Your Perfect 15-Minute Summer Ab Routine

Summer break is looming over us and many of you must be thinking, “I missed out on Spring Break, how can I get shredded for this summer?” Well the solution is easy and simple. I will break down a quick 15 – minute ab workout that will ensure you can achieve the look you want before summer break creeps up on us.

The Warm – UP

To begin our journey to shredded abs, first you need a good stretch. Stretching out your abdominals is a big part of preventing cramps and injuries, especially if you have taken an extended vacation from these exercises.

Step 1: Lay flat on a hard surface with your stomach facing the ceiling

Step 2: Bring your knees up to your chest.

Step 3: Move your knees from side to side while your chest and stomach remain pointed towards the ceiling. Continue this motion for the first 3 minutes of the ab routine.

Now that you are all loosened up it is time to enter the “Burn Out” phase of our workout routine! Get ready!

The Burn Out

The Burn Out consists of six, two minute ab exercises that are designed to give you a burn that you have never felt before. The most important tip to remember is that there are no breaks in between sets of the “Burn Out” phase of our work out routine. Most importantly these exercises will target the upper, lower, and sides of your abdominal muscles in order to get the perfectly sculpted set of abs you desire.

Exercise #1: Crunches

Now that we have entered the “Burn Out” portion of the workout, we will start with a very familiar ab exercise which are crunches. If you are not familiar with crunches, then simply lay down belly – up on a hard surface, interlock your fingers behind your head, and raise your head up to your chest then bring your head back down to starting position. Repeat this exercise for the remainder of the first two minutes of the “Burn Out”.

Exercise #2: Flutter Kicks

Now that we have reached the second exercise of the “Burn Out” routine, it is time to turn it up a bit! Flutter kicks will allow you to work your lower abdominals. If you are unfamiliar with this exercise then no worries! Simply lay flat on your back just like the previous exercise and place your hands flat alongside yourself. The next step requires you to keep your legs extended forwards. Next raise your legs six inches off the ground. Lastly move your legs up and down, be sure to alternate the movement of each leg. As one leg raises further up the other leg should be retreating resembling how you might kick your legs while swimming. Continue this motion for the next two minutes.

Exercise #3: Elbow Plank

Now that you are feeling the burn, it is time to hold on for dear life or at least hold an elbow plank! Elbow planks are an exercise that allow you to engage the whole six – pack while also substituting as a quick breather for the second half of the “Burn Out”. In order to do this exercise lay down stomach side down, and then raise up using your toes and elbows and hold this pose for the next two minutes. In order to visualize this exercise look at the image below.

Exercise #4: Toe Taps

Now that we are in the home stretch of our workout routine it is time for Toe Taps. Toe Taps are a great exercise to target your obliques or in other words those tough to sculpt side abdominals. Simply lay flat on your back, prop your legs up like you are about to do a crunch and alternately touch your fingers to your toes while keeping your arms straight for the next two minutes.

Exercise #5: Hundreds

Second to last exercise! Here we go guys, the next exercise is called hundreds. Hundreds are another upper abdominal work out that will serve us will in our journey to sculpted abs. In order to do a hundred lay on your back once again, keep your legs raised as if you are going to do a crunch, keep your arms straight out alongside your self. Lastly raise your arms six inches and thrust forward repeatedly for next two minutes.

Exercise #6: Elbow Planks once again!

Finally we have reached the last exercise of our 15 – minute ab workout routine! Be proud that you have made it to the finish line. The reason that elbow planks are popping up again as our final exercise is simply because it engages the whole six – pack and will allow you to cool down.

Thank you everyone for taking 15 minutes out of your day to try my 15 – minute ab busting workout. If you remember to do this workout 3 times a week before now and summer, you will have the abs you have been dreaming for your whole life, guaranteed!

Quick and Effective Workouts for Busy People

As we all know time is a commodity that we will never get back. That being said, I will show you guys some workouts that you can do anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home, at the office, at your little brothers soccer game, or even outside waiting for your Uber to come pick you up.

Exercise #1: Calf Raises

The first exercise is called calf raises. Calf raises are an exercise that will help you strengthen and sculpt your calf muscles. All you need to do is find a ledge of some sort or a stair or raised platform, place your toe and heels on the platform and thrust upward and downward. Usually a single set of 15 to 30 will be adequate enough to help build your calf muscles. If you feel a little bit more advanced then add 50 to 100 calf raises.

Exercise #2: Alternating Lunges

The second workout we will talk about is called an alternating lunge. Alternating Lunges are a great exercise because they don’t require any extra equipment, just yourself. All you need to do is stand tall and step outward with one leg and dip the other leg at a 90 degree angle with your knee almost touching the ground. Retreat to starting position and do the same thing with the other leg. A good number of alternating lunges to do in a set in order to see results over time would be anywhere from 10 to 20 lunges. Alternating lunges are a great exercise to help build up muscle strength in your hamstrings and quads.

Exercise #3: Jogging in Place

The third exercise is jogging in place. Jogging in place is a great exercise to help with your cardiovascular system and help build stamina. This is a great exercise in circumstances where you are short on time because you can do it almost anywhere. It is said that sets of 45 seconds to a minute help increase your heart rate and get the blood flow going.

Exercise #4: Wall Push – Ups

The fourth workout are wall push ups. Wall push ups are a great exercise because you don’t have to get down on the floor and get dirty, you can stand upright and still get the same results as a regular push up. All you have to do is stand six inches away from a wall, lean forward on the wall with both hands, make sure your back is diagonally straight with the wall and use exagerated resistance to push down and push up. The further you place your hands apart, the more you will workout your chest and the closer you place your hands together the more you will workout your triceps. Take your pick on which muscle you want to work and get going!

Exercise #5: Squats

The fifth and final workout are called squats. Just like the other exercises squats can be done in any environment. All you have to do is stand up straight make sure your feet are shoulder width apart and drop your butt downward keeping your back straight, your chest and head up. This exercise in particular helps with your quads, hamstring, and core. A sufficient number of squats to see muscle improvement range anywhere from 20 to 30.

As you can see these five exercises alone can fit into any persons schedule no matter how busy, all you need is yourself and a little bit of self motivation to achieve the healthy lifestyle that you want.

Quick On-The-Go Snacks for College Students

We all know that Spring is a busy time of the year. Whether you are finishing up your last semester, planning a fun and exciting Spring Break, or trying to figure out what job or internship you are going to do this summer, you always feel like you are on the go and just trying to get your life together. You may be so busy that when you finally get home at the end of the day you realize, “Have I eaten anything today?”

Or maybe you are the type that is always looking forward to the next time you get to eat. Maybe you are on the go so much that the only options for food are Chick-Fil-A or a bag of chips from the convenience store. After eating these things day in and day out, you realize you hate the way they make you feel and maybe they have caused you to gain weight.

We have all been there. We wear ourselves out on the one snack or meal because it is convenient and does the job. But this is not how eating should be. You should not force yourself to eat junky foods that just end up making you feel gross at the end of the day.

Within the past few weeks, I have decided to put an end to the self-destruction by finding snacks that I can take with me that satisfy my cravings, but also make me feel good after I eat them. Here are a couple of my favorites!

Dark Chocolate Trail Mix Energy Bites

Ingredients: Dark Chocolate, Dried Fruit (I prefer cranberries), and Almonds

Directions:

  1. Heat chocolate until melted.
  2. Once smooth, use spoon to make a thin round shape with chocolate on parchment paper.
  3. While chocolate is still warm, add your toppings.
  4. Finally, place your treats in the freezer until chocolate is solid.

This is one of my favorite snacks because of the freedom you have. You will never get tired of this snack because of the endless varieties of toppings you can add. Another reason why I love this snack so much is because of the salty and sweet combination with the chocolate and nuts.

S’mores Energy Bites

Ingredients: 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or gluten-free oats, 1/3 cup finely crushed graham crackers can use gluten-free, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, A pinch of sea salt, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter  (can use almond butter), 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, 1/4 cup miniature marshmallows

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine oats, crushed graham crackers, chia seeds, and salt.
  2. Add the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined and mixture is moist. Gently stir in the mini chocolate chips and miniature marshmallows.
  3. Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1-2 tablespoons per ball. Place in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

This one may have more ingredients, but it is just as easy to make. This one is perfect for days when you will be gone from 9-5 and need something in between lunch and closing time to get you through the rest of the day. I love this recipe because it once again satisfies my salty and sweet cravings and provides so much protein.

With these recipes and many more we can feel good about the snacks we are consuming during our busy day. While this takes more effort than your convenience store snack, your body will thank you. Together, let’s do a better job of being more intentional about the things we put in our bodies and recognizing how it makes us feel!

Easy Meals for College Students

With so many commitments in college, it is hard to find time to make meals that are of good quality and taste delicious. Here are a few that I love to make and eat.

Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken

Ingredients: Boneless, skinless chicken breast, Olive oil, Ranch Dressing, Chipotle Sauce, salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix the marinade. Combine the olive oil, ranch dressing and chipotle sauce together and whisk until combined. 
  2. Slice the chicken breasts width wise to ensure your chicken is evenly cooked and never undercooked.
  3. Add the chicken to the marinade and allow it to sit turning occasionally for at least one hour, up to 24 hours.
  4. When you are ready to cook, heat your griddle or grill to 400 degrees and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side, or use a meat thermometer reaches an internal temperature to 165 degrees.

I usually prepare broccoli or green beans and mac and cheese or mashed potatoes.

The BEST Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken perfect for salads, wraps and easy healthy meal prep!

One Pot Tomato Basil Pasta

Ingredients: 1 13.25-ounce box whole wheat linguine, 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced, 4-6 cloves garlic, minced, 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (1 pint of grape tomatoes), handful of, basil, chopped, handful of parsley, chopped, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes, 5 cups water, parmesan cheese for serving

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to submerge the pasta as it softens.
  2. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring and tossing continually (tongs are great for this) for about 8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the pasta is cooked.
  3. Serve immediately, topped with parmesan cheese.
one-pot tomato basil pasta - a fast, healthy meal in 10 minutes