Fitness on the Go: Core without the Crunch

Most people think that you will need to do hundreds of ab crunches in order to build a strong, healthy and flexible core. Well, that’s not quite true.

The Rectus Abdominus, which is the outer layer of the abdominal wall (and where people see the coveted ‘6-pack’) is mostly affected when performing crunches. However, there are many different layers to the abdominals that need to be exercised in order to give you a strong and sexy core.

The best part about abdominal work? You can do it anywhere!Here are a few quick ab exercises you can do in between meetings, before bed,or even while commercials are on tv.

1.) Table Top 3 Count: Lie on your back with your feet off the floor, and knees bent directly over the hips. Place your head in your hands and keep the elbows wide. Take 3 beats to slowly lift the upper body off the floor one inch at a time, pausing each time while keeping your back straight and your chine up. Try not to curl your upper body and keep the chest open. Exhale while you do this. Then inhale to lower your upper body. Repeat 10-20 times.

2.) Bird-Dog Curl: Come to all fours with your knees directly under your hips and shoulder right above wrists. Extend your left leg and right arm. Slowly pull in the left knee and right elbow simultaneously and curl through the spine. Repeat 15 times, switch sides.

Learn these exercises and more at

Bird-Dog Curl

3.) Forearm Plank-out: Come into a plank position on your forearms; Shoulders over elbows, hips in line with the shoulders, and toes on the floor, with feet together. Staying on forearms, try to keep the hips still as you walk the feet out, then walk the feet back together.

4.) Side knee up: Start with a side forearm plank, making sure elbow is over shoulder,and hips are in line and feet are on top of one another. Slowly bend your top knee in, engaging the obliques (side abdominals). Lower the leg back to start position. Repeat 10 times, switch sides.

Do these exercises 3-5 days a week and you will be well on your way to a stronger, sexier core. What are you waiting for? Read these instructions one more time and hop to it!.

by: Smart Workout Team

Pole: Fitness Phenomenon

By Ariel Iasevoli

I took my first pole class sometime in 2007, ever since I have been obsessed with every aspect of it.
Pole is a fitness phenomenon, it has been featured on CNN and NBC, in the pages of The New York Times, Daily News and Time out New York. Women and men (yes, men) of all ages, bodies and creeds are flocking to the pole, heck, even Oprah is poling.
How will pole fitness benefit you? Here are several pole-specific benefits:
A typical class burns 200-500 calories per hour (depending on intensity)

Increases strength, fluidity and flexibility simultaneously

Low impact and non-weight bearing (for some moves)

Incredible abdominal workout (almost everyone I know who poles regularly has at least the beginnings of a 6 pack, I kid not)

Gravity defying moves are fun and exhilarating, it a workout that is eagerly anticipated!

People of any age, sex, fitness level and body type can take pole and progress amazingly.

Here is one of my freestyle meddlies of pole moves:

Ariel is an instructor at Smart Workout