start a regular exercise routine

How to start a regular exercise routine today

Exercise. Now there’s a word to trigger butterflies of guilt. But it’s ok! In today’s article we’ll chat about some of the myths that are holding you back from feeling fit and active, and I’ll outline how you can start a regular exercise routine today.

First though: if the thought of breaking a sweat makes you break a sweat, feel free to swap the word “exercise” for movement…a more pleasurable term I think. And that’s what I want you to keep in mind as we cover today’s topic — moving your body IS a pleasurable experience, and it’s also an act of self love. We are literally made to move (despite modern society’s best efforts to convince us otherwise), and the more you do it the more your body will respond with delight.

Exercise makes us feel better, function better, and yes indeed, look better. So why do so many women have a hard time committing to it?

As a trainer, women’s health coach and ex-couch potato here are the four main obstacles that come between a well-intentioned woman and her fitness routine:

  1. Time
  2. Tiredness
  3. Gym access
  4. Not feeling fit enough

Let’s briefly look at each of these individually and then find a workable solution. (Taurean practicality strikes again!)

“I DON’T HAVE TIME TO EXERCISE”

Forgive me in advance for using the clichéd argument that we all have 24 hours in a day, but the reality is that we do. The average Joline breaks her day down into three categories: sleep (8 hours), work (8 hours) and personal time (8 hours).

What goes into personal time?

  • Bathing
  • Cooking
  • Eating
  • Commuting
  • EXERCISING
  • “Me time”
  • Personal appointments
  • Kid stuff (if that’s your reality)
  • Partner stuff (if that’s your reality)
  • Friend stuff
  • House stuff
  • Time in between for doing nothing in particular

How much time you dedicate to each of these activities depends on your personality and lifestyle. While you probably won’t get to them all every single day, by the end of the week (and your 68 hours of personal time) you can and should.

And when it comes to exercise you ONLY need spend 4 – 6 hours on it each week. If I were better at math I’d be able to give this to you as a percentage of 68 hours…but just trust when I say that it’s really very doable.

So let’s make it actionable

Step One: Dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes every day for exercise of some sort. As I said, your body is designed to move, it thrives on movement, and you’ll feel much better for doing it every single day.

I used to give clients the option to do “bite-sized chunks” of movement, such as 5-10 minutes here or there throughout the day, but I now stick with the 30 minute minimum. Why (other than toughening up in my old age)? Because taking 30 minutes to commit to movement is showing yourself that you deserve to have a healthy body, while refusing to spend that time is telling yourself that you’re not open to self love, and you’d prefer to sabotage your own personal development.

Step Two: To make this a reality you need to schedule it on your calendar as a non-negotiable meeting with yourself. And if you’re hemming and hawing about what time of day is best to exercise, the answer is simple. It’s the time you actually do it.

Step Three: To make the most of the time you’ve delegated you need to have a plan. This is more efficient and makes it easier to follow through. Don’t overcomplicate this. Walking is great. Stretching is lovely. Body weight movements are fantastic. Keep it simple and you’ll achieve success.

(Still think that you can’t carve out 30 minutes each day? Download my free audio guide: Take Back Your Time)

“I’M TOO TIRED TO EXERCISE”

Au contraire, my dear friend, movement actually gives you more energy. Being sedentary drags down your energy because your heart rate drops and your metabolism slows.

(Nothing like sluggish bowels and constant yawning to make you want to skip your workout.) 

But when you choose to be active you can quickly reverse these feelings. The simple act of taking a walk will put a spring in your step, and getting moving will get things moving (if you catch my drift)

If your fatigue is more emotional than physical, then its important to note that regular activity (especially when taken outdoors) is a healthy way to release the stress hormone cortisol and boost your mood.

And if its purely physical aches and pains, then movement could be just what the doctor ordered. Sitting all day (in cars, at your desk, on the couch) puts pressure on your back, hips and spine. The activities that you do seated (driving, computer work, eating) keep your body leaning forward, which puts pressure on your neck and mid back. Getting up, shaking out those joints and moving your body returns circulation to areas of stiffness and keeps your muscles and connective tissue strong and flexible.

So let’s make it actionable

Don’t let fatigue make you skip your daily movement experience, instead experiment with a gentle 20-30 minute walk and see if your energy doesn’t lift.

“I DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO A GYM”

This one’s not going to fly with me. If you have a pair of sneakers you have access to everything you need to be fit.

So let’s make it actionable

Leave your house and explore the wide world around you: walk, run, swim in the ocean, skip along the footpath, twirl your arms and spin in circles…. Today I walked to a nearby park and did 90 step ups, 30 pushups and 45 squats using a park bench before walking back home.

For more tailored workout routines you have access to YouTube, indeed including quite a few Jennifer Dene Wellness workouts… Perhaps you’d like to press play on this leg workout

“I’M NOT FIT ENOUGH TO GET FIT”

This is a very real reason, and one I’ve known myself. I’ve had times in my life when I’ve been very fit and times when I haven’t, and I have to say that going to a gym class and feeling like the underdog is pretty demoralizing. However, the only way that you’ll improve is by taking the first step.

Know this: wherever you are on your health and fitness journey is exactly where you should be. Your current state is the perfect launching pad for where you want to go.

So let’s make it actionable

You might like to consider finding a trainer, friend or accountability buddy who can show you how to get started on your fitness journey, including demonstrating the best exercises for a beginner and telling you those that you should avoid.

Then build your foundation from the ground up by improving your mobility, focusing on walking, and incorporating functional core strength exercises into your weekly routine. Once you’ve conquered those bases you’ll be ready to tackle any and all forms of movement that fill your heart with delight.

I hope that this article has been helpful in debunking some of the why-I-don’t-exercise myths, and has pointed you in the right direction to get moving today. As always, let me know how you go by leaving a comment below.

With love,

joyous movement jennifer dene

Joyous Movement & My Surprise Athleticism

Athleticism has never been in my blood. If you throw a ball at me I’ll close my eyes and my running style has been likened to some form of interpretive dance. 

So you can imagine my surprise when, in 2008, I was asked to start teaching fitness classes at some of Sydney’s top gyms and health clubs.

(Me! The girl who spent school lunches hanging out in the library!)

At the time I was studying journalism at the University Of Technology, Sydney, and had joined a gym in Bondi Junction.

Even though I enjoyed taking classes I never imagined that I could be the one on stage. Yet there I was, mic’d up and ready to roll. I guess the fitness gods finally decided to cut me some slack.

My first gig was teaching a program called BodyBalance™. Visualize a dimly lit studio, a pre-choreographed flow of tai-chi, yoga and pilates, and a playlist that rotated between Seal, Sting and Sade. Oh how I loved it!

Teaching BodyBalance™ was the first time I realized that I was actually quite good at this whole physical activity thing  (as long as you didn’t throw a ball at me or ask me to run).

In fact, by the time I left for America, I had gathered quite a following in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and Lower North Shore, with my classes regularly holding 90-100 people.

I’m telling you this because yesterday, seven years hence, I decided to put on one of my old BodyBalance™ workout DVDs. It was going to be great!

Right?!

15 minutes in and I was giggling so hard that I had to I hit the pause button.  As it turns out, BodyBalance™ was extremely easy (and I may not have been the total badass trainer that I thought I was)!

One quarter-way into the workout and all we had done was some deep breathing, a basic yoga salutation and the modified Pilates Hundred.

The L.A fitness crowd would have died of boredom.

Personally, I kind of loved it.

Breathe. Move. Flow. Be gentle to your joints and kind to yourself. That’s the kind of fitness that I can get behind.

Its simplicity allowed the hour to be spent in a state of movement meditation and, as previously crowed, it made me feel like I was good at something physical, which counts for a lot.

I wanted to share that story to remind you of one of my healthy living truths: you should exercise to feel good, not to prove a point.

A lot of women I know think that exercise has to be grueling to be effective. This is absolutely not the case. Your motivation to exercise comes from doing something that makes you feel great, in body, mind and spirit.

Exercise shouldn’t feel like just another chore, and daily joyous movement can become something that you crave.

Plus willpower is finite, which means that you need to find a form of fitness that inspires you to do it on a regular basis.

With that in mind, I give you permission to do the following:

  • Stop any form of exercise that doesn’t make you feel good
  • Ignore the latest fitness advice from glossy magazines
  • Don’t worry about how your expression of movement ranks on the hot-right-now scale
  • Find your own interpretation of athleticism
  • Exercise to feel good, not to prove a point

Let me know how it goes.

With love,

reduce low back pain jennifer dene wellness

Pilates To Reduce Low Back Pain

This 10 minute Pilates workout video will help you reduce low back pain by stretching, strengthening and stabilizing the muscles that support the spine. 

Is back pain putting a real cramp in your style? If so, you’re not alone. Studies show that women are more likely to experience back pain — as well as other forms of chronic pain — than men.

(As if dealing with periods, child-birth and menopause weren’t enough, now we get to bear the brunt of chronic pain. Those men seem to get off so dang easy!)

To be fair, it’s not really the men’s fault. Things like differences in pelvic structure, hormonal changes and the physical impact of pregnancy are all contributing factors.

But just because you’re more likely to experience back pain, doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Whether you’re looking to prevent low back pain or reduce its intensity, a gentle Pilates routine that focuses on strengthening and stretching the muscles that support the spine will go a long way in helping.

So grab your exercise mat and press play on today’s home workout video.

Pilates To Reduce Low Back Pain

 

 

P.S. Did you know that back pain can be caused from having overly tight hips? Try these stretches and feel the difference!

Yoga For Anxiety

8 Minute Yoga Flow To Reduce Anxiety

Feeling anxious, tired, stiff or a little tightly spun? Today’s gentle yoga for anxiety workout is for you. In this 8 minute video I’ll walk you through five gentle stress-busting yoga poses that you can do every day to stretch your muscles and switch off your mind.

It’s very cool to be good at yoga these days but unfortunately — not really! — I’m neither particularly cool or good at yoga. I don’t like the heated studios that have taken over the yoga community, and I also have a really hard time slowing down my busy brain and staying in the zone. So I don’t go all that often.

(Excuses, excuses!)

Saying that, there are a few yoga poses that I absolutely love, and the five that I’m showing you in today’s video are at the top of that list. These moves are the reason that I’ll try to hit the mat once every week or two, and they’re what I call on at home to soothe both body and brain.

As I’m not a yoga teacher, or a particularly loyal student, I’m teaching this series in my own novice way (pros: consider yourself warned). This sequence is designed to help you reduce anxiety and calm your central nervous system, which means we will be moving slowly.

Being able to slow down and enjoy the movement experience is much more important than the poses themselves. Don’t worry about getting from A-to-B with any great haste and remember that you’re here to learn how to use the body to unwind the mind.

Here are the poses that you’ll be doing:

Tree Pose

Here’s why you’ll like it: As a balancing pose, Tree will make you feel more grounded. With one foot firmly rooted into the floor you know that you are safe and stable in your own life, while the lightness and length of the spine helps elevate your energy (and reminds you that there’s always room to grow).

Here’s what you need to know: Keep the lifted foot AWAY from the knee-cap; be true to your body and keep your joints safe!

Seated Spinal Twist

Here’s why you’ll like it: This pose is energizing for the spine, a great stretch in the shoulders, hips and neck, and stimulating for the digestive system. I know when I feel anxious that my gut gets all knotted up, so I use this pose to gently wring out that tension.

Here’s what you need to know: If you struggle to sit upright try sitting on a folded blanket to decompress your low back. Got back or neck issues? Move gently or avoid this posture.

(Modified) Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose

Here’s why you’ll like it: Reversing circulation in the legs relieves fatigue in the lower limbs. Some also say that changing the direction of blood flow gives you a new perspective on life… check it out for yourself and see what you think.

Here’s what you need to know: This pose is an inversion, which means you need to avoid it if you have serious eye problems, such as glaucoma, or neck/back problems. You can also let your legs rest against the wall if that’s more comfortable for you.

Pigeon Pose

Here’s why you’ll like it: Many people don’t like Pigeon pose because it can feel pretty intense, but those knots in your hips may represent blockages in your life — hips don’t lie, as Shakira so enthusiastically reminds us! At a minimum that tightness is a result of your sedentary lifestyle and adding movement and breath will bring a lot of relief.

Here’s what you need to know: For knee issues you will want to take the modification OR try these hip stretches, including a seated-chair-pigeon pose (much more gentle on the knees and back).

Sivasana

Here’s why you’ll like it: This pose requires nothing of you, which is not something that you can say about many activities in your day-to-day life. Lay back, relax and let gravity do its job.

Here’s what you need to know: If you feel tension in the low back you can roll a small blanket and place it under the knees. Once settled, focus on your breath, imagine that your body is melting through the floor and let thoughts come and go without blocking them or engaging with them.

Yoga For Anxiety: 5 Poses To Unwind Body & Mind

 

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

What daily practices do you use to help reduce anxiety? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

With love,

5 Best Ab Exercises For A Strong Core

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted a home workout video. I decided that I needed time to think about my approach to fitness, and how that weaves in to my overall healthy living message.

I wanted to get clear on where I stand on the fitness spectrum, and what kind of exercises I should be sharing with you.

It wasn’t necessarily easy.

On one hand, I knew how to create workouts that ticked all the popular boxes. High intensity, fast and furious, fat burning, calorie crunching, lean machine exercises. On the other hand, I didn’t actually like doing them all that much!

My workouts looked great on paper, but they didn’t feel great in my body. So even though I’d share them with my clients and readers, personally I’d often do something much more simple and gentle in my own routine.

It started making me feel a little hypocritical; you can do this, but I’m not going to. I was worried that if I shared what I really did, no one else would want to do it too. Golly, I’ve been known to break out into dance steps into the middle of a run, and will happily turn any workout into a hour-long stretch routine.

I was also a little concerned about what would happen if I couldn’t maintain my old level of fitness. Can I be an “pro” if I drop to my knees in pushups? Do I even want to be an “pro”?

I’ve decided that I don’t. I’m just your guide on the side for this healthy living ride.

And with that in mind, here’s where I’ve landed: I think that fitness should be simple, fun and functional. Moving your body should be a joy, not a burden, and the activities that you do should make you feel better in your every day life (not just in that 50 minute workout class).

Remember that fitness is a long-term commitment, and as long as you have the gift to be able to move your body then move it you should.

So I thought we could do a little experiment. Let’s train how I want to train for a couple of months and see what happens. It’s not going to be too intense, it should feel good during and wonderful after, and it will challenge us in a self-care kind of way. I might throw in a few curve balls too! Are you game?

If so press play on today’s workout video, where I’m sharing 5 of the best ab exercises to strengthen your core (it’s part two to this Crunch Free Ab Workout). 

The Best Ab Exercises For A Stronger Core

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. I filmed this video last year. I’m growing out my hair and it’s totally awkward at the moment, too funny for on-camera!

Pilates resistance band workout

18 Minute Pilates Resistance Band Workout | Intermediate Level

Today’s Pilates resistance band workout will  strengthen your muscles, improve your posture, and increase your flexibility. All you need is a resistance band (a.k.a exercise band or Theraband) and your workout mat.

Pilates emphasizes core strength, postural alignment, mobility and breath, making it a really important component of your overall workout routine.

But to fully reap these benefits, your flow should be focused around the six Pilates principles: breathing, concentration & control, centering, balanced muscle development, flow, and relaxation.

Before we unroll our mats for today’s video, let’s take a quick peek at each of these principles.

Breathing

In the words of my old mate Joe Pilates: “Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it.” Breathing calms our wandering mind and allows us to focus on our physical body. In Pilates we INHALE through the nose and EXHALE through the mouth; a strong exhale activates the deep abdominal muscles. If you get confused with the breathing just remember to exhale on the most challenging phase of each movement.

Concentration & Control

Intentional movement focuses on form and alignment, rather than speed and repetition — it is better to do five perfect reps of an exercise, than 20 without paying attention. I encourage you to listen to your body, maintain your alignment, and modify any exercises that feel too challenging.

Centering

The core is the center of the body and acts as both your anchor and your compass. In Pilates we initiate the core before every movement, even for something as simple as lifting an arm or a leg. To activate your abdominals, exhale through your mouth while drawing the belly button towards your spine. If you notice your belly push out during an exercise, stop what you’re doing and reconnect your abs.

Balanced Muscle Development

Our body is designed to move in multiple directions, and we can use our Pilates workout to honor that. In today’s video we are tapping into EVERYTHING: front and back, side to side, bend and flex, and stretch and strengthen… it’s going to feel great!

Flow

Rhythm and flow is my favorite aspect of Pilates. It feels so natural for my body to move in a way that is fluid and functional, while also creating a calm sense of balance for body, mind and spirit. At first you may feel a little clunky trying today’s routine, but after repeating it once you will be able to flow with ease.

Relaxation

Remember, Jennifer Dene Wellness is about feeling fit, feminine and fabulous in the simplest way possible. Don’t make exercise harder than it has to be, and don’t believe the hype that workouts need to be exhausting to be effective. Use as much effort as you need to in order to perform each exercise correctly, but then no more. Relax your shoulders, relax your jaw, and at the end of the session take a few moments to simply lie on your mat and enjoy the stillness.

Choosing The Right Resistance Band

In the video I chat about choosing a the right resistance band for Pilates workouts. The bands that you can buy in a set of three, with three different weight tensions, tend to be too heavy and short for Pilates. Instead, I buy a long roll of Theraband and cut it into three generous lengths; blue is a nice weight for intermediate fitness levels. (Purchase your exercise band here.)

Now let’s do it to it!

Pilates Resistance Band Workout

This is an intermediate Pilates mat workout. If you are a beginner, move more slowly and take the most basic option in each exercise. I wanted to get as much done in 18 minutes as possible so I’m moving at quite a clip, you can always pause the video if you need a little more time. I recommend repeating today’s workout three times this week.

 

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

Did you enjoy today’s Pilates workout? I hope so! Which of the six Pilates principles do you find most challenging, and which comes most naturally to you? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

With love,

JDW Signature

Upper Back Stretches Jennifer Dene Wellness

4 Feel-Good Stretches For A Tight Upper Back

In today’s workout I’m sharing four upper back stretches that will make your spine feel divine. All you need is an exercise mat, so come on in and join the fun!

Remember a few weeks ago when I shared three stretches for tight hips? In that post I talked about how our sedentary lifestyle is really doing a number on our muscles and joints. Sitting is the new smoking and it’s wreaking havoc on our bodies.

Another side effect of our habitual postures is tightness in the upper back, neck and shoulders. Here’s why:

Most of our day-to-day tasks keep our arms in front of our torso (hello computer work, texting, driving, ironing, and cooking). This contracts the muscles at the front of the body and weakens the muscles of the back, which are constantly being lengthened.

Yep, lengthened. Your “tight back” might not be a symptom of muscle contraction, but actually of muscle strain.

Rounding the shoulders or low back when sitting or standing (and constantly reaching forward) over-stretches the spinal extensors and weakens the shoulder stabilizers. Rather than being a good thing, this “flexibility” is a sign that your spine isn’t properly supported and your own weight is dragging your body out of alignment.

What happens then?

Our fascia — the connective tissue that wraps around the muscles, bones and organs  — gets stiff and inflexible from being stuck in the same position all day. Imagine the fascia as a cobweb that has wrapped around your muscles. Cobwebs that get ignored get more and more dense; fascia that gets ignored also gets more dense (or knotted) creating tension and reducing mobility.

So what can we do about it?

I’m so glad you asked! We need to take a three-pronged approach to tackling these aches and pains:

  1. Strengthen the spine. A tight back is different from a strong back. Do these three upper body exercises (and pay particular attention to move #1 “Cactus Glides”) 
  2. Strengthen the core. This is going to support your spine from your abdominals, and help you to improve your posture throughout the day. Here is a 10 minute crunch-free core workout. 
  3. Stretch the upper back through a variety of movements. Mobilizing the thoracic spine (upper back) through flexion, extension and rotation will help to take your fascia from sticky to supple. Try adding the four exercises in the video below to your daily routine.

Download Your Stretch Series

I’ve created a nifty one-page PDF for you to download, which includes instructions and photos of the four stretches from today’s video. That way you can keep it on your computer to remind yourself to stretch your spine throughout the day! Click here to download your free PDF.

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

Once you’ve had a chance to do these stretches I’d love to know how they felt in your body. Let me know by leaving a comment below.

With love,

JDW Signature

JUMPING LUNGE TUTORIAL Jennifer Dene Wellness

3 Lunge Variations To Add To Your Routine

In today’s video workout I’m sharing three lunge variations that you could add to your workout routine. Beginning with the simplest regression (a back lunge) and finishing with the most advanced variation (a jumping lunge) this video will have all your lunging needs sorted!

For some of you, any kind of jumping/plyometric movement might be off-limits – and that’s ok. But if your knees are up for a little more impact, then adding a jumping lunge into your routine can add a real boost to your fitness.

But the problem is that many people — trainers included — go about doing jump lunges (or split lunges as they’re also called) totally wrong. The goal of the movement is to simply switch the lunge from one side to the other, which doesn’t actually require a large range of motion.

Perfecting your jump lunge makes things easy on the joints & challenging for the muscles…Oh yes, I can feel your excitement from here!

When To Do Jump Lunges

Bodyweight workouts are the perfect place to add plyometric movements, like the jump lunge. Take 6 – 24 repetitions, and place the movement in between two low impact exercises.

You could also try adding them to either this low impact cardio workout or these three moves from the “Killer Legs” series.

Pay Attention To …

  1. Start with the back lunge. Perfect it.
  2. Move on to the front lunge. Get really comfortable there.
  3. Add the split jump, only if it feels ok for your body to advance.

Tip: To increase the challenge without the jump, simply hold a pair of medium weights during the first two regressions.

Safety Tips

  • Keep your bodyweight in the heel of your front foot during each lunge.
  • Draw your navel to your spine and keep the back straight.
  • Only jump on a floor that is in good condition —wood or carpet is best, concrete is never ok.
  • Wear proper shoes.
  • Keep it low and slow.

 

 

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

What kind of workouts would you like to see more of on Jennifer Dene Wellness? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

With love,

JDW Signature

Crunch Free Ab Workout

Crunch Free Ab Workout | 10 Minute Workout

Last year I wrote an article for Mind Body Green that has since been shared over 20,000 times. Basically I’m explaining why, despite being a Pilates and personal trainer, I never want a six-pack. I guess it struck a chord with some people.

While you may think that having a six-pack equals strong abs,  it’s not necessarily the case.

A six-pack is formed by strengthening the outer layer of abdominals — the superficial rectus abdominis — through crunches and similar exercises. And while it’s great to have strong outer abs, it’s what’s underneath that really counts.

Side note: You can absolutely have strong outer abs without seeing a “six-pack”. Usually a healthy level of body fat will prevent us from seeing this definition. And if having a six-pack means giving up cheese, bread and wine… I will always choose the cheese, bread and wine!

Before you press play on today’s workout,  let’s take a peek underneath the hood at why core-strength is the new sexy:

The six-pack is the least important muscle for spinal support.

Without getting too technical, the deep core muscles (transversus abdominis and erector spinae) are what matters most when it comes to strengthening and stabilizing our spine. Here’s why they need your attention…

Core strength:

  • Improves posture — and reduces shrinking as we age
  • Eases back and neck pain
  • Stops the rounding-forward of shoulders
  • Corrects pelvic and knee misalignments
  • Is good for activating that nifty little pelvic floor muscle
  • Helps with breathing and digestion, as correct postural alignment gives your organs room to do their thing!

A strong core can reduce the likelihood or severity of diastasis.

Diastasis is a separation of the outer abdominal muscles, which often happens during and after pregnancy.

While you shouldn’t be alarmed if you’ve experienced diastasis, you do want to get on top of it as soon as possible.* If ignored diastasis can lead to chronic low back pain, lumbar instability, digestive issues and hernias.

(*Note: please get medical clearance before beginning any new workout routine, especially post-pregnancy or surgery.)

So, how do you fix it? Crunches exacerbate diastasis and can further weaken an already weak core. To draw the outer abs back towards midline you need to use flexion-free core exercises, such as those that I’ll show you below.

There’s no point in building the house on a rocky foundation.

The real benefit to starting with crunch-free ab exercises is this: you can do hundreds of sit-ups every day, but without a strong foundation you won’t be getting any benefit.

Now let’s train!

10 Minute Crunch Free Ab Workout

Here Are The Moves

Seated Abdominal Breathing: Sit comfortably with your hands on the belly and your spine nice and straight. Inhale and let the belly expand towards your hands, exhale and engage your abdominals to pull the belly back in towards the spine. Repeat 10 – 12 repetitions.

All-Fours Abdominals: Start on hands and knees, with the wrists under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Keep the spine straight and still. Inhale to let the belly hang down, and exhale to engage your abdominals and pull the belly up towards your spine. Repeat 6-8 repetitions.

Kneeling Hovers: From the all-fours position, keep your abdominals engaged and hover the knees one inch away from the floor. Lower them down. Repeat for 6-10 repetitions.

Plank Step Backs: From the all-fours position, step one foot at a time back to plank position, without releasing your abdominal engagement. Repeat a total of 8-10 repetitions.

Single Leg Lifts: Start lying on your back, and gently press the low spine into the mat. Engage the abdominals before lifting one knee at a time to 90º (“tabletop position”). Return the feet to the mat, keeping the belly flat and the spine neutral. If the belly pops out (i.e. you lose core engagement) only lower the toes halfway.  Repeat 8-10 repetitions.

Marching: Start with both knees in tabletop position. Tap one toe at a time towards the mat, before pulling it back up. Keep the belly flat and the spine neutral. Repeat 8-10 repetitions.

Frog Presses: Start lying on your back, with the knees lifted and the heels together, knees slightly open. Keep the low back against the floor and extend the legs away on a high 45º angle. Pull them back in. If the belly pops out (i.e. you lose core engagement) take the legs higher to the sky. Repeat 10-12 repetitions.

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

What kind of ab exercises are part of your workout routine? How did the moves from today’s video feel? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Want 1:1 Access To Me & A Personalized Workout Routine Each Week? Schedule a free consult…