Change it Up with The Surge
One of the best ways to keep yourself out of a fitness slump is to try a new workout or training type. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: You’re less likely to skip a workout if you are excited about doing it! And on the other hand, you are much more likely to get bored if you are doing the same workouts over and over again. Redundancy will inevitably lead to burnout. Don’t get to that point! Try a new workout style, who knows – maybe it’ll be your new go-to workout!
Related: How to Get Out of Your Fitness Slump with a Sledgehammer Workout
What is The Surge from Hedstrom Fitness?
Revolutionary. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of Hedstrom‘s products. They’ve released the Bosu Ball, the Kamagon, and now the Surge. According to Hedstrom, the “SURGE® is a product that lets you train for everyday life. A product that truly makes you better at everything! SURGE® is “living resistance” that builds an athletic core which can take anything life and sport can dish out through intense and dynamic training.”
The Surge is a long cylinder that you can fill with water. Filling it with water makes it heavier. Theres a nifty, convenient chart on the side that tells you what the Surge will weigh with however much water you put in! It’s basically a barbell at home that you can change the weight on, without having to have a bunch of bulky equipment lying around! Bonus feature: it really challenges your stability because the water moves around inside the Surge.
In case you don’t want to read those bulky paragraphs, let me break it down for you….
1. The Surge is like a barbell.
2. You put water in it to create resistance… The more water you add, the more it weighs!
3. It’s just one piece of equipment… No more bulky gym equipment lying around and creating mess in your home.
4. The water creates a more challenging workout – Hydro Inertia Training! The water moves around inside The Surge and creates an unstable resistance for your workout moves. Every exercise you do is more challenging with these hydro-inertia principles!
5. You can do almost any exercise with the Surge (and the Kamagon ball!) now… anytime, anywhere!
Related: Cardio-Blasting Jump Rope Workout
Hydro-Inertia Training Workout
I was sent The Surge from Hedstrom to try out and it is a game changer!! I now have a great way of lifting weights on days that I don’t feel like going to the gym. Try these exercises for a full body workout with your Hedstrom Fitness gear!
Featured Hydro-Inertia Exercises:
- Half Burpee: Start in the plank position with your hands in the Surge handles. Jump your feet inward towards your hands. You can either stand up, while keeping your back straight and your chest up, or you can jump your feet back to the start position!
- Bent Over Row: Bend forward, keeping your back straight, head in line with your spine, and knees slightly bent, with the weight hanging directly in front of you. Lift The Surge towards your chest and keep your elbows tight in towards your body. Then slowly return to the starting position. You can do these with an overhand grip or an underhand grip!
- Tricep Press: Hold the weight above your head. Slowly lower the weight behind your head… but make sure you keep your elbows inward by your ears. Slowly lift the weight back to the starting position. Side Note: It helps to stand with one foot in front of the other so that you don’t strain your lower back!
- Bicep Curl: Stand with a split stance (one foot in front of the other), which protects your lower back. Hold the Surge with an underhand grip. Bring the weight up towards your chest, keeping your elbows stationary by your side.
Other Exercises for The Hedstrom Surge:
- Chest Press
- Shoulder Press
- Front Raise
- Lunge (and all lunge variations)
- Squat (and all squat variations)
- Weighted Sit-Ups
- Oblique Twists (also known as Russian Twists)
- And the list goes on! Check out this video library which has TONS of exercises to do with Hedstrom exercise products!!
You can get the Surge, Kamagon, or other Hedstrom Fitness products at the Hedstrom website, and you can use the code: SPHF25 for the next month for 25% off!
*Disclaimer: This post is a sponspored post. I am thrilled to work with Hedstrom on this campaign! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Planks are a staple in any ab workout. And for good reason! Not only does it completely kill your core, but it also trains your hamstrings and booty, works your lower back, and emphasizes great posture. It’s really a full body exercise… but most people do them on ab days.
Before going into the different ways to do a plank, let’s go over the basics of the plank.
- Keep your back straight. Imagine there is a plank (like an actual piece of wood) strapped to your back!
- Your neck should be in line with your spine.
- Tighten your abs. Bring your belly button towards your spine.
- Also, tighten your glute muscles to help make sure that your lower back is supported.
- Your elbows and/or hands should be directly under your shoulders, unless it states otherwise.
35 Different Ways to Plank
1. Full Plank:
The full plank looks like the start of a pushup. Keep your back as flat as a board and keep your abs tight and engaged!
2. Elbow Plank:
This plank variation is really similar to the full plank; but, instead of being on your hands, you will be on your elbows and forearms.
Push ups are done in the plank position – so of course they are one of the best plank variations that you can do! Make sure you keep your back flat and hips in line with your back. Don’t let those hips start dipping towards the floor.
4. Mountain Climbers:
Get your heart pumping with these! Mountain climbers are one of the BEST ab exercises you can do if you want a flat stomach. From the plank position, bring one knee to the elbow on the same side of your body. Then return that leg to the start, and do the same with the other side. Do this as fast as you can!
5. Criss Cross Mountain Climbers:
These are very similar to the regular mountain climbers that were explained above. However, instead of bringing your knee to the elbow on the same side of your body, you will be bringing your knee to the opposite elbow. While doing this ab workout move, make sure to squeeze those obliques to really get them engaged.
6. Toe Tap Plank:
In this plank variation, you will be in the full plank position on your hands. Your feet should be spread apart. One hand at a time, reach back and touch the opposite side’s foot. You’ll repeat this for both sides.
7. Shoulder Tap Plank:
This plank variation is a great way to learn some of the variations and how to plank for beginners! One arm at a time, take your hand and tap the opposite shoulder. This plank will require you to balance!
Start in the plank position on your hands. Slowly walk your hands towards your feet. Once you’ve made it up to your feet, start walking your hands back out to the standard plank where you started. You can bend your knees slightly if you are not very flexible like I am!
9. Rocking Plank:
Rock hard abs, here you come! This plank variation will rock your world. You’ll be shifting your weight backwards and forwards. Drive your head and shoulders forward, which will consequently cause you to be higher on your toes. Then slowly shift your weight backward and drive back into your heels.
10. Plank Jacks:
The plank jacks are definitely a cardio ab workout. Think of doing jumping jacks while doing a plank. When you are in the plank position, you will be jumping your feet outward, then back together.
11. Bird Dog Plank:
Bird Dog Planks can be done from the full plank or the elbow plank, depending on your level of comfort. While you are holding the plank, lift your right arm so that it is in line with the rest of your body and lift your left leg simultaneously. Hold for at least 3 seconds, then return to the starting plank position. Then alternate to your left arm and right leg!
12. One Leg Plank:
Lift one of your legs while you are holding the plank position. Alternate lifting each leg; or you can hold the leg in the air and then switch during the next plank
13. One Leg Pulsing Plank:
Lift your leg and pulse it in the air for the duration that you’re holding your plank. You can also do this with your leg in a donkey kick position.
14. Extended Plank:
Normally, your hands or elbows will be directly under your shoulders. In the extended plank, your hands or elbows will be forward.
15. Hip Dip Twister Plank:
Start in your basic plank position. Rotate your hips to the ground in a semi-circle fashion. Once you have grazed the ground with your hip, rotate back towards the center, and then to the other side.
16. Exercise Ball Plank:
Your feet will be on the exercise ball while your hands are on the ground. Balancing your feet on the exercise ball makes this abdominal exercise so much more difficult! To make this exercise even more difficult, try the next challenging plank exercise!
17. Exercise Ball Roll In Plank:
Same position as the exercise above; however, you will be bringing your knees to your chest, bringing the ball with you. Then roll the ball back out. Make sure you keep your back straight!
18. Stir The Pot Plank:
You will need an exercise ball for this killer plank. Place your elbows on the yoga mall (like you are doing a standard forearm plank). Roll the ball with your forearms in a circle while keeping your core steady and still in the same spot. Your forearms will be moving past your shoulders in each direction.
19. Single Arm Lift Plank:
In the push up or forearm plank, lift one arm so that you are just doing a plank on one arm or forearm. You can either lift the same arm multiple times, or hold it up. Your choice!
20. Knee to Elbow (Spiderman) Plank:
Want to know how to get a slimmer waist? Try this killed ab exercise then. Bring your knee to your outside of your elbow. It doesn’t matter if you are on your hands or your forearms.
21. Pike Plank:
These planks will be a very challenging core workout as well as a killer upper body exercise. You can do these on the ground or with an exercise ball. You will start in the full plank position and keep your legs as straight as you can throughout. Whether your feet are on an exercise ball or not, you will raise your butt up to the ceiling (also why this is called the “Butt Up Plank”). Slowly return yourself to the starting plank position.
22. Renegade Row Plank:
Get into the push-up position with a dumbbell in each hand. One arm at a time, pull the dumbbell towards your chest while keeping your elbow close to your body (don’t let it go outwards like a chicken wing).
23. Reverse Plank:
Sitting on your bottom with your legs straight out in front of you and your hands on the floor at your sides, push yourself up onto your palms and your feels.
24. Plank Walk:
In this plank variation, there are two ways you can do it. You can be moving from side to side while in the full plank… or you can be moving front to back while in the full plank. For the front to back plank walk, you will start in the plank position. You will be walking forward while in this position. You’ll have to elevate your hips while you move the right hand forward and the left leg forward.
For the lateral plank walk: With your hands together (instead of shoulder width apart) and your feet together, you will take your right hand and right foot and move outward to the right. Then, bring your left hand foot to your right, bringing them together. You can continue moving to the right if there is enough room, or you can just move over once. Then move to the left in the same fashion.
25. Lateral Plank Jump:
The Lateral Plank Jump begins in the full plank position on your hands. You will be jumping from side to side; so, you can place something like a dumbbell or a closed water bottle to jump over. To make this exercise more challenging, you can do the around the world plank mentioned below!
26. Suicide Plank:
Start on your forearms in the elbow plank. Push yourself up into the push up position (or full plank), one arm at a time. Then, once in the full plank position, you will lower yourself back down to your forearms, one arm at a time.
27. Around the World Plank Jump:
You will begin in the full plank position. Your legs will be moving in a semi-circle fashion around your upper body. Jump your feet to the right side of your upper body (close to your hands) then back to the beginning plank position. Then, jump your feet to the left side of your upper body.
28. In and Out Plank:
While planking, thrust your knees towards your chest. Then jump back to the starting position.
29. Ab Rolling Plank:
You will need an ab roller for this plank. An ab roller has a wheel and two handles on the side. Keep your back straight. Roll yourself out to a standard plank, then roll yourself back up.
The following plank variations are in the SIDE PLANK position! Therefore, you’ll have to complete them on the right side and the left side.
30. Side Plank:
This is another plank variation that can be done on your hands or on your elbow. Start by laying on your side. One foot will be stacked on top of the other. Your upper body will be supported by your forearm. Your elbow will be under your shoulder. Push your hips and legs up so that you make a straight line with your entire body. You can place your other arm (the one that is not supporting your weight) by your side, hand on hip, or straight in the air.
31. Side Plank Crunch:
To engage your obliques even more (to get a smaller waist!), you can do a side crunch when you’re holding a side plank. Place your hand behind your head. Bring your knee up towards your elbow, while your elbow is also moving towards your knee. Make sure to keep your torso stable!
32. Side Plank with Twist:
Start with a standard side plank (forearm or hand). Your top arm should be extended upwards or you can place your hand on the back of your head. Then, move that arm/elbow towards the floor (or the space between your hip and the ground).
33. Side Plank with Inner Thigh Lift:
During a normal side plank, your top foot is laying on the bottom foot. In this side plank, the top leg’s foot should be the one that is on the ground. Lift your lower leg as high as you can. You can either hold it up or do pulsing leg lifts.
Related: The Best Ab Exercises to Burn Belly Fat in Record Time
34. Side Plank with Leg Lift:
In the side plank position, lift your top leg straight up. You can either hold your leg in the air or you can lift it up and down.
35. Side Plank with Hip Dips:
While you are holding a side plank, dip your hips to the ground. Then, raise them back up (and you can go past the starting position if you’d like).
Bonus Planks: Many of these exercises can also be done with a Bosu Ball! This can make the ab exercise more challenging because you won’t be as stable.
*Note: The abdominal plank images are from Workout Labs. CWPS doesn’t design, create, or own these images.
The 5 Best Ab Exercises
In any ab workout routine, there are key core exercises that you always want to include… Especially, if you want to see progress in your abdominal muscles! You want to be incorporating the BEST ab exercises because simply doing crunches or sit-ups will not get you a six pack.
Let me repeat that…. Just doing crunches or sit ups will not get you a toned as well as a flat stomach!
What’s the best way to get rid of belly fat?
You can grow your ab muscles. However, in order to see them, you have to lower your body fat percentage. Cardio and weightlifting combined will help you achieve that (and give you the drool-worthy toned tummy you’ve been wanting!). There are some killer ab workout moves that combine strength training with cardiovascular training. So, if you are looking for the best ab exercises to do for burning belly fat, then these are the 5 moves you need to be doing!
Related: Cardio Workouts to Lose Weight Fast
Exercises to Target Your Abdominals:
1. Mountain Climbers
3. Weighted Cable Crunches
4. Decline Crunches
5. Hanging Leg Raises
1. Mountain Climbers: This killer ab exercise is one of the BEST because it works your core in addition to being fantastic cardio. You will start in the full plank position and bring one knee to the elbow on the same side of your body. Then, you’ll return that leg to the starting position and do the same on the other side. Do this as fast as you can!
2. Planks: Elbow planks (or full planks) are extremely effective ab exercises for multiple reasons. They strengthen your abs, your lower back, chest, deltoids, and more! Also, there are a ton of plank variations that you can do, as well. But for the standard plank, make sure your hips don’t dip towards the floor and hold that position!
3. Weighted Cable Crunches: This is one of the moves I’d include in ab workouts for the gym because you’ll need a cable machine for this one. It is possible to do this as a home ab exercise if you have some resistance bands! You will start this workout move on your knees then you will contract your abs, bringing your elbows to your knees. Make sure you keep your hips stationary while doing the cable crunches!!
4. Decline Crunches: Decline crunches are a great ab exercise because you have a bigger range of motion because you are going past parallel. This can also be referred to as “going into the negative.” Therefore, this is an exercise where you will feel the burn in your midsection! You will need a decline bench (or something similar) in order to perform decline crunches.
5. Hanging Leg Raises: Last but not least, the hanging leg raise (or the hanging knee raise)! This exercise will tone your midsection… in addition to working several other muscle groups! This makes the list of the best ab exercises for losing stomach fat because they are difficult but very manageable even if you are a fitness beginner! Additionally, there are plenty of variations of the hanging knee raises that you can do to change things up.
Your ab muscles are just like any other muscle group in your body. So, you shouldn’t overtrain them, or you may end up doing more harm than good. Also, if you want to make any of these exercises more challenging, you can add weight to them! Or, in other words, hold a dumbbell or a weight plate to make the exercise more challenging. Consequently, you’ll see more lean muscle gains in your mid-section because you are challenging it more!
If you enjoyed this article, then you may also like: The Number One Thing You Need To Use If You Want A Better Workout or The Best 5 Gym and Home Leg Exercises You Need To Do!
*Images shown in infographic are from WorkoutLabs.com. CWPS doesn’t design, create, or own these images.
Number one way to break out of a workout slump? Do workouts that make you feel badass. It’s a tried and true approach to fitness motivation! I broke out of my fitness downward spiral with a sledgehammer workout. And WOW! I felt on top of the world after this workout. All jokes aside: Workouts that burn fat, exercises that challenge you, and fitness routines that excite you will be your key to getting motivated to work out and staying motivated to exercise.
Burn Fat Faster with Fun Cardio Workouts
Speaking from personal experience, one of the biggest culprits of fitness burnout is boredom. If you’re dreading a mundane, boring workout, you’re more likely to come up with excuses to stay home. But on the other hand, when you are excited and pumped to go do a workout, you’re less likely to skip it. For example, I am 10 times more likely to skip my cardio workout routine if I know I’ll be running on the treadmill… And I’m 100 times more likely to lose my motivation to exercise if I’ve been running on the treadmill day after day. Whenever I feel myself lacking motivation or excitement to go to the gym, I start a new workout routine. Last year, I started to do jump rope workouts for cardio. This year, I decided to try a sledgehammer workout.
Related: Cardio Blasting Jump Rope Workout
Sledgehammer exercises can be done so that they target specific muscle groups or work your entire body; it just depends! My muscles were not expecting how difficult the work would be. When your muscles go through a routine, they get used to it. This can cause it to be harder for your muscles to grow.
Do you need more reasons why sledgehammer workouts are worth your while?
- You’ll be doing a strength and cardio workout in one
- You will work on your balance and hand/eye coordination
- You’ll exercise muscles that may be neglected in your usual workout
- You will burn A TON OF CALORIES
- It can be used at home, outside, or at the gym!
I was given the opportunity to try out the incredible Mostfit Core Hammer, which is GREAT for any fitness level. They sent me their Core Hammer free of charge, but don’t worry – all of the thoughts and opinions I share in this post are 100% my own!
If you’re a gym newbie or fitness beginner, you won’t have any problem trying the Core Hammer… And if you’re a gym rat or a fitness competitor, you’ll see the value in Mostfit’s hammer as well as the sledgehammer workouts you can do!
Pro Tip: You can do this sledgehammer workout without a tire (which is my FAVORITE part about it because who has a tire just laying around to smash with a hammer??).
Here are some of the exercises that kicked my behind during my sledgehammer workout with the Mostfit Core Hammer:
- Sledgehammer Slams: With every other workout hammer on the market, you’d need a tire to do this exercise (or else you’d destroy whatever you hit). But with the Mostfit Core Hammer, you can slam almost anything (Key Word: almost… Use your best judgment please! And test whatever you plan on hitting with a light tap before you really go for it). As you are slamming the Core Hammer down, slide the upper hand closer to the lower hand at the base; and as you are heaving the hammer back up, slide that same upper hand back to its starting position. Trust me: This helps.
- Diagonal “Tree Chops” or Baseball Swings: Pretend that you are chopping a tree or swinging a baseball bat while keeping your core and ab muscles stationary and facing forward (don’t turn your body while you swing). You’ll do this fat burning ab exercise and feel your six pack form!
- Squats (Two Handed Grip): This is an exercise to tone your thighs, lift your butt, work your ab muscles, and more. When you try it, you’ll really feel your entire body engaged and working hard to burn fat! Hold the sledgehammer with both hands as it is in the upright position. Perform a squat.
- Squats (One Handed Grip): This is another whole body fitness exercise. Therefore, your body will be working hard to burn more calories! Start with the Mostfit Core Hammer in the upright position in one hand (it’s a balancing act!), and perform a squat while balancing the hammer.
MostFit Core Hammer Honorable Mentions:
- Bicep Curls (*Hold the hammer in the upright position in one hand. Curl your hand towards your shoulder, while keeping your elbow locked in at your side)
- Shoulder Press
- Push Ups
Most of these exercises require you to do them with each hand. Since only ONE side of the hammer is weighted, you must give each side an opportunity to work harder! So, make sure that you perform all these sledgehammer exercises with the head of the hammer facing BOTH directions (i.e., do 10 reps for the right, and 10 for the left)!
Using unique fitness equipment can add so much value to your workout routine. If you aren’t sure how to do an exercise, do some research or ask a personal trainer (like me! I’d be more than happy to help). That being said, sledge hammer exercises are FUN and can make you feel like a gladiator. Just remember, when using a sledgehammer for working out, make sure you are aware of your surroundings too. You don’t want to hurt anyone or yourself!
If you’d like a MostFit Core Hammer, you can use the code ‘MFSW10’ at checkout on the MostFit website for a discount!!
*Disclaimer: This post is a sponspored post. I am thrilled to work with MostFit on this campaign! All thoughts and opinions are my own.