Winter Shape Up 2013: Week 2 Plank Ab burner

The first time I heard of plank workouts, I thought they might be a waste of time. Planks over 10 seconds allow you to “cheat,” so you’re not only using your core- your shoulders, legs, biceps, booty, everything starts to kick in when the abs quit. Then I realized that instead of thinking of it as a “core only” exercise, I should remember that it can then be used as a total-body exercise, sculpting and strengthening all of the major muscle groups. Planks are by far, one of the most functional and effective exercises. They target your transverse abdominis, which is the muscle that will pull your waist in like a corset. They’re functional because- guess what?!- you’re in a plank position for much of the day.

Plank 2

So how about joining me for a 4-minute plank session?

I do the full workout in the video, along with some modifications for those who would like to modify.

Here’s a list so you know what to expect:

-Classic plank: 30 seconds

-Saw: 30 seconds

-Right side: leg lift and kick 1 minute

-Plank with hip drops: 30 seconds

-Up and downs: 30 seconds

-Left side: leg lift and kick 1 minute

There’s some music (the lovely iMovie variety) so you don’t have to listen to random stories or huffing and puffing, but feel free to mute and listen to your own music with the workouts!

As always, take a break or modify when you need to, and check with a doc before making any fitness changes <3

Let’s do it!

How’d it go?

Winter Shape Up: leave a comment to check in for today’s workout and enter today’s giveaway, courtesy of Physique 57. My lovely friends at P57 offered the winner of today’s giveaway a code to access all of their online classes for FREE. It’s an incredible resource to try out one of my favorite workouts, especially if you don’t have a studio nearby. I’ve done a few of the online workouts and they make my thighs and core cry for mercy. Bonus: they have prenatal workouts, too.



(You can find the workout for today and the hill portion on the intro page; the Stairmaster workout has been added, too! )

Bonus entry: subscribe to my channel on YouTube and leave a comment to let me know you subscribe.

Hope you love the ab burner! <3




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  1. Sarah on February 7, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Such an amazing workout, really kicked my butt (or abs)!!

  2. Leah on February 7, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Bah! Abs workout was so hard but so worth it!

  3. Davida on February 7, 2013 at 8:08 am

    My abs are burning but in the best way! Thanks Gina πŸ˜‰

  4. Sami on February 7, 2013 at 8:10 am

    I got home much later than normal last night but still did the workout – it felt great! I really am enjoying the challenge of Workout #2 – I like “Feeling it” during or after exercise as much as possible because I feel like I’m really doing it right haha and Workout #2 does that for me. I feel so energized the day after and proud. Thanks Gina!

  5. Grace on February 7, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Thanks for the ab burner. A couple of those moves were new to me, and it was a great time for me to start using them (I recently started marathon training, and I feel like my other muscles are atrophying).

  6. Hayley@PBRunnerGirl on February 7, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Loved this! You’re always challenging me, I would absolutely love to see more of these!

  7. Melanie on February 7, 2013 at 9:04 am

    That is a killer plank workout! Feelin the burn – another great one, Gina!

  8. Melanie on February 7, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I subscribe to your YouTube channel too! πŸ™‚

  9. Kim on February 7, 2013 at 9:13 am

    WOW!!! I just finished the plank ab-burner!!! Brutal!! The side plank with the leg lift and kick are what killed me – I had to do the side planks on my elbows in order to get through a full minute!!!
    Awesome ab routine – will definitely be doing this again (and again…)!!!

  10. Kristen on February 7, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Checking in a little late, but I roped my sister into doing Workout #2 and a HIIT (no stairmaster or treadmill avilable to me) with me last night. We were both dripping sweat like crazy and couldn’t wait to dig into my PRO-packed homemade chicken tortilla soup afterwards.

  11. Tina on February 7, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I love your ab burners! I do several different ones in a row for a real challenge and there is a hint of a six pack forming! Keep them coming!

  12. Michaela on February 7, 2013 at 9:57 am

    wow, it BURNS!!!!!!!!! I only wish you had included a countdown, as sometimes when you took a break I thought the 30 sec were up. Definitely doing it again, though!

  13. Kelly on February 7, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I need This!

  14. Beth on February 7, 2013 at 10:09 am

    It sounds silly but I love to plank! Nothing makes me shake quite like it and I enjoy trying to beat my previous “time.” Thanks for the video – week 2 workout twice through done and done πŸ™‚

  15. Emily on February 7, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Great workout! Adding this to my regular rotation πŸ™‚

  16. Emily on February 7, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Also subscribed to your youtube channel!

  17. Jenny on February 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    i have a love hate relationship with planks….this one completely destroyed me! awesome!

  18. Jackie on February 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I love plank workouts! Great one.

  19. Heidi on February 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Hey Gina! Thank you for the core strengthening exercises! I have had terrible back pain ever since my second baby, and my chiropractor has told me to do non-sit-up core strengthening exercises. I’m terrible about forcing myself to do enough, so watching your videos and following your plans helps me (the unmotivated one). What would you suggest as good back stretching and strengthening exercises?

    • Fitnessista on February 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      try supermans and pilates style swimming, gentle enough but will still help strengthen

  20. Anita on February 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Oh I love Physique 57! Crossing my fingers. πŸ™‚

  21. Joyce on February 8, 2013 at 12:01 am

    GREAT WORKOUT IDEA! I am IN LOVE! Will def do this one more since i’ve been doing alot of the modifications πŸ™‚ Thanks Gina!

    • Fitnessista on February 8, 2013 at 12:14 am

      whoo hoo!

  22. Bek @ Crave on February 8, 2013 at 2:51 am

    I love hovers- which are similar to planks but on your elbows. They are crazy good for the core!

  23. Sue on February 8, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Love your workouts!!! What an inspiration!

  24. Katie on February 8, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Thanks so much for all of the workout ideas. I would love to take a physique 57 class, but am nowhere near a studio. The online classes are such a good idea!!

  25. Lindsi Court on February 9, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Hope it’s not too late! I have been wanting to get some physique57 videos, buti didn’t realize they have them online! That is a great idea. Ever since baby#3 I have had to be more creative with at home workouts as he sleeps too much to make it to the gym. This would be perfect!

  26. Jen on February 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks so much for putting this together for us!

    Hello Everyone! I have a question:

    I have tried the side planks previously and I am having a hard time with my left side. I seem to be very unevenly balanced in my strength!! I can barely hold it for more than a few seconds (my right side is much better). How do I create an evenness again in both sides?! Earlier tonight when I tried the planks again I was reduced to tears. Gotta figure this out! Help!

    • Fitnessista on February 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      don’t be frustrated. do the modified version until you feel comfortable. then, do as many as you can of the full version with proper form. next time, try to do one more.. and so on.
      everyone’s balance and strength are different on one side! practice and patience will get you there

      • Jen on February 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm

        Thanks so much Gina! I will do that, and I can’t promise, but I will try not to get too frustrated! πŸ™‚

  27. Sarah on February 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I love the ab burner. Thanks for the workout πŸ™‚
    Thanks also for reviewing ZCut. I do ZWOWs online but cannot order her cardio DVDs as it cannot be shipped to Canada at this time. They sound good though. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  28. Emily on May 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Crap, those were the longest 4 minutes of my life.

  29. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on June 21, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Whew! Just did this after week 3 summer shape up 2013 workout and my arms were shaking on the side plank combo. πŸ™‚

  30. amyl on November 3, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Started Winter Shape Up 2014 this morning. What were some results from everyone who completed Shape Up 2013?

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