rocking these leggings, add these three moves from DavidBartonGym trainer Meka to your workout three times each week, and soon you’ll be loving your rear view!
You’ll need: 5- to 8-pound dumbbells
Front squat and press
- Stand with legs shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at sides
- Lower into a squat keeping weight on heels, then return to standing while curling arms to shoulders, palms facing in, then pushing dumbbells into an overhead press, palms facing forward
- Lower arms back to sides and repeat sequence for one minute
- Stand with right leg elevated behind you on a step bench or stair and left leg about three feet in front of the surface, holding dumbbells at sides
- Slowly lower until left knee is at nearly 90 degrees, with knee behind toes
- Hold for one count, return to balancing weight on left leg and repeat for 30 seconds
- Switch sides and repeat split squats with right leg in front for 30 seconds
Reverse into stationary lunge
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells at sides
- Lunge backward with right leg until right knee is about one inch above the ground (Keep torso perpendicular to floor and weight distributed evenly between legs. Align front knee over front ankle, keeping weight in heels rather than toes.)
- Lunge backward with left leg, and alternate sides for 30 seconds
- Hold with right foot in back position of the lunge and raise/lower lunge without moving feet for 15 seconds
- Switch so left foot is in back position of the lunge and raise/lower lunge without moving feet for final 15 seconds
Now tell us: Which of your body parts do you love the most and why?
You picture celebrities shaping up post-baby or before a big role in a fancy personal gym, right? But certain down-to-earth stars (including our January cover girl Brooke Burke) sweat with the masses at popular group fitness classes. One favorite: JAM, or Juicy Athletic Moves, created by choreographer, group fitness instructor and physiologist Neda Soderqvist. JAM combines dance, strength and plyometrics, and is taken by an eclectic mix of individuals, including athletes, stay-at-home moms, Oscar-worthy actresses (Mira Sorvino and Minnie Driver) and music chart-toppers (Pink, who came to class seven months pregnant!).
“The message of the class is to be happy, not just skinny,” Soderqvist says. “You feel like you’re in a music video, and it’s a great workout! Brooke [Burke] came up to me after class and said ‘I won Dancing With the Stars and trained eight hours a day, but after this class, I have to go home and sleep!’”
In town to choreograph a Jamba Juice event—dancing bananas were involved—Sodeqvist took us through a few of the moves her celebrity clients love.
- Begin with weight on left foot and arms at sides. Shift weight to right foot, popping right hip out, while lifting left hand to head and placing right hand on right hip (1A).
- Keeping a quick pace, shift weight back to left foot, popping left hip out and lifting left arm in front of body and right arm behind.
- Repeat hip shifting and arm motions for 30 seconds, switch sides and repeat.
Standing Chest Press
- With knees slightly bent and hips tilted back, lift arms to chest height with elbows pointing away from your body (2).
- Push hips forward while punching both arms in front of your chest, keeping core engaged throughout the move.
More from FITNESS:
- Glee Star Heather Morris’ Dance and Martial Arts Workout
- How Britney Spears Got Her Body Back
- Belly-Dance Away Ab Flab
I’m really trying to hold on to my New Year’s resolution as long as I can—they say people tend to fall off the wagon by the time February hits. But my goal of attending two to three yoga classes a week is manageable, especially since here in the FITNESS office, we’re lucky enough to have a yoga instructor come in at lunchtime two days a week! There’s really no excuse I can’t accomplish this goal, and after seeing this ridiculously cool and inspiring video, “The Contortionist,” from West Hollywood Equinox instructor, Briohny Smith, I’m even more motivated to perfect my yogi-ism far into 2012.
Briohny—Bri for short—was introduced to yoga while on a trip to Thailand in 1999. She found yoga to be the cure to getting more “me” time and adding some much-needed serenity to her busy life. Upon exploring different varieties of Hatha yoga over the past 14 years, Bri fell for the arm balances and inversions you see her mastering in this video. As a yoga teacher, she helps her students bridge the gap between their mind and body, as well as helping them strengthen their muscles, while safely edging them closer to the positions she so beautifully aces. Even if I never reach the level that Bri does with such ease, I’m in awe of what she can make her body do and I’m keeping this video in mind as I hope to lengthen and strengthen my body this winter!
[Check out Equinox's innovative new blog, Q by Equinox, for cool things happening at Equinox locations and fun celebrity and athlete Q&A's...plus much more!]
Looking to be a better yogi this year too? Keep reading for two of Bri’s favorite beginner moves!
January’s Top Workout DVD: Sexy Abs with Kelly Rowland & Jeanette Jenkins
Best for: Those thinking ahead about (and seeking amazing abs in) their spring break bikinis; anyone with aches and pains in their lower back.
Why it’s a star: Celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins and her crew, including Kelly Rowland, Grammy winning R&B singer and judge on The X Factor in the UK, teach you fun and challenging exercises that will leave your ab muscles burning. You’ve seen some of these moves before (bicycle crunches, roll-ups and planks), but the nonstop pace, focus on lower back pain-prevention and the sprinkling of innovative exercises makes this DVD worth an encore in your sweat schedule. You’ll feel the burn throughout your core the next day!
Bonus: You can join the #SexyAbsChallenge on Twitter with @KELLYROWLAND and @JeanetteJenkins now for five weeks of healthy tips, meals and motivation as Kelly gets ready for the Grammy Awards in February. She’s nominated for her song “Motivation!”
Where to get it: $19.95, thehollywoodtrainer.com
More from FITNESS: Look like Brooke—our January cover girl—with this total-body strength routine!