April Plank Challenge

Small waistline, trim abs, bikini body ready. With spring in the air most people are already thinking about summer and the bikinis that come with it. This April plank challenge is just for you then! Planks are an awesome core workout. You don’t have to do hundreds of crunches that put strain on your back in order to get a smaller waist. Planks work your core muscles in a way that they initiate and strengthen the transverse abdominis, or the TA. The TA is your “corset” muscle. I want you to think about what a corset does for women. Now imagine not having to wear one of those things that make it impossible to breath and have that nice trim waistline without it. That is what strengthening your TA will do for you.


Now that isn’t the only benefit of doing a plank. Planks are the building block for so many different exercises and there are hundreds of variations to keep things interesting. The best part about a plank? No equipment needed. Just you, a flat surface and gravity.


Wait there’s more! I know cheesy. The last huge benefit of doing a plank that I want to bring up is how much it protects your back. As a Physical Therapist I see a ton of patients with back injury and low back pain. Most of the time the culprit is due to one of two things and usually a combination. Decreased flexibility and a weak core. That weak core is contributed solely to the TA. So my mission is to put myself out of business with back injuries by helping everyone get the strong core and small waist they want that will protect their back!

Plank abbysilerfitness.com

Now how do you do a plank correctly to keep from getting hurt? Glad you asked.

1. Plant the hands directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) like you’re about to do a push-up.

2. Ground the toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize the body. Your legs should be working in the move too; careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.

3. Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond the hands. Your head should be in line with your back.

4. Hold the position for 20 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.


DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH. I don’t want to go into the explanation for this just don’t do it. I will know.


Okay so now that you know how to do a plank, lets get going with the challenge!



30 day plank challenge. abbysilerfitness.com

30 day plank challenge. abbysilerfitness.com

Do you currently own any Beachbody Fitness programs?*
Have you ever tried Shakeology?*
My coach is Abby Siler on Teambeachbody.com*
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Before Pictures

I hate taking before pictures. I mean, come on who wants to take a picture of themselves looking the worst? The general concept behind taking before pictures is to show how far you have come and also give you motivation. That is great and all but taking pictures of yourself looking like you do at the time that you decide to make a change with your health and fitness is not always the easiest thing to do. Let’s face it, typically when taking before pictures it is because you want to change something about how you look. You are getting ready to start a journey with health and fitness. Why in the world would you want to take a picture looking like you do now if you want to change it? WHY?! Well for one so you can see how far you have come. Two, you can use it to enter the Beachbody Challenge (win money). Three, MOTIVATION.

First thing I want to share are some tips for taking good before/after pictures.

It’s best to use a digital camera. Save the original high-resolution photos to send in.  Have someone else take the photo for you, (avoid selfies).

Stand in front of a plain background or white wall. The less clutter in the background, and the more attention on you the better!

Wear swimwear or tight fitting workout wear.  We must be able to clearly see your face and abs in each photo so we can see your results and that it is you in both photos!

Take the photos from two different angles. Front view, and a side view, photos are required. You can put your hands at your sides, or your hips.  Whatever you choose, just make sure that you have before/after photos in the same pose so we can accurately see your transformation!

Don’t suck it in or push it out – let us see the REAL YOU!

Now for the different poses.

1. Front view

2. Side view

3. Back view

4. Half twist view

IMG_1286-177x300(Sorry for the blurry picture but you get the idea on what three of the four poses are!)

Don’t forget about my FREE challenge group coming up! Fill out the form below if you are interested in joining! Daily tips, motivation and group support for your health and fitness goals this year!

Do you currently own any Beachbody Fitness programs?*
Have you ever tried Shakeology?*
My coach is Abby Siler on Teambeachbody.com*
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Workout Wednesday #2

Get excited! Today is the second workout Wednesday. When I was trying to think of what workout I wanted to post I decided that arms were the way to go. More specifically push up variations. If you follow me on facebook you may have remembered my post on Monday of how to progress a push up. For the following workout you can modify as you need with your options being on your knees, on one knee and on one toe (standard style), and a full standard push-up. Here is the workout!

1-7-15 blog

I’m sure you are all groaning right about now. Push ups suck. I know I know I completely agree. HOWEVER, they are one of the best exercises for you. They not only work on your chest and arms they also help with core, hip stability, shoulder strength, and the list goes on and on. Basically what I’m tell you is this. IT IS A FULL BODY EXERCISE!!! Even though it is considered an upper body exercise it works the entire body. You are very very welcome. Oh and if you are a really big Bad A**. Do this twice through.

If you are looking for support and accountability fill out the form below for my February accountability. It is free!

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Workout Wednesday #1

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY! Today is my first installment of a random fun workout routine. I sometimes get into a rut and need to shake things up a bit with my workouts. I figure I’m not the only one with this problem so I might as well help some others out with a good butt-kicking workout! Don’t worry these will be easy to modify if you need to! I am a HUGE fan of HIIT style workouts so that is what I have for you today! Set your timer to 30 seconds work and 10 seconds rest! This quick workout will definitely get you going and recharged! This is an all cardio routine!

workout wed 1

Enjoy!!! :)


The Dreaded Weight Loss Plateau

You are doing everything you should be. Eating right, working out and then all of a sudden 2 weeks have passed and nothing has changed. Not the scale not your inches, nada. You have hit a plateau…..now what?

Even though it’s completely normal to hit a snag in your fitness journey, a perceived setback like this can send even the most dedicated dieter off course, away from healthy eating and toward cookies, cake, and pizza. Pizza and ice cream, those are the two that I always turn to. But unlike me you can be strong and get back to changing your body again. I have 5 great ways for you to get back to losing inches and feeling great!

1. Zigzag your daily calorie intake. /\/\/\/\/\/\ (like my attempt at a zig-zag?)
In theory, you’ve got to eat less to lose more, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you just have to shake things up. Here’s one way to do it: If your average daily intake is 1,400 calories, try dropping to 1,200 one day, going up to 1,800 the next day, and then dropping back to 1,400. The idea is to keep your metabolism guessing. There’s no magic number that works for everyone, so you’ll have to experiment until you find the right calorie levels for you.

2. Switch up your exercise routine.
If you do the same workout each day, eventually it can start to become less challenging, and (unfortunately) less effective. If you push yourself to new levels of strength or exhaustion, you’ll almost certainly see a shift. Here are some ways you can challenge your body:

– Swap your jog for a bike ride.

– Try weights with your cardio routine.

– Add intervals of high intensity to really make you sweat.

– Drop to the floor for 10 push-ups right now!

Just change something!

3. Eat some almonds.
Almonds are a great snack, plus there’s some research that indicates that they can help you burn fat. That’s because they contain fiber and fatty acids—the good kind of fat that helps you lose weight. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity compared two groups of people who ate a 1,000-calorie-a-day diet. As part of their daily diet, one group ate 3 ounces of almonds every day. The other group ate a mix of complex carbs. What happened? The group that ate the almonds lost more weight. Where do I sign up? I guess this is our “magic pill” everyone has been searching for the past few decades! GET YOUR ALMONDS!

4. Get more sleep. ZZZZ
I’m in, I don’t care what the reasoning is but I’m in.

This may seem like the opposite of number 2, but the truth is is that you could be training too hard, which is about the quickest way to hit a weight loss plateau, because an over-trained body holds on to weight as if it were starving to death. There’s no better way to test this than to try and sleep more. The reason is that your body recovers much more quickly from exercise while it’s asleep, and if you’re burning the midnight oil while trying to do your new and different workout, you could easily plateau from lack of recovery time.

5. Relax.
Believe it or not, the one big thing besides diet and exercise that can cause you to plateau is stress. When you’re stressed, your body sends out higher levels of the hormone cortisol that, as stated in number 4, can encourage your body to hang on to fat. Cortisol is a performance-enhancing hormone, meaning it is released at times when the body is in an emergency state. It increases performance over a very short period of time. When cortisol is released and forced into action at regular intervals, it causes your body to wear down and switch to more drastic means of survival, like holding on to excess amounts of body fat. Your life shouldn’t feel like one big emergency. As a society, we need to learn to be more tranquilo.

We get stressed for many reasons, almost all of which are influenced by the society around us. One of the best ways to combat stress is to get some alone time to chill. If you’re the type who can’t let go, try some forced relaxation techniques, of which yoga seems to be one of the most effective. There’s something special about the mind/body interaction of yoga that forces a relaxed state even from the most stressed of us.

My favorite way to relax and get rid of some stress. A good ol’ massage. Now this might not be for everyone but I’m telling you, it is magic (the other magic pill). I carry all of my stress in my shoulders and so not only does my stress possibly affect my weight/size and health it also is a pain in my neck (and back).

Well there you have it. Until next time!


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