Abs and Lower Back

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Planksgiving and Prayer Monthly Challenge : Week 4

Clare : December 5, 2014 10:26 am : Abs and Lower Back, Challenges, Featured, Good Living

I’m a little late getting this final week of Planksgiving and Prayer pictures to you but Thanksgiving and my Hunger-Free Challenge download kind of put me behind! Before I get into the pictures, verses, and prayers, I want to share with you a really fun giveaway giveaway!

I’m being featured in Karen Ehman’s “12 Days of Christmas” Giveaways and today is Day 5! Hop over to her site to see what Christmas fun I have for you, and then what you could win!!

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway with Karen Ehman (Peak313 Fitness)

Now onto the planks!

Here are the 3 weeks prior if you want to catch up! Remember, there is additional insight on each of these posts on my instagram account! If you don’t have instagram, you can still access it here! www.instagram.com/clarepeak313

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3


(The videos are embedded from instagram, so if you can’t see them, that’s why!)

Day 22

Mountain Climbers

2 Thessalonians 1:11 / Worthy of the Calling

A video posted by Clare Smith (@clarepeak313) on

Day 23

Wall Planks

Galatians 6:9-10 / Endurance

Wall planks :peak313.com  

Day 24

Plank Pike Ups

Hebrews 10:24/ Spur one another on

A video posted by Clare Smith (@clarepeak313) on

Day 25

Extended Plank

Matthew 6:12 / Forgiveness

extended plank : peak313.com


Day 26

Walking Plank

Matthew 6:13/ Yield Temptation

A video posted by Clare Smith (@clarepeak313) on

Day 27

Side Plank with Bottom Leg Lifted

Eph 3:18/ The depth of love of God


side plank with lower leg lifted : peak313.com  

Day 28

Extended Bird Dog Plank

2 Corin 5:10-11/ Focus on eternity


  extended bird dog plank : peak313.com  



Day 29

Plank Drags

Phil 4:11-13 / Contentment

A video posted by Clare Smith (@clarepeak313) on

Day 30

90 Degree Bird Dog Plank

Psalm 84:11 / See the needs of others

90 degree bird dog plank : peak313.com

Thank you so much for joining us in November! Bookmark these posts so that you can return to them and do your own “planks giving” at any time in the year!


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Planksgiving and Prayer Monthly Challenge : Week 3

Clare : November 24, 2014 9:47 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Challenges, Featured

We just completed Week 3 and are moving on to the last week of the Planksgiving and Prayer Challenge!

Here are the 2 weeks prior if you want to catch up! Remember, there is additional insight on each of these posts on my instagram account! If you don’t have instagram, you can still access it here! www.instagram.com/clarepeak313

Week 1

Week 2

Now onto Week 3!

Day 15

Plank Jacks (This is taken from one of my youtube videos here!)

Colossians‬ ‭1‬:‭9-10 / Spiritual Wisdom

Day 16

Fingertip Plank

Romans 10:13-15 / Missionaries

fingertip plank

Day 17

Reverse plank with leg lift

Colossians 1:10b / Growing in the knowledge of God

reverse plank with leg lift

Day 18

Chaturanga Plank with leg lift

Mark 9:24 / Overcoming unbelief

chaturanga plank with leg lift

Day 19

Rowing Planks (Renegade Rows)

Ephesians 1:19-20 / Christ’s Power

A video posted by Clare Smith (@clarepeak313) on

Day 20

Side Plank Thread Thru

Luke 22:31-32 / Shaken Faith

  A video posted by Clare Smith (@clarepeak313) on

Day 21

Crouching Hover Plank

Matthew 26:41 / Temptation

crouching hover plank


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Planksgiving and Prayer Monthly Challenge : Week 2

Clare : November 17, 2014 6:30 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Challenges, Featured

Hey! I’m a little late on getting this up for you guys and almost didn’t post it, but I want it here for those of you who would love to do this in the future! So we just completed week 2 of the challenge and now are onto week 3! (If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, click here!)

 Day 8

Single Leg Plank

Philippians 3:17 / Spiritual Mentors

toe stack plank : peak313.com

Day 9

Side Plank

Eccle 12:9-10 / Teachers of the Word and Pastors

side plank ("the pastor plank")

Day 10

Knee to Outside Elbow

Matthew 6:11 / Our Daily Needs

knee to outside elbow plank

Day 11

Knee to Inside Elbow

James 1:5 / Wisdom

knee to inside elbow

Day 12

Hip Drops

Matthew 9:37-38 / Harvest Workers

hip drop plank : peak313.com

Day 13

Side Plank with Leg Lift

1 Thessalonians 3:9-10 / Encourage and fill in gaps of others with truth

side plank with leg lift : peak313.com

Day 14

Bird Dog Plank

Philippians 1:9-10 / Discernment

bird dog plank : peak313.com


Planksgiving and Prayer Monthly Challenge: Week 1

Clare : November 9, 2014 1:39 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Challenges, Featured

First off, if you are part of the “Living and Active” challenge, please make sure you do your final check-in! Here’s the link for it! I’ll be announcing the winners later this week!!

If you follow me on Facebook or instagram, you’ve seen this daily challenge that I am a part of! My friend Michelle Myers created this challenge and I am thankful she asked me to be a part of it!


I decided to put the pictures, scriptures, and prayers up here every week so that those who may want them can follow. You can do this challenge starting any day because honestly, who couldn’t use a little planking, thanking, and praying at any month?!

Be sure to follow my friends Kate at BeyondFit, and Sarah at The Beauty Hunters. They are part of this challenge too! I’ve listed the day, type of plan, verse, and prayer focus first, then the picture of the plank!!


Day 1:

Forearm Plank

Matthew 6:10/ Extend His Kingdom

forearm plank

Day 2:

Knee Plank

Proverbs 31:28/ Family Influence

knee plank

Day 3:

Standard Plank

Matthew 6:9 /  Exalt His Name

standard plank

Day 4:

Reverse Plank

2 Thess 3:1 /  Share the Gospel

reverse plank

Day 5:

Chaturanga Plank

Ephesians 3:19 / Fullness of the Holy Spirit

Chaturanga Plank

Day 6:

“X” Plank

Romans 10:1 /  Save Unbelievers

"x' plank

Day 7:

Single-Arm Plank

Ephesians 6:20 /  Boldness

Single-Arm Plank

I’ll be back next week for the next set of planks, scriptures, and prayers!


Shoulder Workout and Workout Clothes Review (featuring Target® and Popsugar)

Clare : July 7, 2014 8:24 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday

There are many fun things about being a fitness blogger and one of those things is doing reviews! So when I had the chance to review some  Target® C9 activewear collection, for Popsugar Select, I jumped at it because about 60% of my current workout line includes items from them! Hang on because after I share with you what I got, you get a quick, effective shoulder workout from FitSugar among with a quick add-on routine that I created! Fun!

First off, let’s talk about the goods!

Shoulder Workout and Workout Clothes Review (featuring Target® and Popsugar) : peak313.com


Shoulder Workout and Workout Clothes Review (featuring Target® and Popsugar) : peak313.com

I absolutely LOVED this tank! You may have noticed that this type is very popular nowadays. You can find styles like these at many popular athletic wear companies, but I’m telling you, not at the price point that Target offers it! As soon as I walked into the gym, I had 2 people compliment me on it! I love that the sports bra is attached to the tank and that it gives a flowy feel. I also love the design and navy and pink combo however there are some other cute colors to choose from! (I am wearing a size small)

Shoulder Workout and Workout Clothes Review (featuring Target® and Popsugar): peak313.com

Shoulder Workout and Workout Clothes Review (featuring Target® and Popsugar) : peak313.com

The shorts are just a very basic short, but basic works for me! I love the waistband on these and that there are undies attached inside of them. These are navy blue and have a slight pink hue on them. I could wear lots of different colors with them and they would look great! Versatility of exercise clothes is important to me! There are other great colors to choose from! (I am wearing a size small)


And now onto something for you! There’s nothing quite like tank top arms for the summer and sculpting nice shoulders is a great way to get them! I LOVE this quick video below from Popsugar to get you started! I also decided to add something else to it for those of you who may want a more complete routine, so the printable below demonstrates a cardio move (speed bags) along with 2 side ab moves (side planks and penguin taps) Cycle through the routine twice if time allows! (It was totally random that I have on the outfit that Anna has in the video below! )

FitSugar Target®: Shoulders video


And now the printable with exercise explanation!

Note: Do each exercise all the way through, then do it again on the other side!

1) Speed Bag: Circle arms around as if you are punching a bag. You can keep your legs steady or shift side to side. (30 seconds)

2) Side Lifts: Lay on your side on your forearm.Stack your legs and lift your hips to the ceiling. (Hold for 30 sec and after the hold, pulse up for 15 counts. )

3) Penguin Taps: Lay on your back and place on hand behind your head while the other is straight down to the side. Keep “lifted” in the chest (as opposed to sinking) as you exhale and reach down to the ankle. Come back up. Repeat. (Do 20 “taps” and then pulse down for 15)

Shoulder Workout and Workout Clothes Review (featuring Target® and Popsugar) : peak313.com


“Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.”


Alive: Praise Pumps and Punches (Video)

Clare : March 24, 2014 9:36 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Videos

You guys. Something is up because this is 2 videos in 2 weeks!! It’s very hard for me to actually do exercise stuff anymore on the blog (ironic, since I am exercising all the time), but it just takes much more for me to get it done and usually it’s the thing that gets shuffled last on the list of things! Maybe one of these days God will have more videos in store for me. :) HOWEVER–I could NOT wait any longer to get this video done! I am in love with this song and when I’m in love with songs I do 2 things:

1) play it incessantly

2) create workouts for it (it’s a curse!)

So as I’ve been doing my hair and making dinner, I’ve been putting together actions for this song!  My poor kids have heard this song on repeat–good thing it’s so awesome! (Link to song here  : “Alive”:Hillsong Young & Free)

Also, I had to laugh after I watched the video. First off, I am so low-budget, people. This is taken on my iPhone with virtually no editing. Ha. Sorry–(Go to Revelation Wellness for awesome christian workout videos!) And secondly, I felt much cooler when I was jamming to this but realized I look a little silly during it! Kind of like this? HA!


Thanks to my girl, Hannah, who always answers my last minute texts when I need a video or pic taken. Love my college pilates girls! (I pay her in free workouts, coffee, and relationship advice!)

Clare and Hannah

Hannah and I getting our workout on!


It’s not a full workout video, so just insert it somewhere in your regular routine. (Group exercise instructors, this should work fairly well for you!) The other way to use this is to jam it at home while you are cooking, cleaning, getting ready etc and bust a move. This song has a way of making you move so why not burn some extra calories here and there?

Alive! Praise Pumps & Punches Video : peak313.com (using the song "Alive" from Hillsong)

Like the last video I did, the first video is the whole one without me talking. The second one is showing the modifications. I am not making a printable because you don’t really need one! Rock out and worship to this song because it’s in HIM that we are Alive and FREE! (You’ll see that I have my eyes closed and am singing throughout the video!)

If you can’t see video, click here.

If you can’t see the video, click here.


“Frozen” Flutters Video (Core Focused Pilates Routine) & Bday Giveaway!

Clare : March 18, 2014 3:11 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos

*** Giveaway Closed!***

Hey all! It’s my birthday today and I’ve made it tradition over the past couple years to gift YOU with a present with either a workout, giveaway, or both! (Here is year 1 birthday post and year 2 birthday post)

I had a total other routine in mind, but Friday as I was playing with my 4 1/2 year old daughter, jamming to the “Frozen” soundtrack, (Because, come on, who ISN’T jamming to that thing?!) I started piecing together a pilates routine to the song “Let it Go”. (I know, the perils of being a fitness instructor. Just can’t stop working out!)

Frozens Flutters: A core focused pilates video routine to Frozen's "Let it go" (Quick reference guide included) : peak313.com

I’ve been teaching pilates for almost 10 years and it has been pivotal to both my function and look with my health. This sequence is one that is foundational to my basic pilates routine and I think you’ll enjoy it. Of course, you may add it alongside some other core training, or just do it if you only have 4 minutes. I would shoot for doing this 2-3 times a week. The good thing about this is that your daughter (or son!) can join you if they have interest when the song pops on! Nothing harmful about it at all. (Also, you can do most of this with the exception of when we go to our belly if you are prego! I did these exercises all the way up til I was 8 months with my daughter!) And if you are sick of the song, I totally understand! Just mute, or take the quick reference guide beside you and proceed!


Now onto the more fun stuff! I’ve also got a giveaway for you! My friends over at Cross Training Couture (founded by my friend, Michelle Myers!) are giving away one of their tanks to one of my readers! (You may remember them from my post last week here.) And I’m also going to giveaway a 30 minute Skype session with me!  I’ve had quite a few people asking me to do this with them (and unfortunately, time doesn’t permit me to do this regularly) so I thought you may enjoy this! I get so many emails from you all and many times, you just need a 30 minute conversation with me to sort through your questions, so I’d like to offer this to help you out!

Clare's Birthday Giveaway: Share, pin, post, or tweet to be entered! (Check out the new pilates video, too!) : peak313.com

To enter:

- Share this post via Facebook, twitter,  instagram, or pin to pinterest!

- Leave a comment that you did so, and also, what you’d like to ask me if you won the Skype session

I will pick one winner randomly on Saturday, March 22.


Now–off to the workout! The first video is the video in full with NO talking. However, I’d like you to check out the second video where I am explaining a few important things, namely how to MODIFY each exercise.  Keep in mind–CONTROL, tight tummy and remember to breathe! Slow down if you need to at any time! Watch the video one time through before doing so you have a good idea of what’s going on!

(Click here if you can’t see the video)

Now for the modification/explanation video

(Click here if you can’t see the video)

Finally, a quick reference guide for those of you who would prefer to save it to your camera roll or print it off and take with you!

Frozen Flutters (Core Focused Pilates Routine) Quick Reference Guide! : peak313.com

Be sure to enter your comment below for a chance to win! You all are very precious to me!! ENJOY!!


“Good Time” Weighted Ab Routine (Video & Printable!)

Clare : June 26, 2013 8:29 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Videos, Weights

I’ve had this routine in the back of my mind for a while but just haven’t had a chance to tape it for you! Abs are like any other muscle group in the body–we can use weights to add more muscle and get more definition, but they also must be rested. (Giving them at least a day of rest in between) This routine will be an additional challenge for some of you who have been building ab strength and for those of you just starting, it will work great too! Just take away the weight! Add this video to your normal routine 2-3 times a week!

Remember–it doesn’t matter how strong your abs are if you have a layer of fat over them, so while these exercises will help your midsection, what you put in your mouth will help more!

*Note: If you have a separation of the ab muscles (diastatis recti), then take caution doing any ab exercises. To find out if you have it and what to do about it, check out the Mutu System! Great site with lots of resources!

I suggest watching the video one time through before doing it!


Follow the video below, or print off this document to do on your own!

"Good Time" Weighted Ab Routine (Free printable & Video!) | peak313.com

If you can’t see the video, then click this link!

Explanation of Exercises:

1.) Weighted Crunch

Take the weight and place it overhead as you lift and lower. Draw the abs down to the mat and relax in the upper body.

Weighted Crunch | peak313.com


2.) Knee Drop

Place the weight between the knees. Drop the legs down and bring them back up as you squeeze in the lower abs. Also be sure to squeeze the weight between the knees! Keep the hands behind the head for support and keep the upper body relaxed!

knee drop | peak313.com

3.) Figure 8

Sit up and grab the weight as you keep both legs down. Circle the weight between the legs in a figure 8 fashion, under and over. After it’s made it’s way 4 times, drop down into a crunch and come back up. Repeat. You can do this half time to make it harder but be sure you are still in control. Don’t get sloppy!

figure8 | peak313.com

4.) Seated Twist

Sit up and grab the weight. Place both feet on the ground to start out. Turn side to side placing the weight at the hip. Keep lifted in the chest. (the tendency is to fall back a bit) To make it harder, lift your feet as you twist. I prefer that you keep your knees closer to your chest, however you can extend them away a little just as long as you have support in your lower back.

seatedtwist | peak313.com

If you have any questions or need any further explanations, then feel free to ask!


New Move Monday: Weighted Plank Pulls

Clare : April 24, 2013 6:50 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Weights

It’s not Monday, but guess what–I’ve got a new move for you! I’ve been adding this in my routine over the past 2 months and I LOVE IT! You can do it at the gym or at home!

I’ve added this exercise in my routine in 2 ways:

1.) At the end during an ab routine

2.) As part of a fast paced weight circuit

The other day I added this in combination with pull-ups, medicine ball chest passes to the wall, wall walk-ups, and medicine ball push-ups. Let me tell you–I was sore for 2 days!


A description of how to do it is below!

Grab one weight. (I usually use between 15-25 lbs) Go to the floor in a plank position. Place the weight ahead of you as shown above. Reach one arm up and pull it straight down (as shown below). MODIFICATION: Use a lighter weight and do this on your knees.

Grab the weight with the same hand and drag it up to the starting position. Try to keep your hips square with the floor. Use a little force to get it up there! The higher up and further down you reach, the harder this will be, so REACH! Also, the quicker you drag the weights, the harder it will be, just try not to get sloppy with them. You still want to have control.

Do all reps on this side, then go to the other side. I also like to change which way I start the exercise, so sometimes on the second set, I start it at the bottom instead of the top.

*Note: The surface you do this on will make a difference too. I prefer a thin carpet but have done it on rubberized floor (A little trickier to control) and a thin wood floor may scratch. :)

Do 2-3 sets of 6-8 pulls on EACH side


New Move Monday: BOSU Toe Stack Push-Up Combo

Clare : January 27, 2013 7:11 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos

It’s time for another “New Move Monday“! (It’s been a while!) Many of you have asked about using the BOSU ball. You see these at a lot of gyms, and many people have them in their homes. I love incorporating the BOSU ball to really challenge the core! I was playing around with it one day and came up with this combination.

Insert this exercise at the beginning, middle, or end of your routine! Do it after a cardio routine, or in a strength routine. Let me know if you try it!

(Video demo below!)


1.) Grab the BOSU ball , place your feet on it and walk out into a push up position. Do a basic push-up

2.) To make it harder, stack your feet one on top of the other and continue the push-up

3.) And if that’s not hard enough…drive your knee to your chest as you come up on the push-up.

Make sure to switch legs!

REPS: Do 2-3 sets of 4-8 push-ups on each leg!

(If you can’t see video, click here!)


Living and Active: Workout Plan {Weeks 4-5}

Clare : October 3, 2012 4:44 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Challenges, Featured

So…this is a few days late. I am so sorry! I also promised to incorporate a jump rope workout in here, but I won’t be able to get to that until next week!

I created a new lower body workout to match my 31:17 Arm Workout. I also switched up some things in this GUIDED workout plan below. Remember, you do not have to do this as I have listed.

Don’t forget about the free {Christian!} videos, check out Revelation Wellness.

Here it is in detail: (Follow links to print printables and to view videos!)

(Click image to enlarge and print)

Workout 1:

31:17 Arms {Printable}

“Your Choice” Cardio: 20 minutes (walk, run, elliptical, bike etc)

Workout 2:

52:7 Lower Body {Printable}

Cardio Burst #2: (Video) Party Rock Legs and Abs x2 (MUTE if you are tired of my voice!)

Ab Routine #2 {Printable}

(Click image to enlarge and print)


Workout 3:

31:17 Arms {Printable}

“Your Choice” Cardio: 20 minutes (walk, run, elliptial, bike etc)

Workout 4:

52:7 Lower Body {Printable}

Cardio Burst #1: (Video) Jacks/Climbs/Steps x2 (MUTE if you are tired of my voice!)

Ab Routine #2 {Printable}

Not sure how to do the exercises for Ab Routine #2? Put the names of the exercises in the search bar on the homepage!


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New Move Monday: “Hip Drop” It Like It’s Hot

Clare : August 19, 2012 6:48 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Upper Body

I end all of my Pilates classes with a plank series where we do lots of different variations of them. This combination is one of my favorites and is really hard (especially if you do the hip drop!). Add this into your daily workout!

REPS: 2-3 sets of 10-12

(You can combine this exercise however you’d like, doing one set of elbow to knees, then the next with hip drops, or mix them up each set!) Also,  if you want a quick circuit, do 15 mountain climbers, 15 second plank hold, then this move! Repeat 2-3 times!


Knee to Elbow: (to start)

Go into a plank position. (I use a straight arm, but feel free to stay on your forearms) Take one knee and touch the opposite elbow. Return to starting position, then repeat on the OTHER side. Alternate sides until reps are completed. Keep that tummy tight and remember to breathe!

Hip Drop: (make it harder!)

Take one leg and instead of going towards the elbow, drop (think “collapse”) the hip to make it parallel with the ground. Your arms should bend down a bit as you do this. Come back to starting position and switch to the other side. Alternate sides until reps are completed. (Don’t let the legs touch the ground!)


Real Life Workout

Clare : July 20, 2012 1:07 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, Upper Body, Weights

Another real life workout. (Here are two prior ones!) I feel that one way for you to learn how to put together my new moves, is to see how I actually put together a workout!

Here is what this week’s workout schedule looked like for me:

Monday: 15 minutes hill runs/ 35 min Full body Strength Training

Tuesday: 40 min Partner Track Workout

Wednesday: 25 minute elliptical workout (varying speeds)/ 35 min Full body Strength Workout

Thursday: Off

Friday:  15 min stair climber (Man, I forget how hard that is!)/ 45 min Full Body Strength (below)

Saturday: 7 miles

Sunday: Off



15 minute stair climber

Strength:  (I do an upper body, lower body, and ab move or plyo for each circuit) I move through each circuit 2 or 3 times, doing 10-12 reps of each. I use weights anywhere from 12-20 pounds.

Circuit 1:

♦ Bent Over Rows

♦ Front Squats with bar and 5 pounds added to each side

♦ Alternating Oblique Knee to Chest (Leg Raise Machine)

Circuit 2:

♦ Incline Push-Up on Bench with Side Twist

♦ Weighted Step-Ups on Plyo Box

♦ Box Jumps (plyo)

Circuit 3:

♦ Upright Row with kettlebell

♦ Hamstring Curl and Press with cable machine

♦ Burpees (plyo)

Circuit 4:

Push-Ups with the band

♦ Plie Squat with bicep Curl

“The Hover”


How was your workout week?





Partner Track Workout

Clare : July 17, 2012 9:39 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Outside, Upper Body

My friend and running partner, Leslie and I did this workout this morning! You can do this with a friend or even your hubby (or older child!!)

REPS: Do each strength exercise for 30 seconds (or start in smaller increments and increase as you get stronger!)

Do this routine 1 or 2 times through depending on how much time you have!

Remember, do a sprint/jog lap in between each strength exercise!

Partner Track Workout : peak313.com


Incline Pull-Ups:

Grab bar with an overhand grip. Raise body to the bar and then return.


Assume push-up position. When you are down, bring one knee to the elbow. Press up and return leg to original position. Switch to other side.

One-Leg Tricep Dips:

Face each other on the ground. Each of you lift your leg and join them in the middle. Dip down as you keep the leg lifted. Be sure to switch legs.

Jump Squat and Reach:

This takes a little coordination. Have fun with it! Face each other and squat down. Jump back up and reach diagonally, clapping hands at the top. Squat back down and then switch clapping sides!

Partner Abs:

One person lays on the ground while the other stands. The person on the ground grabs the ankles of the standing one. The standing person throws their legs in different angles as the laying friend brings them back to starting position. Alternate between a side left throw, center throw and side right throw! We also do something called a pendulum swing which is throwing the legs to the left and swinging them down and around in a circle. Then throwing them to the right and swinging all the way around!

Linking up with Women Living Well


New Move Monday: “The Hover”

Clare : July 9, 2012 4:10 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Videos

A quick demonstration video for today’s New Move! Love using this in my classes and they are usually crying by the end of the sets!!


Keep the whole body still as you “hover”.

Don’t touch the ground with your knees!

Do 2-3 sets of 12 hovers. You can also add the “hold” at the bottom for as many seconds as you like. Finally, lift one leg and then the other for more difficulty!

(Click here if you can’t see video)


New Move Monday: Chest-Tricep-Ab Combo on the Ball

Clare : July 2, 2012 8:47 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos, Weights

I ran into one of my pilates students the other day while working out at the college I teach at. We did some cardio together and the I convinced her to do some strength training with me. She agreed (without me twisting her arm too much!) and while we were exercising she suggested that I should make this a New Move Monday! Grabbed the iPhone and here you go! (Small demo video following!) By the way, my triceps were sore for 2 days after this!


Grab a set of weights and large exercise ball. Place your upper back on the floor and lift your rear end up. Hold the weights in a narrow position as seen in picture above.

Press weights straight up from your chest.

Extend them straight behind you. Keep the heel of the hands towards the ceiling. Draw the abs in toward the spine as you put them behind you. Bring them back and repeat from the top with the narrow chest press.

Towards the end of the set (or even the after you bring the arms back from picture above) keep hands above your head as you sit up on the ball. Come back down on the ball as you keep hands raised. Repeat. Lead with the abs first, then think of the arms.

Do 2 or 3 sets of this combo. 10-12 Reps each set!

(Click here if you can’t see the video)

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Lower Back & Glute Strengthener: Video

Clare : June 19, 2012 7:42 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Videos

The lower back and glutes are generally neglected in workouts but they are both such crucial areas for your posture and a strong body. I love incorporating the mini-ball into my routine to change things up a bit.

Ready to get tight and toned on your backside? Come do the video with me, over at Roomag!!

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New Move Monday: Thread The Needle Ab Exercise

Clare : June 10, 2012 10:01 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Videos

This is a regular exercise for my pilates class! It will challenge your balance and tighten your core! (Video demonstration below)


(Modification done on forearms!)

Do 2 sets. 6-8 “threads” each side.

If you can’t see the video, click here!


New Move Monday: 1 Year Birthday Workout!

Clare : May 27, 2012 9:22 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Outside, Upper Body

It’s been 1 year since I started “New Move Monday“! I’m not sure if you all enjoy reading (and doing!) all the new exercises, but I do enjoy sharing them and inspiring your workouts!

In honor of the 1st year birthday, I decided to put together a full body workout with a few ” New Moves”. Enjoy and if you like it, please share!!


Please see the specific instruction for each of the exercises below.

1.) Decline Push-Up

2.) The Surrender

3.) Stomp the Ceiling

4.) Side Plank with Lift

5.) Skater Taps

Click Picture to Print!

1 Comment »

My real life workout today: 4/23/12

Clare : April 23, 2012 5:53 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, Medicine Ball, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Weights

I didn’t get a chance to do New Move Monday. You name it, it happened. But that’s ok, because I figure that you might have an interest in seeing exactly what I did for my real life workout! I exercise at a college gym and I honestly think the dudes in there think I’m insane. I don’t talk to any of them because I get in my own zone, but I know they have to wonder why this blonde tries to rule the roost in there. HA!

(I’m not going to explain these moves, so if you are curious what some of them are, ask in comments and I can explain further)

The honest truth is EVERY SINGLE workout of mine is different. Every one. I don’t walk in with a plan but I do walk in with different parts I want to focus on, or a new exercise I want to try. I also enjoy doing exercises at the gym in pair combinations. So I’ll do one exercise and then quickly move to another, then go back to the first and repeat. Remember, I’ve decided to take it up a notch this month, so I’ve been hitting it hard and heavy.

If I used weights, I noted it. Also 2×12 would be read 2 sets of 12 reps.

Today’s Workout: April 23, 2012


2 miles on treadmill. 6.5mph .5% incline


♦ 2×14: kettlebell swings (18 lbs)

♦ 3×10: incline chin-ups

♦ 3×20 sec: skater hops & tap (PLYO BURST)

♦ 3×12 chest press pulley machine (10lbs each side??)

♦ 3×10 single leg hip thrust (my new fave move)

♦ 2×12 tricep kickbacks

♦ 3×8 Combo: traveling push-ups, plank jacks, mountain climbers (cardio burst)

♦ 3×12 wall balls (12 lbs)

♦ 3×12 wall jumps (Plyo Burst)

♦ 2×10 single leg dead lifts (20lbs)

♦ 2×12 bicep curls (12 lb each arm)


3×12 Combo: leg raise/oblique crunch on leg raise machine

2×12 punch up punch out (on my muffin-top makeover)

Basically, I was am toast. I realize that this looks like a lot, but it took me about 65 min from top to bottom. I don’t take a ton of time to rest in between exercises as I like to keep my heart pumping.

So. What did you do today for your workout?!

*Note: My strength day workouts aren’t always this intense or involved. I was “feeling it” today and went for it. Plus I was due for a good one! :)


New Move Monday: On the Edge Abs

Clare : April 16, 2012 7:11 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Outside

Hey y’all! I’m back from Savannah, GA! I had a wonderful time visiting that city and would love to return! While there, I did the New Move Monday, so here you go. You can do this exercise inside or outside!


Sit on the edge of a bench, sidewalk or ledge. Hold onto the edge and extend the legs out as you lean back.

Bring your knees to your chest and lean back into the center. Repeat!

To make it harder……

Start in the same position as above, but place the arms above your head.

Bring your arms around to the side and towards your knees (as seen above) and lean in as you “crunch”. (Breathe and do with control!) Repeat!

On either variation, you want to balance the whole time and avoid touching anything as you repeat.

Repetitions: Do 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps.

Linking with Women Living Well!


New Move Monday: Slide & Glide Abs Combo! {Video}

Clare : April 2, 2012 11:58 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Videos

I told you a while back that I created a new ab routine using the gliding discs. (my newest favorite piece of exercise equipment) I finally got it recorded! If you don’t have gliding discs, feel free to use 2 carpet squares or 2 paper plates. Remember to dig the heels into the discs as you move and keep the core anchored down nice and tight to the floor!

You can do this routine with me, or take each exercise and add them separately (or together!) to your own routine!

Watch the video one time through and read the detail of each exercise below before doing it!


(Click here if you can’t see video)

Here are the basics exercises:

♦ Knees to Chest: Slide both knees to the chest. Add the upper body by lifting it or reach around to the ankles to make it harder

♦ Mountain Climber Legs: Quickly move the legs right and left while digging the heels!

♦ Jumping Jack Legs: Move legs out and in as if you are jacking.

♦ Slide up and around (REVERSE): Bring the legs up through the center and swing them around (wide) and repeat. Then REVERSE the movement

♦ 2 Leg Side Slide: Bend both legs as you bring them to one side and then back down. Repeat. Move to the other side.

Repeat combination again! Rest as needed.


The Muffin-Top Makeover

Clare : March 27, 2012 12:41 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured

Muffin-Top. Yikes. We all hate them and I get asked many times how to get rid of them. Remember that no matter how often you do the exercises below, you MUST change your diet! What you eat is the most important thing to getting rid of that muffin-top! Think lean, clean, and green!

** Please note that this post was originally on another site which is no longer around. (I get lots of requests for this, so here it is! :) ) So if you see me reference “Roomag”, that’s why! Any questions about the exercises, just leave them in the comments below!!

Muffin-Top Makeover (free printable) : peak313.com

1) Side Laying Lift

Lay on your side. Place the bottom arm straight out in front of you and the top arm bent, behind your head. Stack your hips and simultaneously lift your upper body as you lift your upper leg. Exhale at the top, inhale as you go down. I want you to initiate from the hip first, then bring the rest of the body up! Switch sides!

2)  Punch Up Punch Out

Place your hands behind your head with elbows wide. Bring your legs up and bend them. “Punch” both legs up as you lift your bottom off the floor with control, then bring them back to starting position. “Punch” them straight out (keep bottom on floor) and then back to starting position. Repeat. Exhale as you lift up and out.

3) Floor Hyperextensions

Lay on the floor on your belly. Place both hands behind your head. Keep the top of your feet on the mat. Lift up with your upper body, then come back down. You want to feel controlled on the way up and the way down. Tighten your belly and bottom as you do this. Exhale up, inhale down.

4) Kneeling Ankle Touches

Knee on the floor, with chest lifted. Place both arms out in front of you. Slightly lean back as you draw one arm back and touch the ankle. Come back up. Do the same thing on the other side. Do not “buckle” in the midsection. If you feel like you arm, make a smaller ranger of motion (also, the modification).

5) Break the board

Stand up. Bring one knee up to your chest as you bring both arms down. Imagine you are “breaking a board”. Exhale as you come down and inhale as you come up. Really tighten the belly and control up and down.


New Move Monday: Cardio Burst #2: Party Rock Legs & Abs

Clare : March 4, 2012 9:03 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Videos

Here is another burst you can add into your at home workout routine or at the gym. Your heart rate will get up on this and you will also feel the burn in the legs!

The Basic Moves in this Video:

♦ Squat with a Circle Knee

Start with legs wider than hip width apart, with toes pointing out a little. Squat deep and as you stand, circle the knee around. Make a full circle with the knee and get it up nice and high. Squat down and repeat on the other side. Hands can stay on the hips or hold them in front of the face to make it harder. (16 reps)

♦ Punches

Punch forward right/left and up/down. Rock from the hips to engage the core. Keep the lower body strong and stable with a wide stance. *Do NOT stand up. Keep the legs in a squat (16 reps)

♦ In/Outs

Keep your legs in a squat position and move the legs quickly in and out without standing up. Hands can stay on the hips or can be held in front of your face. (16 reps)

Repeat as many times through as you’d like!

(Click here if you can’t see video)

Linking up with Women Living Well


New Move Monday:”Criss-Cross Applesauce” Workout

Clare : February 19, 2012 6:12 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos, Weights

Yes. You read that right. Each of these moves will mimic a criss-cross. You can also say”criss cross applesauce” on some of them. Sorry. I have small children in the house. These are the things my mind thinks of right now. :)

Make sure you view the video of each move first. Then, print off the pdf for you to take with you!

I recommend doing these when you are short on time or you need to add some variety to your current strength routine.

(For the record, my 2 year old daughter does the criss cross squat every time I tell her “criss-cross applesauce”. Oh the perils of being an aerobics instructor’s daughter! LOL!)

Criss-Cross Applesauce Workout

1.) Alternating Punches: Stand with legs hip width apart. Grab a set of dumbells and punch them in front of you. Be sure to alternate which hand is on top. When the arms come out beside you, be sure to squeeze.

2.) Behind the Back Cross: Take the arms and cross them behind you. When you release the cross, be sure to squeeze as the arms are out beside. Alternate which hand is on top each cross.

3.) Criss Cross Squat: Start with both legs further than hip width apart. Jump and bring one leg crossed in front of the other. Jump out to the starting position, then jump back in with the OTHER foot in front. Each time your legs come out, be sure to squat down deep. You can make this a more cardiorific (my new word) move by adding the upper body with the squats!

4.) Ab Scissors: Lay on the floor with forearms supporting you. Take the legs out in front of you and make tiny crosses, alternating which foot is on top, then extend the feet wide. It’s a “Switch, Switch, Switch, Extend”. Keep the chest lifted and breathe as you do these.

5.) Heel Crosses: Lay on the floor with your forehead to the ground. Extend both legs behind you and turn the heels towards each other in a “V” position. Quickly switch them as you alternate which foot is on top.

6.) Cross Cross Glute Stretch: Sit. Cross the legs. Take one foot and place it on top of the bottom knee. Hold the stretch. Switch legs. To make the stretch deeper, lean forward with your forearms on the ground.

Click on image below to print!


(Click here if you can’t see the video)

(Linking up with Women Living Well)


New Move Monday: Cardio Burst Video #1 (Jacks/Climbs/Steps)

Clare : February 12, 2012 3:31 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body, Videos

Cardio bursts in a workout are very important to challenging the heart and really making the muscles work harder. I add these into my personal workout a lot and this is a combo that I made up that I use all the time. Seriously.

You don’t have to do it to music, nor this song, but I find that exercising to music with a strong beat really helps keep you working hard.

Keep the arms wider than shoulder-width apart and the gaze to the floor. BREATHE!

The basic moves on this cardio burst are:

♦ Plank Jacks

Try and keep the upper body as still as possible while jacking out the legs.

♦ Mountain Climbers

Right knee and left knee move up and back to the chest. Again, try and mobilize the torso.

♦ Step up/Step Back

Drive the right leg up to the right hand as far as you can, then step back and repeat on the other leg. To make it a little harder, drop the opposite hip to the floor as the other leg moves to the hand.

♦ Elbow Plank

Go to elbows and hold a strong plank!

I like to move down the pyramid on counting with these. Doing 16 counts for each exercise, then cutting it down to 8 counts. You can rest anytime you need and repeat as much as you like. The point is to get your heart rate HIGH, as if you are reaching the top of the mountain!

(Click here if you can’t see video)

Linking up with Women Living Well


New Move Monday: Standing Hip & Thigh Toner

Clare : February 5, 2012 10:09 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Videos

New Move Monday is BACK!! Here is a 1 minute video of me demonstrating a move to tighten and slim down the hips and obliques. You can do this easily anywhere you have a chair—even if it’s not during a regularly scheduled workout!

Be sure to keep tall and extend the moving leg straight beside you. (as opposed to an angle) Really press up through the standing leg as you come to a standing position!

(And YES–my shirt says, “Eat, Sleep, Workout” LOL!)

Do 2 sets (each side) of 10-12 reps.

(Click here if you can’t see the video)

(Linking up with Women Living Well!)


New Move Monday: Knee to Chest Ab Roll & Pike

Clare : December 12, 2011 2:14 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Exercise Ball, Featured, New Move Monday

I did these 2 exercises today with my aerobics class, so if you think I’m crazy, then they are too!! :)


(Instruction below picture)

Grab large exercise ball. Place the ball where your quads are and put hands straight down on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Gaze stays straight down. (You can start with the ball more towards your knee to make it harder)

Draw the ball towards your chest by pulling your knees in. Extend the legs back behind you to starting position. Repeat.

CRAZY Advanced: Move to a “pike”. Roll the ball to the top of the feet as you really pike the booty into the air. You will really have to draw the inner abs up and tight to get this to work. Bring the body back to starting position, with control!! (You’ll probably want to flop back but do it with control!!)

REPS: 2-3 sets of 8-12 rolls.

You can pick either move and complete it, or do a combination of both!

I also like to do these in combination with push-ups off the ball, directly into these rolls and pikes!


New Move Monday: The Bent Leg Crunch

Clare : November 21, 2011 3:00 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday

Sometimes it’s nice to do some floor exercises with your abs! I’m usually incorporating balls or bands for my abs. Nothing better than just plopping on the floor and toning up the midsection!

You can do this exercise 2 ways:

1.) Pick a level and complete all reps/sets at that level

2.) Do it in a combination. (My fav way) Do 5-8 reps at EACH LEVEL and progress to the next level WITHOUT STOPPING. At the end of level 3. Rest. Switch sides and repeat.


(Instruction below picture)

Level 1: Start laying on your back. Cross one foot over the knee. Place both hands behind your head and keep your elbows wide. Do a crunch up and down. Do all reps on one side, then switch feet and do the reps on that side.

Level 2: Set up is the same as above, except lift the leg off the floor and crunch.  Be sure to switch sides!

Level 3: To REALLY challenge yourself, bring the upper body towards the center as you bring the lower body towards the center. Think of meeting your elbows to your (bent) knee and (bent) ankle. Focus on controlling your body up and down, almost in some sort of rolling motion. Be sure to switch legs!

2 sets of 8-15 reps EACH LEG!!

1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Style & Shape Your Hair & Body!

Clare : November 6, 2011 9:45 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Videos

90 minutes. It’s roughly how much time I spend a week doing my hair. I don’t wash it every day (gasp!) but when I do, it takes a decent chunk of time to get it dried and styled. The other days don’t require as much time, but it all adds up! That’s 90 precious minutes that we are just standing and holding a styling appliance. I’ve decided to create some exercises so that you can make the most of your time! Check the video below!

(Click here to view video if you have problems seeing it!)

The fact that your hands are up during these is actually a huge benefit! That really makes the core “engage” and tighten so that you stay balanced. You can take most of these moves and transfer them to the gym with weights too! Let’s get to it!


{Hip Circles}

Start circling your hips to one side. Be sure to “hit” all 4 points (as seen below). The torso stays still! When you complete one rotation, stop and circle the other way. Repeat alternating hip circles. Concentrate on keeping the abs nice and tight! (I turned to the side in the “front” picture with hopes you could see that better) Reps: 2 sets of 6 circles each way

{Pelvic Tilt}

Start with your hips square to the counter. Tilt your pelvis back. (Think of pushing your tailbone up and out). Now, collapse the abs and scoop the pelvis forward. The movement back and forth is tight and controlled yet done in a smooth rolling motion. Repeat. Reps: 2 sets of 6 tilts each

{Shimmy Shimmy}

Start with your hips square to the counter. (I’m turned in this picture) Shimmy or slide from your hips to the ribcage to one side. Come back to center and then go the other way. Do not BREAK the torso. Keep it straight and strong. Pull the naval to the spine and lift up and out from the hips. (You never want to “sink” down) It is a tight, controlled shimmy! Reps: 2 sets of 6 shimmys each side

{Calf Raises}

Lift up and down on your toes. (Hold onto the counter if needed) You can also play around with variety as seen here! Reps: 2 sets of 10 raises

{Glute Extension to Knee Lift}

(This move may have to be modified depending on how much room you have around you.) Extend one leg behind you then bring it up to your waist in a smooth motion. As you bring the knee to the waist, add a little *uh*( aka: squeeze) to work those abs. Repeat. Be sure to switch sides! Reps: 2 sets of 10-12 extensions/lifts each side

{Standing fire hydrant}

Stand on one leg. The other leg bends at the knee. Move the lifted leg directly out from the standing leg as you keep the leg bent. (The knees are in line with one another) Bring back to the starting position. Repeat. (This is called the “fire hydrant” because it simulates a doggie, ahem, using the restroom on a fire hydrant. It’s typically done on the floor on all 4’s. Got the visual?! :)) Reps: 2 sets of 8-10 lifts each leg.


Great name, eh? :) Squat down a few inches. (“Sink into your heels”) Take one leg WHILE YOU ARE SQUATTING and drag it behind you. Stop and drag it back to starting position. Repeat without STANDING!!! Switch sides. If you want to change it up, you can drag it out to the side too! Reps: 2 sets of 10 drags

{Dry& Balance}

I am missing my HAIRDRYER in this picture! Some of you do the ole’ flip-er-roo when you blow dry, so I thought I’d add in an exercise for you! While you are bent over, extend one leg behind you. Stand on that leg 4-12 seconds (depending on your balance strength!) Switch sides! Reps: 2 sets of 4 holds

Did you know that you can PRINT this? Go to the top of the blog and look for the PRINTER icon! There are many options for you!


New Move Monday: 2 Point Tabletop (pregnancy)

Clare : October 24, 2011 1:51 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Pregnancy, Upper Body, Weights

You can do this exercise, pregnant or not!! This will work your shoulders, core and rear end/legs!!


New Move Monday: 2 Point Tabletop (pregnancy) : peak313.com

Get on all four’s. (Do this on a mat or towel if this bothers your knees) Take one light weight (2-5 pounds) in one hand. Lift your arm with weight straight out beside you while extending the opposite leg behind you. (As seen above) Bring the arm back down to beginning position while simultaneously bringing your leg towards your chest. Repeat.

Be careful to keep your lower back supported as much as you can. Draw the abs (from what you can feel!) in tight. Breathe and keep the gaze straight down to the floor.  Be sure to switch sides after doing all reps on one side!

Do 2 sets (each side) of 8-12 extensions!

1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Slide Out Slide In

Clare : October 17, 2011 2:34 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Upper Body

This is TOUGH! Your abs and upper body will feel it sisters. I’m telling you, these gliding discs are such a great investment! (You can do this move alongside “Sliding W’s“!)

Remember, if you don’t own these discs, then you can use paper plates!


(Instruction below picture)

Get on your knees and put your hands on top of each gliding disc with arms directly below shoulders (Not Shown) Extend (slide) one arm in front of you. Keep the other arm close to your body as if you have an envelope in that armpit. The non-moving arm’s elbow will go directly behind you as opposed to winging out to the side.

Exhale as you slide the extended arm back to starting position. Really press the hand firmly into the ground as you move back up. Do the other arm. Repeat, alternating arms.

*Do not let the lower back arch up or dip down. Keep a neutral alignment in the hips even if that means you can only extend the arm out a little bit. Don’t hold your breathe…you’ll want to. Breathe in and out instead!

Do 2 sets of 6-8 slide outs (Each arm!)

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!

1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Side Plank with a Lift!

Clare : October 10, 2011 2:32 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Outside, Upper Body

I love planks!! (Just ask my pilates class!) I’m sure many of you have done a side plank before, but here is a twist on it. You can do this outdoors while your children are playing, in your living room near your stairs, or even at the gym on a step! It’s a little more challenging, so if you aren’t able to accomplish this, then just take it to the floor and even do this on your forearm (otherwise known as a “side elbow plank”). And YES…I’m wearing my running skirt!


(Instruction below the picture)

Find a step and adjust your legs one on top of the other. The arm on the floor is below your shoulder. Place the other hand on your hip. Try to keep your hips lifted and core tight. Hold this position for 8 seconds. Relax and repeat!

To make it a little harder, do the same as above but lift the top hand towards the sky. Think of the chest open and lifted!

Want more challenge? Tip your torso towards the floor. Think of hiking your hips up toward the sky. Come back up to starting position and repeat.

AND…if those weren’t tough enough, then try this! Lift up the top leg and hold!

Do 3-5 holds of 8-12 seconds! (or as long as you can hold!) Be sure to switch sides!

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!


5 no equipment, anywhere exercises at The Better Mom!

Clare : September 29, 2011 8:00 am : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, Upper Body

Today I’m posting at The Better Mom!

Find me there to get 5 no equipment, anywhere exercises for busy moms!

Here’s a sneak peak!

1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Sliding “W’s”

Clare : September 26, 2011 3:33 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday, Upper Body

I introduced these gliding disks to you in August when I created the Deskie Workout. These are my current favorite addition to my everyday workout. They challenge my body in ways that I didn’t think was possible!! Here is a CHALLENGING exercise for the abs and upper body. REMEMBER: If you don’t own the gliding disks, then you can use 2 paper plates!

And if it looks like I’m struggling working hard in the pictures below, it’s because I am.


(Instruction below the picture)

Start with your feet in the middle of each disc. Hands at a comfortable position and gaze straight down.

Bend your knees and bring both feet towards your right side of your body. (Try and bring the knees to the elbow) Take legs back to starting position and then slide them to the other side. It’s kind of like you are making a smooth “W”. Repeat

2 Sets of 8 slides (each side)

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!


New Move Monday: Ball Pass Thru Legs

Clare : September 5, 2011 8:38 am : Abs and Lower Back, Exercise Ball, Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday

Here’s an AWESOME, difficult abdominal exercise!


(Instruction below the picture)

Start with the ball and legs and arms as seen in the photo above.

Take the ball with your hands and move the arms and legs away from each other. Arms will go beside the head, legs will extend down towards the floor Don’t let your lower back arch too much. (You can keep your head on the floor or raise it slightly.)

After you extend the arms and legs, bring them back to the center. “Grab” the ball with your legs.

Drop the ball towards the floor while it’s in your legs. (Again, don’t let the lower back arch too much.) You don’t need to drop the ball too far to the floor. Your arms can stay on the floor (as seen in the picture) or you can raise them over your head. Don’t hold your breath! Repeat!

Do 2 sets of 10 passes!

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!

1 Comment »

New Move Monday: Plank Shoulder Taps

Clare : August 29, 2011 2:03 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday, Pregnancy, Upper Body

You can do this exercise pregnant or not, but as you see below, I demonstrated it while pregnant with my second! This is a full body exercise, however you will feel the intensity in the abs and lower back.


Get on all 4’s on the ground. Lift your knees up (or keep them to the floor to modify). Tap the left shoulder with the right hand then put the right hand on the ground. Then take your left hand and tap your right shoulder. Repeat. Try to minimize movement in the whole body while tapping. Yes, you will move side to side a bit, but try to control and keep centered, with your hips facing the ground. Keep tension away from your head and neck and breathe!

Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 taps!

CHALLENGE: Do a set of push-ups in between each set of shoulder taps!

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!


The “Deskie” Workout {seated}

Clare : August 22, 2011 1:35 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday, Upper Body

Last week, I presented to you the “Deskie” workout–exercises to do while standing at a computer. This week, I’m going to present to you exercises to do while seated!

Don’t forget about the special discount Peak313 readers get at Fitness Wholesale! Use code FW15KF at checkout!


Equipment Needed:

- Small pilates ball (or a small non-weighted kid’s ball)

2 Gliding Discs (or 2 paper plates)


1.) Knee Squeeze: Take ball and place between the knees. Squeeze and pulse the knees together. Do a set of 16 reps. Pause and hold the squeeze for a 10 second count. Repeat. Do that 2 or 3 times.

2.) Leg Lift & Lower: Place the ball at the knees. (Hold onto the desk if needed) Lift both legs up and hold for a second, then drop legs. Repeat. {Reps: 2 sets of 10-12}

3.) Tricep Swim: Put ball against your chest and desk. Lean forward. Stick both arms out behind you and quickly move them as if you were swimming behind you. Inner part of wrists are up to ceiling. {Reps: 2 sets of 12 swims}

4.) Elbow Circles: Put one disc on desktop. Put your elbow on it and do small circles. Reverse after doing all the reps for that arm. For added challenge, place both discs on the desktop and circle at the same time! {Reps: 2 sets of 8 circles both ways}

5.) Chair Hovers: Fold your arms on top of each other. Lift up a few inches (hover) from your chair for 2 seconds and then sit back down. Repeat. {Reps: 2 sets of 10 hovers}

6.) Leg Lift & Extend: Place the ball at the knees. (Hold onto the desk if needed) Lift both legs up and extend them out. Bring them back in and down. Repeat. {Reps: 2 sets of 10-12}

7.) Ball Pass: Place ball in one hand. Extend arms out to the side. Lift up arms and pass the ball to the other hand. Extend both arms. Repeat. {Reps: 2 sets of 12-14}

8.) Chest Squeeze: Take the ball and extend it in front of you with both hands. Lift your arms up above your head and BE SURE TO SQUEEZE ARMS TOGETHER as you lift. Drop and repeat. {2 sets of 10}

BONUS: Sit on a large exercise ball. You will use more muscles to maintain your balance and you can use it to get a good stretch in the lower back and legs!

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!


New Move Monday: Stomp the Ceiling

Clare : July 18, 2011 1:38 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Fitness, Lower Body, New Move Monday

No equipment? No problem! This is a great strengthener for the lower back, glutes and legs. This move can also be done on the exercise ball, but today I’ll demonstrate for the floor. Add this move to your routine a few times a week and you’ll feel much taller and tighter through the midsection!


(Instruction under the Photo)

Lay with your chest/belly on the floor. Place both hands underneath your forehead. Bend both legs and keep the feet relaxed.

Lift one leg into the air as if you are stomping the ceiling. Control the lift up and down. It’s like you are pressing your feet into the ceiling. You do NOT need to flatten the foot—a relaxed foot is just fine. Bring the leg down to starting position and then do the other leg. Repeat.

Do 2-3 sets of 10 lifts (each leg does 10)


Lift both legs into the air at the same time. Keep the legs apart (heels not touching). Control the lift up and down.

Do 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps

My son wanted to join in the fun :)

Here is a view of how high (or maybe how low!) my leg actually lifts. It’s not very far off of the floor.


This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!


New Move Monday: Angle Variety Abs w Ball

Clare : July 5, 2011 4:22 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Exercise Ball, Featured, Fitness, New Move Monday

There are 3 levels to this move. Ultimately, I’d like you to progress through each move, WITHOUT stopping the upper body.  THAT IS THE KEY TO THIS MOVE.

Do 10 reps at each level and try NOT to stop once you move from level 3 back to level 1 on the SECOND set. Of course, if you need a rest, take it and start back up!!

2-3 sets of 10 reps at each level.

Add pulsing at the end of level 3 for a really BIG challenge!

Click here if you can’t view video.


This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!


New Move Monday: The Ab Roll

Clare : June 6, 2011 2:46 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, New Move Monday, Videos

You get a little video demonstration of today’s new move!! It’s called the “Ab Roll” and I use this in my pilates class. It is very difficult, yet very effective. Remember, if you need to modify, there is no shame in that. I assure you, you’ll get stronger in no time!!

*Try to think that someone is lifting you up AT THE SAME TIME from the ceiling at the chest and the legs. As you roll left and right, try and lay the full body down at once with CONTROL.

(If video doesn’t work, click here)

This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday and Women Living Well Wednesdays!


Medicine Ball (Full Body)

Clare : May 4, 2011 11:26 pm : Abs and Lower Back, Featured, Lower Body, Medicine Ball, Upper Body

If you’ve seen a medicine ball before, you may have looked at it, then quickly walked away thinking that it must be a piece of equipment for athletes only! Do not fear! These weighted balls are a GREAT addition to your home gym and your workout routine. They come in many varieties–handles, no handles, small, large and a variety of pounds. They don’t take up a lot of space and will last you a long time. Not only are they great for abdominal exercises, but upper and lower body as well.

The exercises performed below are done with an 8 pound ball. If you do not have a medicine ball, you should be able to grab one weight and complete the exercises. (although some of the moves may not be as comfortable)

(Fun Fact: I was 14 weeks pregnant with my daughter in these pictures and my photographer was Courtney from WomenLivingWell!)

Alternating Side Lunge w/Chest Press: Grab the medicine ball and stand with feet a little further than hip width apart. Lunge to the right as you press the ball in front of you with both hands. Bring the ball back to your chest as you come center with your body. Lunge to the left and press the ball out again. Bring back to the chest, with body coming center. Keep the chest lifted and high! REPS: 2 sets of 8-10 reps (1 rep is going to the right and then the left)

Hinged-Over Lift: Take the medicine ball in both hands. Hinge over from the waist and keep your knees soft. It’s almost like you are in a small squat. (Do NOT break the torso). Take the ball and lift it up to where your biceps meet your ears. (see picture above) Then bring back to starting position. Keep the gaze to the floor the whole time and be sure to stay squatted and hinged. (Sounds major, eh?) ADVANCED: As you lift your arms up and down, press the ball with your hands. REPS: 2 sets of 12 reps

Platypus Walk: Grab the medicine ball and lift it with both arms above the head. Take your legs and turn both toes out, away from the body, as opposed to having them face forward. Squat down slightly. Walk up on a 4 count (“right foot, then left foot, right foot, then left”) Then, walk back on a 4 count. Keep the hands lifted and the rear end in a slight squat. It will feel a little odd, but have fun with it! REPS: 2 sets of 12 reps

Tricep Extension: Grab the medicine ball with both hands and lift it behind  your head. Lift the ball above your head, then return it to starting position, as pictured above. (Be sure to keep your elbows “in” as opposed to flaring out to the sides.) When you lift the ball up, think PRESSING your wrists up thru the ceiling. (this will help engage the tricep muscle) Be sure to keep the abs and lower back supported by drawing in the abs towards the spine.  REPS: 2 sets of 12 reps.

Shoulder Bridge: Take the medicine ball and go to the floor. Lay on your back and put the ball underneath your feet. Drop and lift your rear end while you keep your feet on the ball 8 times, then hold the rear end in the air for an 8 count. Relax and repeat that cycle 2-3 times. ADVANCED: Lift the right leg up, then take it back down to the ball, then lift the leg leg up and bring it down. Repeat. Do 8 times, 2-3 sets.

Oblique Twist: Grab your medicine ball and sit down. Plant your feet firmly in the floor about hip width apart. Hold the ball at your chest and begin twisting right and left with control. Keep the chest lifted (don’t sink) and shoulders away from the ears. The elbows should be close to your body as if you are knocking someone out at your hips. Exhale as you twist right and left.  ADVANCED: Lean back slightly as you twist. Try lifting your feet off the floor a few inches while maintaining balance! REPS: 12-15 reps 2 sets

Lower Ab Drop: Grab your medicine ball and lay down. Put the ball between your knees and extend your legs into “chair pose” (see picture) Keep your head to the floor and put your hands to the side on the floor. Inhale, then exhale and with control, drop your legs to where your toes almost touch the floor and return them to starting position. Do NOT collapse the legs. Keep them extended. Repeat.  ADVANCED: Lift your head and put both hands behind your head as you do the move. REPS: 10-12 reps 2 sets


Mat Routine

Clare : January 12, 2011 3:53 am : Abs and Lower Back, Instruction

Climb the Rope – Extend both legs into the air while laying on your back. Lift your upper body and reach up as if you are climbing a rope. “Grab it” with the right hand, then the left hand. That is 1 rep. Do 2-3 sets of 8-15.  CHALLENGE: Reach higher and higher as if the rope is being pulled up from the sky. MODIFICATION: Bend legs while reaching right and left

Lying Side Lift – Lay on your left side. Put your left hand straight out in front of you and place your right hand behind your head. Your legs are stacked straight right on top of the other. Make sure not to break this position by falling forward or backward. Lift your right leg at the same time as you bend your torso toward your leg. Lower your leg and head to starting position and repeat. Do 8-12 reps on that side, then lay on your right side and repeat. Do a total of 2 sets on each side

Plank – Get on all 4’s. Extend your legs straight behind you to where you are holding on your toes. Straighten your arms out and keep them shoulder-width apart. Keep your bottom in line with your spine. (do not over or under compensate by lifting or lowering too much) Draw your naval into your spine. Keep your gaze ahead. (Do not “crank” on your neck) Breathe and hold the position for 5 sec. Relax to knees. Repeat adding 1 second each time, working your way up to 10 sec. MODIFICATION: Go to your knees and forearms

Lower Ab Tap – While laying on your back, lift both legs up into “chair pose”. Keep both hands flat on the ground. Slowly tap the right foot down while keeping the left leg still. Draw leg back to starting position and then slowly tap the left foot down. That is 1 rep.  Be sure to keep no space between your lower back and the floor by drawing your naval down to your spine. Do 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps. CHALLENGE: Keep your legs further away from your body and tap your heel down instead of your toe.  MODIFICATION: Put both hands behind your head to support your neck and bring your legs in closer to your chest.

Upper Back Extension – Lay on your tummy. Put hands behind the head.   Keep the tops of the feet to the floor while your upper body lifts slightly. Drop back down and repeat. Do 5-8 reps with a total of 2 sets.
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