3 Tweaks to Make Your Ab Workouts Way More Effective

Getting strong, sculpted abs is often the number one item on everyone’s fitness wish list. As a longtime Pilates instructor, I’ve fielded hundreds of questions from my students about how they can strengthen their core and tone up their abs. Usually, after their ab work to date has failed them, they’re left wondering if there’s some magical exercise they just haven’t found yet.

The thing is, though, many people are frustrated that their ab work isn’t working because they’ve gotten incomplete or inaccurate information, leading them to do exercises that aren’t very effective. Don’t worry: If you’re in this camp, it’s an easy problem to fix — it just requires a little understanding about how the body works. Below, the three keys to making your ab work actually work. Read more »

Be Well Workout of the Week: The Do-Anywhere Workout to Bookmark

All you have to do this week is complete two exercises, back and forth, five times. No problem, right? Oh, yeah! And there are six pairs of exercises. Each exercise will use only your body weight, so you can do this workout pretty much anywhere. Move your coffee table out of the way in your living room, clear some space in your kitchen, or close your office door and get to work Read more »

The BeWOW Breakdown: A Workout You Can Knock Out in Under 30 Minutes

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This Week’s Workout: The 29-Minute Challenge


The Breakdown

Total time commitment: 30-35 minutes
Difficulty (out of five): 3
Soreness factor: This workout went by quickly and wasn’t too hard, but we were a touch sore in our shoulders and calves the next day.
Overall grade (out of 5): 3.5. If you’re looking for a quick workout that isn’t too tough, this is for you! Read more »

Be Well Workout of the Week: The 29-Minute Challenge

This workout starts at the bottom of an exercise ladder with a measly two pull-ups. Then, you’ll work your way up the ladder, increasing by two reps with each new exercise, ending with 20 dead lifts. The goal is to get through the ladder four times as quickly as you can, and bam: You’re done! Our fitness testers told us this workout only took them 29 minutes — and we know you have 29 minutes, so we challenge you to see if you can match their time. Just note: Those measly two pull-ups will not feel nearly as easy the last time around.
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The BeWOW Breakdown: This Long-and-Lean Workout Sneaks Up On You 

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This Week’s Workout: Your Ticket to Long, Lean Muscles


The Breakdown
Total time commitment: 30-35 minutes
Difficulty (out of five): 3
Soreness factor: We strolled out of the gym like we hadn’t done a thing and woke up the next day with all sorts of soreness.
Overall grade (out of 5): 4. This one is sneaky. There’s probably nothing that will kill you here, but it all adds up. Read more »

My Top 5: Awesome Outdoor Workout Spots in Philly (With Workouts for Each!) 

Trainer Jordan Hankins making the most of Cira Green (Don't try this at home kids.)

Trainer Jordan Hankins making the most of Cira Green (Don’t try this at home, kids).

While the sun seems a bit reluctant to shine these days, all other signs say outdoor workout season has arrived: Dilworth Park has had their free Spring Training fitness classes going for the past few weeks, all sorts of outdoor yoga has kicked off (here and here, to name a few places to get your downward dog on), and the Schuylkill River Trail is oh-so-busy come 5 p.m.

So, for days when you want to squeeze in an outdoor workout without taking a workout class, we got Jordan Hankins (remember the trainer from that insane Art Museum video? That’s him), training director at Weston Fitness, to dish on his top five outdoor spots around Philly to squeeze in an awesome outdoor workout. And being the helpful gent he is, he even included some ready-made workouts for you! (Bonus: Most of them just take about 20 minutes.) Check out his top five spots for outdoor workouts in Philly, plus the workouts, below. Read more »

Be Well Workout of the Week: Your Ticket to Long, Lean Muscles

If long, lean, toned muscles are what you’re after, using low weights and doing high reps is a great way to achieve that goal. Rather than stacking up heavy weights for just a few short reps, which tends to lead to a body type equipped for speed and power, training with light weights helps to promote endurance and strength. And while both modes of training are great, it’s fun to switch it up every once in a while to keep your body guessing and challenge it in different ways. So for this week’s workout, grab some light weights, hold onto them the whole time, and get ready to do lots (and lots) of reps! Read more »

Sweat Your Face Off to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” This Weekend 

Calling all my fellow Beyoncé fans: If you have plans for this coming Saturday evening, you’re going to want to cancel them. This Saturday, May 14th, Philly Dance Fitness is bringing back their Bootylicious Beyoncé Twerkshop, 90 minutes spent dancing to only Beyoncé music (i.e. 90 minutes of Heaven on earth), so you’ll be busy sweating your face off to “Lemonade.”
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Be Well Workout of the Week: Jump-Start Your Broad Street Run Recovery 

Since many of you ran the rainy Broad Street Run this weekend, let’s do a nice recovery workout to help ease your achy muscles. Now, I know you’d like to recover by laying back on the couch forever (and you totally deserve it), but one of the best ways to help your tired muscles feel better is actually to move.

But instead of working for speed and power, we’re going to slow things down and make your movements more about stretching and strengthening. So, start with 20 reps of each exercise below, then decrease by five reps each round, for a total of four rounds, until you’re just doing five reps of each exercise. For the sprints, just stride it out to get those muscles moving again. Even though working out might be the last thing on your list this week,  your body will thank your afterward — promise. Read more »

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