Viewing entries tagged
abs

Get a Flatter Stomach: 3 Quick Home Workouts (Beginner to Elite)

Get a Flatter Stomach: 3 Quick Home Workouts (Beginner to Elite)

Training for a flatter stomach or a stronger core is a great goal, but you can only hang out in a plank for so long before boredom really sets in. Do some crunches instead? Okay, but some traditional core exercises like crunches simply aren’t the best use of your time. You want fast results, right?

Quick Upper Body Workout (Just 3 Moves!)

Quick Upper Body Workout (Just 3 Moves!)

Improve your stability and upper body strength with three quick moves! If you thought that burpees were tough, wait till you try bosu burpees. Your core muscles will fight to keep you steady throughout this quick upper body workout. 

Partner Workout : Sculpt Killer Abs in 3 Moves

Partner Workout : Sculpt Killer Abs in 3 Moves

If your ab routine is feeling a little lacklustre, give this partner workout a try. Hang out with your bestie and sculpt killer abs at the same time. You'll especially be working your obliques and lower abs. You will have the strength and core stability that you need to slay at all of your other favorite sports.

5 ab exercise videos for busy bees (15 mins or less)

5 ab exercise videos for busy bees (15 mins or less)

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Working on your core doesn't have to be a bore (or a chore for that matter). Take 15 minutes out of your day to improve your core strength. If you're at home, you can easily do so with simple, straight-forward ab exercise videos. Resources like Fitness Blender, Tone It Up, POPSUGAR Fitness, and XHit Daily make it easy for you to squeeze in a quick workout, regardless of how busy you are. No gym required. If you're doing the PumpUp #ChallengeMe June fitness series, you'll earn points for every 15 minutes of ab exercises that you do today. 15 minute ab workout videos

Fitness Blender's Abs Boot camp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLN-NAazKeg

Difficulty level: Beginner - Moderate

You won't need any equipment to do these ten exercises. You'll repeat each move twice, for 30 seconds each rep. You're encouraged to perform the moves at your own pace in order to maintain proper form throughout the entire video. Though Fitness Blender expects you to break an intense sweat during their ab exercise videos, this one isn't too challenging. According to their website, you can burn as much as 103 calories by doing this video.

Tone It Up's Bikini Abs Routine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9wbX1vKKck

Difficulty level: Moderate to Advanced

Tone It Up's bikini abs routine really is a difficult workout on its own. There are standing warm ups to get your heart pumping before you proceed with challenging moves that play a game of tug-o-war with your stabilizer muscles. Watch out for the single leg reverse crunch when you're doing this routine. Go slowly, emphasizing proper form rather than maximizing your repetitions to get the most out of this workout.

Popsugar Fitness's Fast and Furious Calorie Burn

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAQK22crBWc

Difficulty level: Moderate to Advanced

Autumn Calabrese sure knows how to make mean workouts. This 'full-body' routine actually incorporates several dynamic standing moves that are great for burning fat around your abs. It'll keep your heart rate up and help you to build strength as well. You'll need a pair of dumbbells for this routine.

XHit Daily's Washboard Abs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4dJqWS95fo

Difficulty level: Moderate

You'll have a ball with this ab workout.  As fun as bouncing on a stability ball may be, you can get a pretty effective ab workout with a few simple moves. The ball makes conventional ab exercises a lot more challenging by destabilizing your body. Just roll with it (but actually, try to minimize rolling while you're performing the moves).

Jessica Smith's Crunch-Free Workout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AZFlHItbCU

Difficulty Level: Beginner - Moderate

Who doesn't love ab exercise videos that don't include crunches? This workout uses more static exercises (like the plank) in order to build your core strength. All of these exercises are done on the floor and you won't need any equipment to get started.

Loved these ab exercise videos? Let us know your favorite ways to build core strength in the comments below! Cover photo courtesy of PumpUp member m_dancer18. If you're doing our #ChallengeMe June fitness series, you'll earn points for every 15 minutes of ab exercises that you do today.

3 partner exercises that will get your heart pumping

3 partner exercises that will get your heart pumping

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If you're out of ideas for gym partner exercises, fret not. Let equipment inspire you! This gym partner workout is full of fast-paced moves that will elevate your heart rate while having fun with your workout partner. All you'll need for this is a resistance band, battle ropes, and a gym buddy!

Resistance Band Running

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Partner 1 holds both handles of a resistance band. Partner 2 will step into the loop, positioning herself or himself a few paces further away. Partner 1 drops down into a squat, anchoring the band while Partner 2 leans forward and sprints. Slowly and gradually decrease the speed of your stride when finished, easing up on the band when the runner has completely stopped.

How does this help you?

Resistance band running will help you to increase the agility of your sprints. You'll be almost as speedy as the road runner, and your lower body will have more power to drive you further and faster over longer and longer distances. The extra resistance will help you to improve your stride frequency, which will in turn enhance your performance in various sports and allow you cross the finish line faster during short-distance runs.

Battle rope skips

Exercise battle ropes partner exercise jumping

Partner 1 harnesses the battle ropes to a stationary anchor, dropping down into a half-squat position. Make small waves with the ropes, alternating forearms to lift the ropes off the ground and engaging your core to add power to the movement. Once Partner 1 establishes a rhythm with the ropes, Partner 2 explodes upward and across the ropes, making sure to land softly. Jump back to starting position. Don't strain yourself during this workout.

How does this help you?

Battle ropes will help you to condition your arms, shoulders, and abs. Plus, you'll look and feel like a BOSS. Holding your lower body in a half squat throughout the exercise will actually allow your partner to jump over the ropes, and it'll help you strengthen your hamstrings, quads, and glutes. Not only will jumping elevate your heart rate and increase your agility, it also has long-term health benefits. Jumping has shown to build bone density, coordination, and prevent against common running injuries.

Partner decline sit-ups

Partner decline sit-ups from the PumpUp Blog (GIF)

If Partner 1 is strong enough, Partner 2 hooks legs around Partner 1, staying anchored at the knee. Your core is braced, legs slightly bent to lower your centre of gravity (this keeps you more stable). Partner 2 crunches up vertically.

How does this help you?

This is an advanced move. Use a bench to do a decline sit-up if you're a beginner. The decline sit-up will target the muscle responsible for hip flexion and spinal rotation.

The ultimate partner workout that will get your heart pumping with just 3 moves! Running with a resistance band, battle rope skipping, and decline sit-ups with a partner. Try this workout! Find out more on the PumpUp Blog

Enjoyed these partner exercises? Have ideas you'd like to show us? Tag your best workout videos featuring partner exercises with #TeamPumpUp on Instagram so that we can see what you've got! Thanks to PumpUp member @vania_cienfuegos07 and @its_anjela_baybee_19 for demonstrating these moves!

4 simple ab exercises for a stronger core

4 simple ab exercises for a stronger core

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It's important to have a stronger core for reasons far more important than aesthetics. When you exercise the muscles around your trunk and pelvis, this helps to improve our stability and balance. This short ab circuit by PumpUp member @fitmissrach will challenge your core muscles with 4 simple moves. Try this circuit for just 10 minutes a day. These moves will build a stronger core before you realize it. Toe touches

Ab moves for a stronger core: Toe touch gif

Begin with your body in an L-shaped position. Legs are straight up in the air and your upper body is flat on the ground with your arms straight and raised above your head. This is your starting position. With one movement, touch your hands to your ankles and lift your upper body towards the ceiling. Lower back to starting position.

In and outs

ab moves for a stronger core: in and outs

In a seated position, keep your tailbone on the ground, hands at the base of your spine, and feet hovering above the floor. Begin with your knees bent to start. Simultaneously, lower your upper body and straighten out your legs, then come back up to start.

Plank wall jumps

Ab moves for a stronger core: plank wall jumps

Start with your arms in plank position, feet just at the base of the wall. Your forearms should be in line with your wrists. Quickly jump your feet vertically to touch the wall, then lower.

Mountain climbers

Ab moves for a stronger core: mountain climbers

Start in plank position. Drive the opposite knee to the opposite shoulder, twisting your obliques throughout the motion. Switch to the other leg repeatedly.

Keep Rachael pumped on the app by following her @fitmissrach. Check out her Instagram account @rachaelgervais. What is your favourite ab circuit for a stronger core? Let us know if you tried this exercise in the comments below!

 

3 standing ab moves that take home workouts to the next level

3 standing ab moves that take home workouts to the next level

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Think you can't make it to the gym? On many days, the trek just isn't realistic for you. You can still Spring into Action with ab exercises that require you to stand, not sit. These three standing ab moves by PumpUp member @emjoy_88 will target all areas of your core. Weights are not necessary for these exercises, but extra resistance is always an added bonus. You'll work harder, feel stronger, and perform better in sports as well as other athletic activities. Take your at-home workout to the next level with standing ab moves. Do them while you're watching videos or even while you're listening to music.  That extra pump will be all you need to start your day off on the right foot. Do three rounds of these standing ab moves, for one minute per exercise

Standing oblique crunches

standing ab moves oblique crunches

 

Dumbbell Woodchoppers

standing ab exercises dumbbell woodchoppers

 

Standing oblique twists with a knee crunch

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We guarantee you'll be sore after this intense partner workout

We guarantee you'll be sore after this intense partner workout

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If you feel like you're in a rut, grab a friend and try this intense partner workout. It'll get your heart rate up with no-equipment, full-body exercises that specifically target your abs and arms. This intense partner workout circuit incorporates moves from high-intensity interval training to increase your speed and agility. Burpees with a jump knee tuck

burpee gif intense partner workout pumpup

Do these carefully and make sure you land quite softly on your feet when you perform the jump knee tuck in order to prevent injury. As p90x's Tony Horton would say, think like a cat. Love it or loathe it, the burpee is a go-to, zero-equipment full-body workout. A 155-lb person can burn up to 10 calories per minute by doing burpees. Add in the jump knee tuck, and you'll be expending tons of energy in no time.

Plank to pushup

plank to pushup gif intense partner workout

This is a tricky exercise to do with proper form. When done properly, the plank to pushup is an integral component of this intense partner workout. It'll help to strengthen your core by challenging you to stabilize your muscles while you're moving. Start in a regular plank position, shoulder directly in line with your wrists. Lower your arms one at a time into an elbow plank, then push back up again on each side.

Mountain climbers

mountain climbers gif intense partner workout

Phew! No crunches! Mountain climbers give you a bit of extra cardio, helping you burn fat while strengthening your obliques. Strive to drive each knee towards the opposite shoulderFocusing on achieving this full range of motion will challenge your core even more.

Chatarunga 

chatarunga gif intense partner workout

Not familiar with yoga? Who cares! Don't be intimidated by this exercise. Also known as the four-limbed staff pose, the chatarunga is a staple move that seriously challenges your upper body and your core. When you're getting into the chatarunga, keep these tips from PopSugar Fitness in mind. Make sure you don't roll your shoulders, keep your arms at a ninety-degree angle when you're in plank position, drive your heels forward (rather than having your toes pointed), have your hands flat on the mat, and look just slightly ahead of you; don't crane your neck up.

Share this workout with a friend so that you can perform this intense partner workout together! Check out more of our workouts here and comment below to let us know what you think!  This exercise circuit was published courtesy of PumpUp members @aichatytgat and @tinytinne, from their fitness Instagram account, @thedoublethreat.

Out of ab exercises? A stability ball changes the game

Out of ab exercises? A stability ball changes the game

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The stability ball ab pike video

[video width="640" height="640" mp4="http://blog.pumpup.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Video-1425497073831.mp4"][/video]

Think outside the box with your ab exercises and  be on the ball instead! (...A stability ball, that is).  PumpUp member tinytinne demonstrates how to do a stability ball ab pike. You're a champ: try 4 sets of 15. This will absolutely target your shoulders, your back, and especially your lower abs.

How to do the stability ball ab pike

  • Begin in a plank position with your shins (or feet, if you are tiny!) resting on a stability ball.
  • Keep your legs straight and raise your hips toward the ceiling as you would if you were performing a downward dog.
  • With control, use the lower half of your body to draw the ball towards your arms, which should remain stable throughout the exercise
  • Hold, then roll your body back to start.

Pro tip: If you don't have access to an exercise ball, perform the stability ball ab pike with paper plates. Simply place two paper plates at the bottom of your feet and, on a smooth surface, perform the pike as you would with a stability ball. Neat, huh?

Don't know where to get a stability ball? Gaiam Life has a great guide that will help you to pick one that is perfect for you.

Never leave the floor with this  handy workout circuit

Never leave the floor with this handy workout circuit

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Is your Sweaty Sunday feeling more like a Lazy Sunday? Too busy watching House of Cards on Netflix? pumpupapp member @emjoy88 has a quick circuit that will target your legs, glutes, and thighs without you ever having to leave the floor:

  • Ab bicycles
  • Donkey kicks
  • Wide leg in and outs
  • Scissor kicks

Add ankle weights for an extra challenge! What's your favourite way to exercise while you're doing a typically sedentary activity? Share about it with the PumpUp community! Planks, calf raises, and wall-sits are amazing ways to make your television marathons a little bit more exciting!

[video width="640" height="640" mp4="http://blog.pumpup.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/11020638_1070744956274322_748471013_n.mp4"][/video]

 

 

 

 

Louise is training for her first bikini competition using her own research. Learn how - PumpUp Success Stories

When Louise began her journey on PumpUp, became inspired to tackle one of the biggest challenges she’s ever faced: to enter in her very first bikini competition using her own methods and research. Her truly admirable story and the dedication that she devotes to her craft never fails to inspire PumpUp’s million-member community on a very regular basis. 

Never one to be sedentary, Louise described herself as an intermittently active person throughout her whole life. One crucial obstacle was holding her back. “I had very little knowledge of nutrition and no goal in mind other than to stay healthy,” she mentioned. In an average day prior to PumpUp, she would eat very little and rarely breakfast—just cereal and the dinners that were available to her at home. Hydration was also the last thing on Louise’s busy mind. “I rarely drank enough…maybe a glass a day,” she admitted. “If I would have continued on that road there would have been major negative health repercussions in my later life.”  As a university student, Louise would practice cheerleading and dance once a week. Excessive drinking would, however, negate those workouts.

Since Louise was introduced to PumpUp in February 2014, she leveraged the community as a knowledge hub for health and fitness. “Everyone on PumpUp is very positive—there is a surge of energy that is very motivating,” she insisted. “I like that people ask questions and give support. I began my journey by answering peoples’ questions and adding photos with small facts. I like to spread knowledge.” The more engagement she received from the community, the more her thirst for knowledge about health and fitness intensified. “I found that many have been misled by fad diets from magazines and the media,” she continued. “I wanted to know facts.” 

Louise amassed an extensive collection of science-based books and  effectively placed herself at the center of her own ‘human trial’, experimenting with exercises, nutrition, and supplementation and using PumpUp to document everything. “Immediately I discovered that the body is a machine and if you fuel it efficiently, you will reap the benefits,” she concluded. “My energy levels were improving, I slept better, and my memory was almost at 90 percent—that’s not like me at all. I loved the feeling and that’s when wellness became a lifestyle choice.”

Over this period of time, Louise gathered a wealth of support from the PumpUp community and embraced the encouragement she received from her followers. Eventually, Louise became inspired to enter in her very first bikini fitness competition. “I came across a few people on PumpUp who competed in body building and fitness shows. I began researching and I knew straight away that it was what I wanted to do,” she recounted. “I picked the competition I wanted to enter and began to search for methods to achieve my goal.  Now I’m working backwards from my competition date.” Louise is completing the entire process without a coach, learning as she progresses. “It’s been physically, socially, and mentally challenging but my PumpUp followers have always been there to encourage me when I am feeling unmotivated or alone,” she said earnestly. “It might sound cliché, but they have pumped me up when I felt deflated (pun intended).”

A journey isn’t really a journey without obstacles or speed bumps. Louise is only human. “I have had times when I wanted to eat every sugar-contained item in my house,” she professed. “When I do, I raid the cupboard—and of course I feel guilty. I confessed about it on PumpUp and everyone was very supportive. My journey has not been straightforward; but rather like hiking up a mountain. I know that when I get to the top, I did everything I could to be my best. That will be my reward.” Her dedication to her goal is admirable in every way, and she keeps sane by calculating a healthy balance that works for her—even if it means waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise, or turning down a social event every now and then to make sure that she sticks to her training schedule.

She has succinct and wise words for others who are just beginning their fitness journey or learning to love themselves. “Everyone is different and different things work for different people: there are so many individual factors that can impact a ‘healthy lifestyle’,” she advised. “Big changes take time. Start small and then develop.”

After her competition, Louise hopes to communicate with others more on PumpUp and aspires to assist them on their journey. “I already obtain all of the support and encouragement I need from PumpUp,” she affirmed. “Whether it is prep for a competition or even just to improve their healthy lifestyles, I want to help others by spreading the knowledge that I obtained.  One day I may even become a sponsored athlete.”  

Biggest Motivation

“Michelle Lewin. She was the first bikini competitor I discovered. Her physique inspired my journey.”

Favourite eats

“ I adore banana and peanut butter protein pancakes.

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 scoop of your favourite flavoured protein powder (I use peanut butter Quest powder)

Use a non-stick pan on a low heat. Mix all the ingredients together, don’t mash the banana too much (because it’s nice when you taste a piece in the pancake). Then pan fry like a normal pancake, when the base is solid and moves around the pan it is ready to flip over.”

Motivational Mantra

“Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up”—Rocky Balboa

Favourite Exercise

I love to train my legs, the strength has developed so quickly. I strength-train four times a week. I love compound exercises, my favorites are Squats and Renegade rows. However, I do like to experiment with new exercises. Every session I try at least one new exercise, usually I feel it the next day. My last session I tried curtsy lunges with a barbell…great for the glutes.”

Fun Fact About Louise

“Although I do not use my qualification, I am actually a qualified fitness instructor.”

Follow Louise on PumpUp @louiseusa101 and keep her pumped as she strives to reach her goal!

Try this killer reverse crunch partner workout

Try this simple core workout by PumpUp member @jkennedyfit! Reverse crunches are no joke. What are your fave ways to work your core? [video width="640" height="640" mp4="http://blog.pumpup.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/COre-workout.mp4"][/video]

No gym? No problem! A partner workout you can do any time of day

Love yourself all day, every day. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl exerciser, pumpupapp members @tinytinne and @aichatytgat put together a quick Workout Wednesday routine that you can do right when you wake up or before you go to bed. 

  • Plank touches
  • Ab bicycles
  • In and outs
  • Sit-ups with an overhead raise (5-10lb weighted plates)

This awesome ab workout will help you get sweaty

Try this #SweatySunday awesome ab workout! You'll be feeling it tomorrow.

  • V-crunches for your upper abs
  • Bicycle crunches for your obliques
  • Pulse ups for your lower abs

It's basically a complete workout that will help you get fit no matter what. Take five minutes today and complete at least one circuit during a commercial break or in between the chapters of your book.  You won't even need any equipment! You won't even need to leave the floor! Thank the heavens.

Do you have awesome ab workout videos that you wanna show us? Tag them on Instagram with #TeamPumpUp so we can see!

[video width="640" height="640" mp4="http://blog.pumpup.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ab-workout.mp4"][/video]

Learn how Erin got visible abs and has been overcoming PTSD with PumpUp's help - PumpUp Success Stories

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Erin (@3rin) joined PumpUp with one simple goal: to have visible ab definition. “My fitness goals were reached because of my determination and because of members of the PumpUp community who have either become good friends or family to me,” she insisted. Erin is in the spotlight to bravely share her turbulent and inspiring story coping with PTSD, anxiety, and depression as a single parent, while still achieving her health and fitness objectives. “I’ve come to realize that being healthy isn’t about losing weight or getting abs,” she revealed. “It’s about having a positive attitude, eating right, and being with people who you love and love you. 

One simple bike ride in 2012 became Erin’s catalyst to truly strive for a healthy and active lifestyle. “I went for a bike ride with a friend and we raced, but he beat me by 7km,” she said. Fuelled with determination, Erin built up her cycling skills over the next couple of months, improved her confidence, and lost weight. “After the 2 ½ month mark, I finally beat him. I was so excited that I entered a race for breast cancer. There were 500 other women and I would have placed 3rd if my scoliosis hadn’t affected the outcome of my race.” 

However, Erin’s scoliosis took a toll on fitness journey other ways. “After recuperating in physio after the race for breast cancer, I was determined to get back into biking,” she elaborated. “At that point, my schedule had changed—I became a single parent because I left my abusive ex-husband, and with no visitation or child support.”  Erin managed to get back on track despite of these obstacles, and in a major way. “My daughter was 2 ½ years old at the time, so I asked my friend to watch her in the mornings so that I could go running and clear my mind,” Erin added. From that point onwards, her healthy lifestyle has been something that she is proud of herself for maintaining.

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Intrigued by the prospect of a mobile app that could customize workouts for her, Erin joined PumpUp in July 2013 in order to augment her existing workout routine and to track her progress.  “I was determined to get visible abs,” she insisted. With hard work, determination, and encouragement from the PumpUp community, Erin managed to achieve her goal and more. “About a month ago in November 2014, I took a random picture of myself lying on the ground… and I saw abs,” she explained breathlessly. “My daughter is in school, telling everybody about them. It’s embarrassing, yet exhilarating.”  

PumpUp is honoured to have helped Erin to achieve one of her ultimate objectives for 2014. “I accomplished all I wanted to accomplish with the help of PumpUp. I have abs,” she gushed. “Now I just need the confidence to show off my hard work. I can confidently run in just a sports bra, and in every type of weather. However, I still lack the courage to wear a halter top or a bathing suit in public.”

The PumpUp community admires Erin’s strength in combatting her PTSD. “I have recurring flashbacks, anxiety issues, and severe scoliosis,” she mentioned. “I refused both the recommended therapy and medication for PTSD—but in retrospect, I should have taken the doctors up on the latter. I am stubborn, but I am self-sufficient.” While Erin admitted that she sometimes gets severe depression when she experiences a PTSD episode, she finds it therapeutic to spend time with the people whom she loves and who love her back. “My daughter and my friends are a real source of comfort for me, as are my PumpUp family,” she explained. “Writing poetry also helps because it is a real challenge for me to talk about myself in any regard. Creative outlets have helped me a lot, in addition to exercise.”

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Although Erin always considered herself to be a healthy eater, she continues to grapple with portion control and moderation. “My theory is that we shouldn’t deprive ourselves,” she insisted. “Eat what you’re going to eat, but be prepared to see the consequences of exceeding your daily limit and not being able to burn it all off. You’ll have a higher success rate when you eat less junk.” Her fitness journey has allowed her to test the limits of her culinary prowess. She experiments with her food in healthy and creative ways. “I was never a cook before starting my fitness journey, but now I have the willingness to create things from scratch,” she explained. “I seldom use recipes because I like to limit my salt, sugar, and fat intake.”

As a self-professed cardio junkie, Erin prefers kickboxing, cycling, and running in order to stay active. When she first began her fitness journey, Erin explained that she would religiously perform Jillian Michaels routines until she learned how to create her own workouts based on calisthenics. “My routine just involves my own body weight—although sometimes I do one online when I’m lazy,” she admitted. “I workout twice a day—I have to because I have severe back issues. Exercise is my therapy—it’s better than physiotherapy. I use PumpUp to log my workouts and my progress.”

Her best advice for PumpUp members looking to achieve their resolutions in 2014 is to set realistic, achievable, and tangible goals. “Know what you can handle and start off small,” she counselled. “Don’t take on too much at once!”  As Erin continues her journey with the PumpUp community, her #MyResolution is to face her problems head on rather than waiting for better circumstances. "My PTSD will not conquer, I will," she told PumpUp.

Erin is motivated to break combat her family’s history of heart disease. Her genetic history is the fuel that powers her progress. “My biggest motivation would have to be my daughter—I want to extend my life to be around her,” she explained. “I want to be around for longer to see  that things get better for us.” Though cooking is a very recent hobby for Erin, she finds it fulfilling for one very important reason. “As a single parent, I have no choice but to impart great nutritional habits onto my daughter,” she affirmed.

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Erin’s meals

“I love to eat Greek-style lamb with rice, carrots, potato, and occasionally house salad. My favourite thing to cook is salad rolls with cucumbers, carrots, avocado, and sometimes shrimp in rice paper. (It’s my daughter’s favourite).”

Motivational Mantra

You are only you. Only you know what you can accomplish. It’s up to you to get others to believe it for when you are too low to believe it yourself” 

Fun Fact about Erin

“I’ve had half a dozen near-death experiences and I somehow miraculously always survive.”

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Find Erin on the PumpUp app @3rin to keep her pumped! She’ll motivate you with lovely comments!

Ever owned pants that you've always wanted to fit into again? Learn how Katie did so in 2014 - PumpUp Success Story

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Never to be seen without her clever workout shirts (“Gundalf the Grey”, anybody?), her fantastic smile, and her positive attitude, @KatieLovesFitness takes the PumpUp spotlight today with an incredibly inspiring story about how she was able to achieve more than she could ever have hoped for in 2014 with the support of the PumpUp community. 

There’s a song that muses about how sometimes, life gets in the way of ‘living’. This rang true for Katie before she began her journey with the PumpUp. Although her lifestyle had always been healthy and active in general, stress and pressure from college have made it very difficult for her to remain healthy and active. “Last semester, I studied abroad in Germany. That’s when I really lost it with my weight,” she explained. “I ate whatever I wanted and exercised very little. It’s easy to get off track—once you start to gain weight and continue to gain weight, it’s hard to stop.”

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With one snap decision and a lot of determination, Katie managed to get back into the rhythm of leading a holistically healthy routine with the help of the PumpUp community. “It’s never too late to set a new goal or to dream a new dream, and this summer I really decided to start living a healthy lifestyle again,” she elaborated. “PumpUp helped me stay on track so much. If I hadn’t been taking pictures along the way, I probably would have never noticed any change. I think this was my biggest problem in the past.”  Her resolution for the end of 2014 was specific and tangible: to fit into a specific pair of jeans that she wasn’t able to wear in nearly 4 years. “Now they’re getting big—I honestly didn’t think my body could be smaller than that,” Katie confessed. “I’m being healthy and that’s all that really matters to me.” 2014 was a major year of progress for her and we can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store. Katie began to lift heavier weights towards the end of December and even managed to beat her personal record—clocking in a squat of over 100 lbs.

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Katie’s 15-pound weight loss is a brush stroke in the broader scheme of her transformation. She is most thrilled by the happiness and renewed sense of confidence that she gained with the support of her friends on PumpUp. “I am beyond grateful for this app and fitness community,” Katie insisted. “[Everybody] is so encouraging that it makes me keep trying to strive for more. I want to inspire people, and I would not be able to do so as directly without PumpUp.” 

She emphasizes how being part of PumpUp really is a team effort. “Whenever I don’t feel like exercising or eating healthy, I check PumpUp to see how everybody else in the community is doing and how they are fighting against their struggles,” she said. “This motivates me to keep going because I feel like I’m not alone in this struggle.” Katie underscores important, albeit difficult, it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and she’s glad to have other people on the app who understand her perspective wholeheartedly.  

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Favourite Healthy Snack

Non-fat Greek yogurt with vanilla!”

Motivational Mantra

I don’t train every day because I hate my body. I do it because I love my body.”

Fun Fact about Katie

I speak English and some German!” 

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Katie truly is a PumpUp success story! Follow her squatting and weightlifting adventures on the PumpUp app @katielovesfitness! 

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PumpUp’s Best Plank Photos

Thanks for planking it out on Day 3 of PumpUp’s #MyResolution photo-a-day challenge! Creative planks are always great to witness and a riot to perform, aren’t they? Remember to never sacrifice proper form for extra time in the pose. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest plank to date was held for 4 hours and 26 minutes. 

Here are a handful among many of PumpUp’s favourite planks from the challenge:

  • @emily_swan (top photo) demonstrates some sweet plank variations to try! These isometric poses will work different parts of your body.
  • @alexawinter (second row, left), among many others on the app, took this opportunity to plank it out in her kitchen!
  • Ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low enough for @k_c (second row, right). She climbed on top of Pinnacle Mountain in order to take this shot!
  • Maybe treadmills aren’t just for running. Maybe. There was no ‘treading’ to be seen with @amyliu’s plank! (third row,left)
  • @danelee (third row, right) explained that he does a lot of plank work in gymnastics. He decided to do his plank on two physioballs!
  • The winner of our challenge is @annakw! She vastly improved her plank time since she began to work out in September. “I couldn’t hold one for more than a minute. Now, the most I can do is two minutes!” 

Get a core to die for: Days 1-7

Want to focus on your core this December? PumpUp member @sandrafitness has put together daily routines that you can do to strengthen your abs right before you go to sleep. We’ve created a summary of Days 1-7 below. Check out the full challenge on her blog

I’ve prepared a simple challenge that will strengthen your core for the rest of December until the 6th of January, the time when Christmas festivities finish here in Spain. You can perform these exercises right before bedtime or a couple of hours before going to bed. The challenge is meant to supplement your workouts, rather than substitute for your workouts.

Remember that none of this will work if you do not pair this challenge with healthy eating habits. To get better results, add cardio! It will help your abs to look more visible and defined by burning fat around your core.I’m sure this isn’t news to you, so let’s get to what is really interesting:

DAY 1

  • 20×3 reverse crunches.
  • 20×3 leg raises.
  • 20×3 russian twists.
  • 20×3 heel touches.

You should feel like your core is on fire. Otherwise, you probably already have abs of steel.  See? It took so little time and results will be visible after the challenge!! 

DAY 2

  • 40 bicycle crunches (one on each side)
  • 25 russian twists
  • 25 leg raises 

Repeat 2-3 more times.

DAY 3

  • 30 russian twists
  • 25 heel touches
  • 30 leg raises
  • 20 legs in, and out. Try to keep them as low as you can.

Repeat 2 more times.  

We’ll be increasing the number of repetitions daily, but please listen to your body and do what’s right for you. If you are in pain, the kind of pain that isn’t normal, stop doing the exercise and consult your physician. I don’t want you to get injured. Maintaining proper form is crucial. Believe me, I learnt this the hard way, when crunches gave me a really bad neck pain for a whole week.

DAY 4

  • 45 bicycle crunches
  • 35 russian twists
  • 35 reverse crunches
  • 35 leg raises

Repeat x2/3 depending on how you feel. 

DAY 5

Repeat day 4’s exercises, because we’ll be doing more variations next week and I love performing these exercises rather than sit ups or crunches. We will be increasing the intensity over the next couple of days and that will be a real challenge for you.  Consider these exercises as a warm up for the whole month.

DAY 6

  • 35 heel touches
  • 30 ‘in and outs’: Sitting on a chair or on the floor, keep your stomach tight and push your legs out and then back in. Focus on proper form rather than speed.
  • 1 minute plank
  • 35 russian twists

Repeat x2/3

DAY 7

  • 25 russian twists
  • 25 heel touches
  • 25 in and outs
  • 25 toe touches
  • 1 minute plank
  • 25 bicycle crunches

Repeat 2-3 times.

Check out the full challenge on Sandra’s blog and find her on the app using the hashtag #ACoreToDieFor and tag her username, @sandrafitness

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Did PumpUp help you reach your goals in 2014? Even a little bit (or a lot!)? We’re looking to feature amazing stories next month and we’d love to hear from you! Email alessandra@pumpup.co