Awesome Abs: 5 Of the Best Crunch-less Moves

no-crunch abs workout

Descriptions and photos of these moves below!


Do you faithfully perform crunches, hoping to achieve a flat tummy? It may be time to mix it up a bit! Research shows that crunches are one of the worst abdominal moves in terms of how hard the obliques and rectus abdominus are worked.  The crunch only affects a small part of the core, repeatedly bends the spine, and burns few calories.  Try this no-crunch abs workout instead. Continue reading

The 20-Minute Fat-Torching Workout

                                                                                   *my workout was originally published on

If you don’t have the luxury of spending hours in the gym, here’s some good news…You don’t have to.


Research shows that high-intensity intervals of strength and/or cardio training burn just as much, and in some cases, more fat–in less time.

The following moves are extremely efficient.  Compound exercises allow you to keep your heart rate revved, firm up and burn mega fat all at once.  Intense workouts like this one will jack up your metabolism so that you’ll continue to burn calories for hours after your workout.

For maximum results, add cardio to this circuit.  Do two to four minutes of jogging, jumping jacks, jump ropes, or another cardio exercise between each of these moves.

Perform this circuit two to four times, resting one to two minutes in between.


squat to overhead press

Squat to Overhead Press

  1. Begin in a standing position.  Holding two medium dumbbells at your shoulders, with your feet hip-width apart, squat and return to standing.
  2. Once in standing position, extend your arms overhead and back to your shoulders.
  3. Repeat this sequence for 10 to 15 reps.

lunge with biceps curl

Lunge with Bicep Curl

  1. Holding light to medium dumbbells, extend your right leg, lunging forward.  Make sure your knee does not extend past your toe.  Simultaneously, keeping your arms close to your sides and elbows back by your ribcage, curl your arms up.
  2. As you return to standing, pushing off your front heel and extend your arms back to your sides.
  3. Do this 10 to 12 times, then repeat on the opposite leg.

static wall squat with lateral arm press

Static Wall Squat with Lateral Arm Raise

  1. Lean against a wall in “chair” position with your knees bent, holding two light dumbbells at your sides.  Bring your thighs as parallel to the floor as you can.  Keeping your arms fully extended, slowly raise them to shoulder level.
  2. Lower your arms slowly back to starting position.
  3. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

pile squat to triceps extension

Plie Squat with Triceps Extension

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointed outward.  Hold two light to medium dumbbells behind your head with your arms bent and elbows up.  Lower into a plie squat position and return to standing.
  2. Once in standing position, extend your arms up over your head, making sure to keep your upper arms still, not letting them drop in front of your face.  Bend your arms again to starting position.
  3. Repeat this sequence 10 to 15x.

Plank to push-up

Plank to Push-up

  1. Assume a plank position, keeping your abs tight and body straight and aligned.  Stay in this position for 10 seconds.
  2. Staying in this position or moving to your knees (but keeping your hips down), perform 10 push-ups.
  3. Return to plank position and repeat this sequence 2 to 3 times.

one legged bent over row

One Legged Bent Over Row

  1. Holding medium to heavy dumbbells, hinge forward at the waist, keeping your abs tight, shoulders back and back straight.  Let your arms extend to the floor.  Extend your left leg in the air behind you.
  2. Maintaining this position, bring your arms up, raising your elbows as high as they will go, and keeping them close to your sides.  Pause for a second, and return to starting position.
  3. Repeat for 10 reps, then do the same exercise with the opposite leg lifted.


Model: Shelby Elmore, NASM-CPT

Photography: Darian Simon-Toliver








Exercise for Special Needs Kids

exercise for special needs kids

Why It’s Crucial – What Works Best – Increasing Opportunities

All kids need exercise for emotional and physical health, and this holds especially true for special needs children. Lack of physical activity in our kids has contributed to the current nationwide childhood obesity epidemic in a major way, and special needs kids are even more at risk. Research tell us that an active lifestyle can have positive life-changing effects for special needs children.

Challenges Versus Benefits

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Eat Carbs AND Lose Weight. Yes you CAN!

eat carbs and lose weight!

Why you should stop cutting carbs now.


                                                                                                 *My article originally appeared on

I’m sure someone you know is on, or has been on, a low-carb or no-carb diet. Maybe even you have. And you know what? People have lost weight this way for a variety of reasons.  But depriving yourself of wheat is not necessary for weight loss. In fact, cutting out carbs could make you miserable and sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

opera i love breadWhen beloved media queen Oprah Winfrey recently proclaimed that shelost 26 pounds while eating bread–gasp–every single day, this came as a shock to many. After all, cutting carbs has become the new cool as of late. Just look at the myriad of best-selling no-carb diet books out there. What the authors of these money-making diets don’t want you to know is this: Carbohydrates are not evil.  

In fact, some carbs can actually be used to help you lose weight. Not water weight or muscle weight, (a likely effect of many low-carb diets), but fat weight. The key is learning which carbs and how much of them, to eat.


You can eat carbs and lose weight. Pay attention to fiber and portions!

Continue reading

Easy Bread Salad

easy bread salad

easy bread salad

Do you want to try something new with your salads?  This easy bread salad fits the bill.  It’s a very simple panzanella (bread) salad–Plus it’s fresh, and very filling.  I love the way the vinaigrette dressing soaks up the bread cubes and adds a perfect amount of flavor.  Here’s how I make it, but you can add other veggies/ingredients to suit your taste.  I’ve used bell peppers and basil in this too.

1 cucumber, partially peeled, halved and sliced

1-2 tomatoes (quartered and sliced), or 1-2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (halved),

pitted Greek olives (1/2 cup, or to taste)

1/3 loaf 100% whole grain bread, cut into cubes (for you locals, Wegmans sells a great organic 100% whole wheat loaf in their bakery)


Dressing:  Equal parts olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, a little black pepper, a little lemon juice, whisked together.  Can adjust quantities to taste.

Bake the cubed bread on a cookie sheet for a few minutes or until browned but not hard.  Combine with vegetables and olives in a bowl.  Add dressing and toss, making sure dressing covers bread.

That’s it!  Serve and enjoy.


Where, Oh Where Has My Pre-Mommy Brain Gone?


mommy brain

Got mommy brain?

You often walk into a room and forget why you’re there.

You regularly put yourself into a panic thinking you’ve lost your wallet, keys, credit card or phone.

You suddenly draw a blank when someone asks for your phone number, kids’ birthdays or age.

You can be found rifling through every closet, drawer and diaper bag in your house at 2am looking for a stray diaper because you forgot to pick some up that day.

If any or all of these describe you, you might have mommy brain. Continue reading