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Abs-Focused Strength Routine

You could say this workout is abs-olutely fabulous.

From Self Magazine-By Amy Eisinger, M.A., C.P.T.

woman streching

Today’s workout is all about your core. Sure, having a strong core helps with day-to-day movements like walking and standing—but your core can also help you run faster, stand with better posture, and improve your balance.

While you’ve seen most of these moves before, the panther shoulder taps might be new. You’ll start in an all-fours position, and simply lift your knees a few inches to engage your core. Your core, back, and shoulders all work together to keep your body off the floor and as stable as possible. The slower you do your shoulder taps, the harder it can feel.


Start off this workout with a 5-minute total-body warm-up created by Jess Sims, trainer at The Fitting Room and Shadowbox NYC. She designed the entire workout in three-rounds so even if you just have 10 minutes, you can get through at least one round, plus the four-minute Tabata burnout at the end.

Workout Video

Follow along with our trainers during this 35-minute workout.

The Workout

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the moves you’ll do.


Do each move below in order for 45 seconds, resting 15 seconds between moves. At the end of all 6 moves, rest for 90 seconds. Do the entire circuit 3 times, then do the burnout.

Hollow Hold

Hollow Hold

  • Lie faceup, with legs extended and arms overhead.
  • Engage core and lift both arms and legs a few inches off floor, making sure to engage your lower abs to keep your low back pressed against the floor. Hold in this position, your body should have a slight C-curve to it.
  • If you experience any lower back pain, skip this move.

Wall Sit

Wall Sit

  • You’ll need a wall or doorframe to complete this exercise.
  • Stand with back against a wall and engage abs to push lower back against wall.
  • Walk feet out until you lower so that knees are bent to 90 degrees, and back is still completely pressed against wall.
  • Hold this position with core engaged. Hands can rest on your thighs, extend from chest height, or you can place your hands on your hips.


Alternating Sides

Alternate Jackknife

  • Lie faceup with legs extended and hands extended overhead.
  • Engage core and simultaneously lift right leg and left hand to meet in the middle above your hips. Keep core engaged as you lower to return to starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side, lifting left leg and right arm to meet above hips; and continue to alternate.

Panther Shoulder Tap

Panther Shoulder Tap
  • Start in an all-fours position with core engaged and wrists directly under shoulders.
  • Lift knees just 2 inches off floor and keep a neutral spine with core engaged.
  • Lift right hand and tap left shoulder. Replace right hand and immediately lift left hand and tap right shoulder.
  • Continue to alternate without rocking hips.

Stationary Lunge

Right and Left Sides

Stationary Lunge

  • Stand with feet staggered, right in front of left. Place hands on hips and engage core.
  • Sink into a lunge, by bending both knees to 90 degrees and keeping core engaged.
  • Extend legs to return to starting position. Continue to repeat on the same side.

Burnout: Tabata

Do each move below in order for 20 seconds, resting 10 seconds between moves. Continue to alternate moves for a total of 4 minutes.

Triceps Push-Up

Tricep Push Up
  • Start in a high plank position, with core engaged, wrists directly under shoulders, and neck relaxed.
  • In one smooth movement, bend arms to lower chest toward floor, keeping elbows hugged close to rib cage. Stop when elbows bend to 90 degrees.
  • Without letting hips drop, push back up to high plank position to return to starting position.
  • Make it easier: Drop to your knees and do a triceps push-up.

Hip Bridge

Hip Bridge
  • Lie faceup with knees bent, and heels a few inches away from your butt, so that when arms are at your sides, fingertips can touch your heels.
  • Lift your hips, squeeze glutes, then lower hips slowly back to floor.

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