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Miss America Ab Workout

This Miss America Core Workout Will Tone Abs and Melt Fat

Trainer Tia Falcone, who helped Miss America drop 50 pounds, wants you to work on your core. "I'd like to see people get in at least an hour core workout a week," the trainer says. This, in addition to weight-training four times a week and lots of cardio, will help you lose weight, she says.

Instead of spending a grueling hour on your abs, Tia advises breaking up your core workout into pieces that you can tack onto other workouts throughout the week. Even if you don't have time for a long workout session, this 15-minute core workout stands well on its own as a sweaty workout that keeps your heart rate up and works your entire core as well as your back and butt. Get ready to melt fat and work on your six-pack with Tia's pageant-ready workout. You'll need an exercise ball and a mat.

Superman Series

These three variations on the Superman will challenge your posterior muscles and raise your heart rate. Make sure not to rest between sets unless your lower back starts to hurt.

  • Lie face down on your stomach with arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position.
  • Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, first lift your arms up, keeping your legs on the floor. Your upper body should be slightly raised from the floor, and your arms should be several inches off the floor.
  • Hold for two to five seconds, and lower back down to complete one rep.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Next, lower your upper body back to the floor, and bring your hands to your body, resting your chin on them. Lift your lower body so your legs are several inches off the floor.
  • Hold for two to five seconds and lower back down to complete one rep.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Finally, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form an elongated U shape with your body — back arches and arms and legs lift several inches off the floor.
  • Hold for two to five seconds, and lower back down to complete one rep.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Finish by resting for 20 seconds in the restorative Child's Pose, which Tia says "counters the motion and keeps everything in a healthy balance."

Exercise Ball Side Bends

Source: Thinkstock

This is a great oblique-toning exercise that you'll also feel in your arms by the time you're done!

  • Stand firmly, with your feet hip-distance apart. Tuck your tailbone in, and engage your abs to protect your lower back.
  • Now raise the ball above your head, and straighten your arms completely.
  • Slowly lean your hands over to the right side, but continue to keep both feet planted equally. Try to draw your upper ribs back so they're stacked on top of your lower ribs. Pull your belly button in toward your spine, and look up toward the ceiling if you can. Bend as much as you feel comfortable, and hold for a breath.
  • Keeping your lower body strong and stable, lift your torso back up. Stay in a neutral standing position for one complete breath, and then arch over and do the left side. This completes one rep.
  • Repeat 50 times.

Bicycle Crunches

From side bends, quickly move to the floor to further work those obliques.

  • Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your navel in to also target your deep abs).
  • Put your hands behind your head, and then bring your knees in toward your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground, but be sure not to pull on your neck.
  • Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
  • Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep.
  • Do 50 reps.
  • Repeat one to two more times.

Rest in Child's Pose for 20 seconds.

Exercise Ball Crunches and Pulses

  • Begin by sitting on the ball, and then walk your feet out until our rib cage is on the ball. Squeeze your glutes to keep your pelvis in line with your shoulders.
  • Interlace your fingers behind your head for support. As you exhale, pull your abs to your spine and press your rib cage into the ball as you lift your head. Be sure to use your abs for the movement instead of pushing your head up with your hands.
  • Lower back down to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
  • After your last rep, do 10 quick pulses — raising and lowering your upper body quickly in tiny movements — then lower back to starting position.
  • Repeat four to five times with no break.

Rest in Child's Pose for 20 seconds.

V-Ups

End with a mat ab exercise that'll make you sweat and is great for your deep core muscles. Good news — the older you are, the fewer reps you have to do on this one.

  • Lie on your back on your mat, and extend your arms behind your head. Keep your palms facing the ceiling. Lift your legs up so they are straight and the soles of your feet are flat and facing the ceiling.
  • Lift your tailbone up to raise your legs. As you do, sweep your arms from behind you, lift your upper body, and reach your hands up to try to touch your toes. Lower your upper body and tailbone back down to the floor to complete one rep.
  • Repeat again so your reps continue in rapid succession. Do the year you were born, so a 20-year-old would do 93 reps with no rest. Rest for 20 seconds, and then repeat.

Rest in Child's Pose for 20 seconds, and then begin your cooldown.

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