5-minute plank burner {video}


Good morning! How’s the day going so far? Helloooooo from Minnesota! I’m in Minneapolis right now to check out the General Mills headquarters with some of my best blogging friends. 

Blogging friends

(with Monica, Amanda, Janae, Julie and Tina!)


View form the Mill City Museum

W julie and janae

Making homemade Dippin’ Dots for dessert at Travail

It took a little bit of convincing. I was very upfront with my opinions when GM initially invited me. Among other things, I told them that I don’t eat or endorse a lot of processed foods. To my surprise, they were eager to hear my feedback which was why I was invited in the first place. So far, they’ve been extremely receptive to things that are important to me as a consumer. I have more questions and concerns that we’ll have a chance to discuss today, but they want to hear yours, too! If you guys have questions you’d like me to ask while I’m here, please let me know.

Today, I have an all-new plank burner to share. This one is 5 minutes of pure planking glory. Get ready! (and don’t be afraid, you can always take a break when/if you need to!)

Five minute plank burner

The funny thing is that I once tried to film this in the gym when we lived in Tucson. I had my Flip camera all set up, pressed record, and then a guy walked into the gym and started lifting weights pretty close to me. I was so self conscious about talking to myself that I filmed the video in pure.awkward.silence. It was so bizarre. I filmed this one in the comfort of home where I can be loud and not worry about disturbing fellow gym-goers. 😉

This plank burner includes some of my very favorite plank variations: regular plank, side plank with hip dips, rotating side planks and the saw. 

Some tips for a solid plank:

-Stack your hands or elbows directly under your shoulders

-If you’re on your toes, press back through your heels and keep your hips in line with your spine

-If you’re on your knees, tuck your hips down so that your booty isn’t up in the air; you should be a straight line from your head to your knees

-Keep your chin lifted so that your head isn’t drooping down or looking up; the goal is maintain straight alignment in the spine and neck

-Draw back through your shoulder blades to maintain a straight spine

Here’s the video if you’d like to join in with me!


Leave a comment and let me know how it goes. 🙂

Have a wonderful morning <3



Don’t forget to check in for WSU here. xo

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  1. Britt@MyOwnBalance on February 18, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Ha! I have had many awkward moments for the sake of the blog. Like taking strange selfies and photos in weird places. I just try to act really confident even though I feel like a loser!

    Have fun in Minnesota!

  2. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on February 18, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Can’t wait to try this workout!

  3. Paige @ Dimpled Inspiration on February 18, 2015 at 8:01 am

    YES! Love a good plank burner.. and 5 minutes of it? Totally ready! Excited to hear about your GM experience as I do not eat many processed foods either. I hope you’re able to make a great post of it 🙂

  4. Linda @ TheFitty on February 18, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Could you come up with a back workout requiring fivepound dumbbells? I’m looking to work my back but I don’t have access to a gym.

  5. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen on February 18, 2015 at 8:58 am

    That is so cool that General Mills invited you BECAUSE you don’t eat a lot of processed foods. I can’t wait to hear what your questions are and what the response is 🙂

  6. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on February 18, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Have fun on the trip, Gina. And let us know what you find out about GM!

  7. Jeana on February 18, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Omg, I live 40 mimutes from that event! I am having a huge nerd moment!

  8. Becca on February 18, 2015 at 9:12 am

    There is a video advertisement that keeps popping on when I was trying to watch the plank and read the blog! Very “fun” video though my abs are BURNING

  9. Monica on February 18, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Like I said on Insta – totally jealous of your Travail experience! I haven’t been there yet and I live here!

    Hope you’ve got a warm enough jacket! It’s cold for ME right now.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      ahhh you will LOVE it
      and yes, i wore so many layers!

  10. Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola on February 18, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I love your scarf in that group photo. It looks very comfy!

  11. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on February 18, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Can’t wait to hear more about your experience at GM head quarters!

  12. Elle on February 18, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I had planned to run today but its dangerously cold outside, so I did this as part of my indoor workout instead. Holy burn!

  13. Allison @ Wine and the Wooden Spoon on February 18, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I’m interested to hear more about the work you’re doing for General Mills. I bet you weren’t too excited to see what the weather is currently like in the midwest!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      it frightened me a little haha, but it wasn’t too bad 🙂

  14. Jill on February 18, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Hi Gina. I have a work-out question that I would love your advice on – maybe a future blog post? I’m an avid barre devotee and have a studio membership. Because of the cost of that, I can’t justify the cost of a traditional gym membership. I know I probably need to incorporate additional exercise into my routine besides just barre. So my questions are: 1) what other exercises should I incorporate to have a well-rounded routine (cardio?, strength?) and 2) what are at-home versions I can do, specifically cardio? I’m not a runner so I’m not sure how to get in cardio at home. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      that is an awesome question! i could definitely put it into a reader’s request. i would just invest in a pair or two of dumbbells. what do you like to do for cardio?

      • Jill on February 19, 2015 at 8:03 am

        Thanks so much, Gina! I really appreciate your help. For cardio, I like something that is quick, sweaty and varied (i.e. not just zoning out on a machine) and obviously something that I can do at home. Maybe a HIIT circuit? I started looking through your Fitness tab and saw some work-outs there would probably work. I just need help coming up with different movements & plans so that I get my heart rate up and don’t get bored. 🙂

        • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 8:59 am

          yes, check out the hiit workouts right here- many of them are bodyweight only 🙂

  15. RMR on February 18, 2015 at 10:37 am

    You got here just in time for the brutally cold weather (below average I might add)!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      i feel like it gave me the authentic experience, right? 😉

  16. chelsea @ the new wifestyle on February 18, 2015 at 10:48 am

    just found your blog and i’m totally loving it! have so much fun with GM and i’m glad you’re outspoken about not loving processed foods. can’t wait to hear more about it and stay warm!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      thank you, chelsea! welcome to the blog 🙂 hope you’re enjoying the week

  17. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on February 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I think it’s refreshing that you were honest with GM about your concerns about their products and stay true to yourself. Not all bloggers find the courage to do that, but I think it’s so important.

  18. Carrie (This Fit Chick) on February 18, 2015 at 11:28 am

    I haven’t done planks in ages!! I will be SORE that’s for sure! Hope you’re having fun- looks like it!

  19. Paula on February 18, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    That was perfect! I skipped CrossFit this morning because I went yesterday after running a half-marathon on Sunday — my legs felt fine until after all those front squats and wall balls. This little plank burner was just the right thing to throw in the middle of my work day for some “active recovery.”

  20. Allison on February 18, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I was a little surprised (disappointed) when I saw on IG that you were at GM. But then I read this post, and I hope you voice your concerns and they take your feedback seriously. One thing I would like to know is, why did they spend so much money to defeat the GMO labeling laws? Consumers should have the right to know what they are eating. Unless they make a LOT of changes, I don’t see myself buying their products. I prefer to support the smaller companies that support our farmers and understand the importance of eating real food.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      that was my very first question! i was like “i’m just going to go for it, because it’s the #1 thought on my mind” so i asked about prop 37 as soon as they opened it up for discussion
      they gave me a very interesting answer, which made a lot more sense after they explained it. i’ll be sure to include it in my recap. of course, i’m not going to go to a grocery store and fill my cart with cereal, but learning more about the company changed my perception

      • Allison on February 19, 2015 at 7:50 am

        Thanks for the reply! Can’t wait to hear your recap.

        • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 8:59 am


  21. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on February 18, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t know if I’ll ever get over taking selfies or pics in public places for the blog. Hope you whip up some good food!

  22. Sneha on February 18, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Lookin forward to your review post about GM . Checking in with today’s workout. Did a 5 mile walk– indoors of course, because its still an ice skating rink outside in NC.

  23. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on February 18, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I love honey nut cheerios! No complaints from me. 😀

  24. Lauren Vacula @ alovelysideproject.com on February 18, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Gina- have a great trip!!! The biggest question and problem I have for/with General Mills (as well as the reason I will not buy their products) is their relationship with Monsanto (they rallied against CA’s Prop 37- The CA Right to Know Bill) and donated upwards of 1.2 mil to this genetically modified nightmare. Very scary.

    Anyway, love your blog– keep the healthy treats and workouts coming 🙂

    Lauren @ http://alovelysideproject.com

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      I was hoping someone would bring this up- it was my very first question! I will definitely post their response

      • Tracy on February 18, 2015 at 9:21 pm

        This was my question too! And why are they only working on making Cheerios GMO free? (Are they still working on this?)

  25. Lisa on February 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Welcome to MN! On what it probably the coldest day of the winter so far! It’s great to hear that GM is so interested to hear your opinions on their products.

  26. Grace Gillis on February 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Loved the ab burner! Might try to do it twice in a row next time 😉

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 10:10 pm


  27. Heather @ Life In Leggings on February 18, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    What a pretty group of ladies! Have so much fun (freezing your buns off)! Welcome to my (sort-of) neck of the woods! 😉

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      haha thank you friend! missed you! and yes, it was a liiiitle chilly 😉

  28. Chrissy @Pink Polish and Running Shoes on February 18, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Love your videos Gina! Can’t wait to hear about General Mills. I don’t eat a lot of processed foods either so I’m interested to hear what they have to say.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      thank you! hope you like the plank burner, too 🙂

  29. Alli O'Neill on February 18, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I’m so glad you have the opportunity to visit GM and voice your opinions. It’s people like you that have the power to make a difference! I would like to know if they have any plans to completely get rid of GMO’s in their products and what steps they are taking to make sure their consumers are eating real foods-what’s the future looking like, the near and the far?

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      i learned a lot of exciting things about their future today. i’m going to check with them before i post to see what i’m able to disclose

  30. dory on February 18, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    I have to say I’m a little sad to see General Mills’ name marketed on here. I’ll a long time reader and usually love your focus on healthy living. I don’t agree with GM’s support of non disclosure of GMO’S, use of HFCS or “fructose” as if is now being labeled in some instances, and marketing high sugar foods to kids. There’s a lot of ways to beat around the bush, but in the end those are their actions and market.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      I hope you were able to read my paragraph above- those are all of the same concerns that I’ve had. They wanted me to voice my concerns and thoughts, and prop 37 was a major point of my discussion

      • Lee on February 19, 2015 at 12:45 pm

        I echo the concerns voiced by others ..in response to your above response
        But yet you have to double check to see what you “disclose” with your readers.. please, Gina…out of respect for you, I will respectfully decline to further comment and will also decline to further read your blog (after reading it for years and years).

        • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 2:22 pm

          that’s not what i meant at all. i meant that they have some really great things coming up, which i had to sign an NDA about. as far as the prop 37/gmo stuff, everything is out on the table and i can write about whatever i want. they just asked us not to spread the word about future endeavors/projects

  31. Leah on February 18, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Curious as hear about GM too.
    Can’t wait to try plank videos. I often do your ab burners so this will be great too.

  32. Jessica @ kiwiyogirunner on February 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    This looks like so much fun! I was there recently and it is definitely cold in that neck of the woods though! Stay warm ! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      thank you! it was definitely a little chilly 😉

  33. CARLA on February 19, 2015 at 2:20 am

    HOW FUN!!!
    and I mean your trip not the planking although I will be DOING THE PLANKING too :0

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 9:07 am

      we were talking about how awesome you are this weekend 🙂

  34. Sam on February 19, 2015 at 2:59 am

    I’m glad to hear that you’re voicing your concerns with GM. I too was disappointed to see you and some of my other favorite bloggers attend the event and promote or advertise the GM brand on your blogs. I feel like lately I’ve seen more and more sponsored posts on my fav blogs (not yours, actually) that promote products that I know they really don’t support. I do, however, like the idea of you guys going there and voicing your opinions. But GM is a major, major corporation which I’m sure has no plans of overhauling its business model anytime soon. The truth is, Americans eat a SAD diet, and it’s extremely profitable for GM and other companies like it. They’re in bed with Monsanto, just like all of the other food companies, and I’m sure they spun the GMO labeling issue as an issue of knowledge, education and confusion. They don’t want to confuse people and send the wrong message, or insinuate in any way that GMOs have been proven to be unhealthy or harmful. The same thing happened with rBGH labeling and milk. The dairy industry lobbied to include packaging language to include if something is labeled rBGH-free, because they didn’t want consumers to think that rBGH-free insinuated that rBGH was bad. If you notice, every carton of organic milk has it. I’m sure this is the LEAST GM and other companies would settle for.

  35. Chas @ Haute Mommy Blog on February 19, 2015 at 4:10 am

    Thanks for the tips. I subscribe to your YouTube channel. My 3 year old has been doing your barre videos with me this week. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 9:03 am

      haha i love that!

  36. Jessica on February 19, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Thank you! Was a great workout!!

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 9:02 am

      happy you liked it!!

  37. Stacy @ Sweating Tulipz on February 20, 2015 at 8:48 am

    I can’t wait to try this…I love Planks and can sort of do them right now with my non weight bearing status. I’m going to give this a try one-legged! Thanks!

  38. Honey, What's Cooking? on February 24, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    i’m so trying this tonight when i go home. i know i’ll die, but it’ll be pain that is worth it. just doing a 1 min plank is painful.

  39. Laura @FitMamaLove on February 3, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I must have missed this when it first came out, but you look sooooo much like Liv in your plank pic!

  40. Jennifer on October 5, 2016 at 8:36 am

    And again, harder than I remembered ! Lol

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