Tag Archives: plank

4 Sculpting Moves You Can Do With a Chair

No workout equipment? No problem! All you need is a chair

Sitting too much is bad for your health, numerous studies suggest. But as AcaciaTV trainer Deazie Gibson demonstrates, a sturdy chair can also be a terrific asset for getting into shape — even when you’ve got no other equipment.

Using only a chair, do 1-3 sets of each of these four simple sculpt moves 3-5 times a week. Put them all together for a total body workout or perform one exercise every time you take a break from sitting.

glute bridge deazie

Glute Bridge: Works core and glutes

Lie on your back in front of your chair. Place your heels on the seat of the chair so that your knees are bent comfortably. Slowly raise your butt and back off the floor, keeping your shoulder blades press firmly downward. Hold a moment at the top of the movement and lower down one vertebra at a time. Do 8-15 reps per set.

chair planks deazie

Chair Plank: Works core, shoulders, arms, glutes

Kneel down in front of your chair and place your elbows on the seat. Lift your knees up off the floor and extend your leg so your body is in plank position diagonal to the floor. Pull your abs inward and don’t allow your back to sag. Hold 10-30 slow counts.

chair squats deazie

Chair Squat: Works glutes and thighs

Stand tall about a foot in front of your chair facing away from it, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to sit back and down. As soon as you feel your butt lightly touch the seat of the chair, stand back up to the start. As you lower, your knees should track over your toes. When you stand back up keep your knees “soft.” Do 8-15 reps per set.

chair dips

Chair Dip: Works chest, shoulders, triceps, core

Sit on the edge of the chair with a hand firmly gripping each side of the seat. Either bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor or straighten your legs and lift your toes up off the floor. With your arms straight, slide your butt off the chair. Bend your elbows to lower your torso towards the floor. When your upper arms are parallel to the floor, press back up the start. Do 8-15 reps per set.

And be sure to check out AcaciaTV’s 100-plus hours of streaming, on demand workouts. Like this routine, most require little if any equipment.

Also Read:

4 Super Effective Moves for an Explosive Leg Workout

30-Minute Outdoor Fitness Circuit

Build Your Core Without Killing Your Neck

30-Minute Outdoor Fitness Circuit That Lets You Skip the Gym

Take it from AcaciaTV motivation coach Alison Heilig, you don’t have to join a gym to get in shape and lose weight. Heck, you don’t really even need any equipment.

“Every time, we change it up and make a game of it to keep it exciting,” Heilig said of her weekly workouts with her neighborhood running club.

Want to join in on the fun? Lace up your shoes and try this outdoor fitness circuit. After a 5-minute warm up, alternate between 2 to 5 minutes of walking or running and these four fitness moves. Do a 5-minute cool down at the end. Start with one circuit and build up to three!

stair running acacia


Find a set of stairs with at least 20 steps and sprint up to the top. Jog down and repeat for a total of 3 sets. If you can’t find a staircase long enough, just do more reps on a shorter set or use a curb, bench, or box to do step-ups for 1-2 minutes. Challenge yourself by taking the steps two at a time. (more…)

5 Non-Crunch Ways to Build Your Core (and Not Kill Your Neck)

forearm plank

I don’t like crunches. They hurt my neck. No matter how hard I focus on keeping my eyes up and my chin off my chest, I still feel my neck is getting more of a workout than my abs.

That’s why crunches don’t appear often in my (or my clients’) workouts. I don’t ignore the core however. It is the foundation of our body and functional movement. I just choose to train it other ways.

There are plenty of non-crunch techniques to help you develop your core. If you have low back issues or simply don’t want a pain in the neck, try one of these ways to build a strong and stable core.

1. Planks: I love ab holds and high planks, but they can get boring after awhile. Once a client can maintain an ab hold for 60 seconds, I move on to more challenging plank variations. To take your plank to the next level, try one of these.

  • Stability ball plank: Place your forearms on a stability ball and toes on the ground. Hold for up to 90 seconds.
  • Plank slides: I love Valslides for core work! Place one Valslide under each hand while in high plank position. Alternating pushing arms forward and back, about 6 inches away from your body, for 12 reps per side.
  • Body Saw: Take your plank to a new level by keeping your forearms on the ground but place your feet in suspension trainers that are hanging about 10 – 12 inches from the ground. Move forward and back for 10-15 repetitions. (more…)

5 Exercises You Love to Hate, but Should Do Anyway

There are three benefits to hiring a personal trainer. The first is accountability. Having someone waiting on you helps insure you get to the gym. The second is structure. We have enough to think about, letting someone else put together the workout is a huge time saver. The third is having someone who pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you do the exercises you hate.

Even the most devoted exerciser has at least one exercise they love to hate. We hate it when we’re doing it, but we love the way we feel or look afterwards. I did an informal poll of my clients and came up with the five exercises they love to hate (and why we should all do them anyway).

Burpees (aka squat thrusts): I don’t think one client likes burpees. I like them because they are efficient. If you want to get to your heart rate up and work multiple muscle groups (core, arm, shoulders and quads) then the burpee is the quickest way to do it. A burpee can also be modified for almost every fitness level.

Squats: I get groans every time I mention squats. That means there are a lot of groans because we do some form of a squat at every workout. Squats are a part of daily life (think about every time you get up out of the chair). If you want to stay independent and function for your whole life squats need to be part of your workout routine. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: Lower Body Blitz

It’s the weekend – time to relax, unwind and blow off some steam from a long work week, right? What better way to de-stress than with exercise? Today we have a simple, 7-move workout that requires no equipment and tones and tightens your entire lower body. Get ready for classics like deep squats and side kicks, as well as a few new moves like the “runner’s start” and standing split kicks.

So get your workout gear on and do this workout, no matter if you’re at home, outside or spending time at a friend’s house. If you have 10-15 minutes, you have time to whip your lower body into shape. Let’s get started! And afterwards, don’t forget to check out these 5 tips to survive the weekend.

View Saturday Morning Drills: The Lower Body Blitz Slideshow

Why Five Minutes of Exercise Makes a Big Difference in Your Fitness

According to MayoClinic.com, the number one reason people don’t exercise on a regular basis is lack of time. I hear the same thing from clients.

But lack of time also tops my list of excuses for not exercising that are crap.

Our world is a busy one. I run my own business, so I get it. Yet, have you ever asked yourself how much time you waste on Facebook, reality TV or complaining you don’t have time to exercise? In the time you spent complaining you could have done something!

To start many of my clients off, I give them exercise homework that takes 5 minutes or less. A Cornell University study found that just 5 minutes of exercise per day can result in fitness gains and improve our self image. It can go a long way toward forming the habit of being active and chances are once you get going you’ll want to do more than those 5 minutes. (more…)

Twitter’s Most Popular Fitness Memes Help Millions Lose Weight

Support systems are nice to have when you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle. For the past few years, the Twitter world has offered information and a support network for people who may not have found it IRL (in real life). By adding a certain hashtag to your tweet, you can instantly join with the most supportive and trusted weight loss resources online.

We’ve found a few Twitter memes, or communities, that have really grown to be the go-to resources for socially supported weight loss, fitness, and health. Not only do you get a virtual support group, but accountability, guidance, and access to resources are part of the package, or rather hashtag.


The running community is brought together on #runchat, organized by @RunningBecause and @iRunnerBlog. Whether a beginner or marathoner, there is a place for you at #RunChat. About one million people unite on this trending topic on Twitter. Followers benefit from a sense of a community that cares deeply about the sport of running and are willing to share information with each other. Join this Twitter community on #RunChat on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month at 8pm EST. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: 7 Planks for a Stronger Core

If you’re a fitness enthusiast of any degree, chances are you’ve found yourself elbows down, back straight, holding yourself up in a plank. Perhaps it was your personal trainer who put you there, a workout video that forced you to hold one for “just 60 more seconds” at the end of a difficult session, or you discovered their somewhat torturous nature on your own. Whatever the case you can be certain that you’ve been doing planks for good a reason: They actually work.

Planks are an extremely beneficial workout not only for your shoulders, front and back of thighs, chest, and back muscles running up and down your spine, but also your core. When your body weight is suspended, relying on your elbows and feet for support, your core muscles are forced to kick in and engage to hold you up. Try holding a plank for just 15 seconds and you’ll see what I mean. No matter how effective they may be, however, lest we branch out from the traditional plank we’re destined to get bored of the whole exercise altogether and travel back to a less-effective sit-up for a stronger core.

In this week’s Saturday Morning Drill we’re seeking to break you out of your plank comfort zone and guide you into more challenging variations, including a side plank that engages the oblique muscles and a knee drop that will have your abs screaming by the time you hit 20 reps. So get on your workout gear, pull up a yoga mat for elbow cushion and let’s get started!

View Saturday Morning Drill: 7 Planks to a Stronger Core Slideshow


5 Must Do Yoga Poses to Get in Shape for Spring

More sunlight in the evening means the days are getting warmer and your pants are getting shorter. Spring is right around the corner, and soon we will reunite with our scant summer clothes whether we like it or not.

If you have been hiding your unused arms and legs under layers of bulky winter clothes, breaking out the tank tops and bikini bottoms will feel like a shock to your system. To give your muscles a much-needed wake up call, the following five yoga poses are a must for springing into action and shedding excess layers of all kinds.


An overall great pose to sculpt your shoulders and triceps and firm up your core, plank pose works wonders to whip your body into shape for spring. Build a solid foundation from your feet (or knees) to the palms of your hands by engaging all of the muscles between your hips and your ribs. Take several deep breaths in plank while imaging your spine lengthening and your entire body strengthening. Hold for up to one minute and repeat up to three times throughout the day.


Former Marine Sets World Record for Holding Longest Plank

Sometimes, you think you’ve seen it all, and then, someone comes out of nowhere and amazes you. Someone goes above and beyond the normal and does something like, say, set a new world’s record for fitness.

Former Marine George Hood is that person.

Hood has recently set a new Guinness World’s Record for holding a plank  for 1 hour, 20 minutes and 5.01 seconds. The 53-year old also has set Guinness World Records in endurance for jumping rope and spin cycling. His planking record is officially notated as the Static Abdominal Hold and blew away the former record by almost 30 minutes.

I can’t even fathom those numbers. I’m super impressed by what he’s accomplished. Hood first added planks to his fitness regimen to strengthen himself in an effort to surpass his spin cycling record. In doing so, he set another record, although that wasn’t his original intent.