Two-Minute Core Workouts with Our Zella PRO
How does Pure Barre instructor and Zella PRO Missy DeWalt trick herself into fitting a little more ab work into her day? She makes TV commercials work for her. The average break lasts two minutes. In an hour-long show, that’s 12 full minutes you could be toning and strengthening that core. If there’s time to zone, there’s time to tone! Sorry. That was awful. But Missy’s tips are rock solid. Here are three exercises she personally mixes in while vegging out to her favorite shows.
Forearm Plank: This is an awesome exercise, because it fires up the whole body and requires minimal space. When you do this, you need to focus on pulling your abs up and in–almost trying to take any arch out of your lower back. I like to tell people to imagine a cup of hot coffee on their back! Holding this position for 30 seconds is good. 90 seconds is better. It’s something you can build up to. You also need to make sure you keep your gaze in front of your fingers to keep your neck inline with your spine.
Seated Crunch: Instead of lying down and lifting up your whole upper body (which can strain the neck), do crunches in a seated position with feet hip-width apart and parallel. Then roll back and down, stopping at the waistline. Key points: keep your feet pressed to the ground. If they lift, then work this exercise from a higher position. You want to pull your navel in, and then move back and up in one-inch increments. Focus on letting the core lift the body. Your hands should be behind your thighs, crossed at the chest or you can release them for an extra challenge. Inhale as you lower; exhale as you lift.
Leg Lifts: This final move is for the lower abs–these are the hardest to tone. Lie on your back and pull your navel down so that the natural arch comes out of your back. Lift your legs toward the ceiling. You can point or flex your toes (the tricky part is getting your legs straight), and press your arms down beside you. Now, lift your tailbone toward the ceiling, or you can keep your tailbone to the floor while you lower and lift your legs, keeping them as straight as possible. Lower the legs only as far as you can without compromising form (back arching or neck straining).
Missy’s final note: Do one of these exercises for as long as you can hold it during each break. By the end of a one-hour show, you should be able to have done each of them twice.
Gear up with Missy’s picks from our Zella summer line.