Three Moves, One Complete Muscle Workout — Pt. 3


In the last week two weeks, I demonstrated the two out of three moves that, when combined together, create a perfectly-​​​​balanced, full-​​body muscle workout. The first move targets biceps, shoulders, inner thighs, glutes, calves, and quads. The second move hits your triceps, outer thighs and abs.

The final move is for your upper back, lower back chest and hamstrings. When you combine them and do 3 sets, you get a total-​​​​body muscle workout in just 15 minutes! Perform move 1-​​“Six Part Plie Squat” and 2– “Wings, Thighs and a Six Pack” as previously described.

Do move 3 — Superman Push-​​up

Start by laying flat on the ground on your stomach (what we trainers call supine position). Place your arms out away from your body extended at shoulder level, so your body forms a “T.” Keep your arms and legs straight and lift everything off the ground except your stomach, keeping your neck in line with the spine by looking at the floor and squeezing your shoulder blades together to engage your upper back muscles. Lower back to the ground and place the hands under the shoulders by bending the elbows.
Superman Pushup

Next, push the hands into the ground and keep your core tight as you push-​​up into a plank position. Lower back down and do the superman T. Repeat 20 times to complete your first set.

Go back and do move 1, move 2 and move 3 twice more for a total of three sets.

Pack these three moves into your gym bag or file them with your home fitness equipment. Any time you need to squeeze in a quick, 15 minute workout without thinking too hard, do my full-​​body Triple Threat routine!

Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

Three Moves, One Complete Muscle Workout — Pt. 2


Last week I demonstrated the first of three moves that, when combined together, create a perfectly-​​balanced full body workout. The first move targeted inner thighs, glutes, calves, quads, biceps and shoulders.

The next move (move #2) hits your triceps, outer thighs and abs.

Lay on the floor on your left elbow and forearm. balancing on your hip, and bend your bottom leg under you. Hold a 5–8 pound weight in your right hand and lift it above your shoulder with the elbow pointing to the sky. Lift your hips off the floor along with your top leg. and right hand. Lower the right leg to the floor and the weight behind your neck, all the while keeping your elbow pointing to the sky and keeping the hips off the ground. Do 15–20 reps for one set.

Three Moves One Workout

Next week I will demonstrate the final move for your glutes, upper back and lower back. When you combine them and do 3 sets, you get a total-​​body muscle workout in just 15 minutes!

Fitness – Fit it in! Nikki

NikkiFitness 100 Push-​​up Boot Camp


I have helped a lot of people with push-​​ups. Some needed to pass a physical fitness test, some wanted to be able to do push-​​ups off their knees, and some just wanted to have smoking arms.

My plan to get anyone to do 100 push-​​ups in a single training session is this:

Get in shape:

If you can’t do 10 push-​​ups on your toes in a plank position, then start doing this routine on your knees, with hands wider than shoulders, so that as you lower, your elbows line up over your wrists like a field goal post formation. Then work up to doing 2 on your toes, and 8 on your knees, then 5 and 5 until finally you are strong enough to do 10 push-​​ups at a time on your toes.

THEN.…

Do 10 full plank push-​​ups on your toes with wide hand stance.

Turn over onto your back and do 1 minute of crunches (any crunches will do, if you want to mix it up, steal some moves from my Hard Core Abs video.)

Repeat this for 10 sets (100 push-​​ups). It should take about half an hour. You can finish here, or do some plyometric cardio moves, or go for a 30 minute jog before or after this routine. Then shower and go brag to your friends.

Next week I will write about push-​​up variations for when you have mastered the NikkiFitness Push-​​Up Boot Camp.
Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

NikkiFitness, Nicole Glor, is 34 year-old fitness expert on Fox and Friends, and the star of 7 fitness DVDs including new Hard Core Abs DVD, Fit Travel Workout DVD, Booty Camp, Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon). Nikki’s workouts have been featured in over 100 national media outlets. She is also an AFAA certified NYC personal trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, a 200 RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor, author of the upcoming book “Slimnastics”, a fitness columnist for Military.com and a spokesperson for SilverSport antibacterial fitness products. Her “Slimnastics” workouts focus on multitasking toning and cardio intervals to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Get her newsletters, music playlists, video demos and DVDs at www.nikkifitness.com Search for “NikkiFitness” on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanksgiving Fit Travel Booty Camp

You’ll be perched at the dinner table, and maybe slouching in a car, plane, train or bus to travel for your Thanksgiving meal next week. Your booty will need a break from all that sitting, and instead of packing weights or finding an open gym, there is an easy way to pack some boot camp toning for the backside while you’re on the road.

1) Glute rainbows: On all fours, straighten your right leg and lift it in a half circle (or rainbow) at hip level, and lower to left side to arch over your left heel. Tap the floor, lift back to hip level and tap toe back on the right side. Repeat the rainbow 15 times per leg before changing sides.

2)Floor kicks: Remain in all fours position and with your weight distributed on both hands and your left knee. Bend right knee in towards the belly and then straighten it to kick it back diagonally to the ceiling/​wall behind you.Return the bent knee towards the floor for one rep and repeat 15 times on the right leg. Do another set of 15 on the left.

3) Front thigh lifts. Lay on your side, supported on your right elbow and right hip. Bend the right knee to 90 degrees under you. Bend your left leg on top so that your flexed foot drops in front of the right knee (if you do this move in front of a mirror you should see the reflection of the sole of your left sneaker, not your shoelaces). Lift the leg so the knee is close to your chest and left shoulder, and lower the bent left leg 15 times.

4) Side lunge and twist. Start in a standing position and lunge to the right side, facing forward. Your right knee should bend at 90 degrees, while your hands support you on your right quad (above the knee) and your toe points diagonally to the right. Your left leg is straight, with the foot on the floor, toe pointing diagonally left. From here, push off the right leg to transfer to a standing position with your weight now on the straight left leg. Your hands should reach diagonally up and to the left, creating a twist for the abs. Your right straight leg will lift up for a glute raise of the floor. Transfer the weight back on the right to a side lunge for one rep. Repeat 15 times on the right and then switch legs.

Do two-​​minute cardio intervals between the moves to complete your 30 minute routine. Good cardio moves for travel include jacks, mountain climbers, simulated jump rope, squat thrusts, plie squats, and jumping lunges (or get the moves in real time on my DVDs).

After your workout and dinner you can be thankful that these Fit Travel Booty Camp moves will help make sure that the turkey, potatoes, gravy and pies don’t spend forever on your hips.

Big Ball, Little Belly: Stability Ball Abdominal Workout, Part 2

If you’re looking for a way to challenge your abs more than crunches and planks on the floor, the key is instability! A stability ball will put you off balance to add an extra level of toning to each move. I have many abdominal ball workout moves, and these pictured below place you on the floor, next to and on top of the ball. Next week I will list other ways to work your abs (along with arms and legs) with a stability ball.

Elbow plank (works abdominals, chest and arms)

Start in a kneeling position with the ball in front of you. Roll up onto the ball on your stomach and place your forearms and elbows on the ball and clasp your hands together beneath your chest. Straighten your legs to balance on your toes and slowly push into the ball with forearms to raise the belly off the ball. Hold the plank for 30 seconds at a time for 3 sets, and work up to 60 seconds per set.

Hip Crunch (works obliques)
Kneel on the right side of the ball and straighten your right leg out to the right side of your body, with your foot on the floor. With your left hand hug the ball in close to your hip and then push your weight into the ball so the left hip is anchoring the ball down. Start with your left hand still on the ball and put your right hand behind your head. Lower your left side ribs onto the top of the ball and engage your right side obliques to bring you back upright. Once comfortable with the move you can put the left hand behind the head as well because your hip is anchoring the ball. Do 15 repeat on the other side for one set. Do 3 sets.

Jackknife (Works abs, quads and hip flexors)
Lay face-​​up on the floor with the ball between your feet and arms extended overhead. Lift the legs off the floor as you raise the arms and shoulders by “crunching” and engaging the abs. Transfer the ball into the hands and lower the legs and arms back to the floor slowly. Crunch and transfer the ball back to the feet, keeping the arms and legs straight, to complete one rep. Do 10 reps for 3 sets.

Big Ball, Little Belly pt 1

Stability Ball Workout for Abdominals

If you’re looking for a way to challenge your abs more than crunches and planks on the floor, the key is instability! A stability ball will put you off balance to add an extra level of toning to each move. I have many abdominal ball workout moves, and these pictured below place you on top of the ball. Next week I will list other ways to work your abs with a stability ball or a power ball (power balls have 7–8 pounds of sand inside).

Here are some of my favorites:

Ball Plank/​Pike

If just starting out, chose the plank, if you’re looking for a challenge, add the pike to the plank. Start kneeling with your stomach on the ball push forward to roll onto your feet and hands and continue walking your hands out so that the ball rolls from your stomach to your shins/​shoelaces and you are facing the ground. Hold here for 30 seconds for the plank. Make it harder by contracting the abs and pulling your feet and the ball in closer to your hands while raising your hips up to the sky. Repeat 15 times.

Oblique Twist

Start sitting on the ball and walk your feet away so that your slide down to a bridge position, with your head and shoulders comfortably resting on the ball. Your head should be in line with your hips while you contract your glutes and quads to hold you up. Place the hands in prayer position extended directly above your neck. To perform the move, roll up onto your left shoulder and bring your gaze and your hands directly to the left as pictured. (Be sure to roll onto the shoulder and not just move your hands! our head will come off of the ball.) Return to center and repeat on the other side for one rep. Perform 15 repetitions.

Oblique Crunch

Start in a seated position on the ball with your hands behind your head and lay down, then return to sitting by engaging the abs. That is a normal crunch. Start there if you are a beginner. If comfortable with the regular crunch, then lay back and engage your abs while sitting up and twisting your shoulders, head and torso to the right. Lay back down and twist to the left for one rep. Perform 20 reps. (Make it even more difficult by crunching up half way, pausing there, then twisting to the right without coming completely up to a sitting position, so your abs engage throughout the entire move.)

Check back in next week for more moves and have a ball working those abs!

Ten Plank Variations for Perfect Toning

Planks are one of the cheapest, easiest and quickest ways to tone your body anywhere you go. They work your abs all over, and if you get creative you can also add glutes, and thighs, triceps, shoulders, upper back and pecs to the list! Here are some of my favorite plank variations (From my Fit Travel Workout) for your next sweat session.

Note: When I mention a regular plank position, I mean balancing on your elbows (forearms) or hands (the top of a push-​​up) and toes, facing the floor, with hips in line with the shoulders and knees and hands or elbows directly under shoulders. Look in front of our hands to keep neck in line with spine. You’ll look like a perfect straight plank — parallel to the floor, lifting the belly button towards the spine. In a side plank you will balance on one arm and face the side of the room instead of the floor.

1. Forearm plank hold:
Balance on your forearms and toes, hold this for 30 seconds and work up to 3 minutes!

2. Push-​​up plank (pictured):
Do a push-​​up, then turn to the right, balancing the weight on your left hand, opening right hand to the sky and staggering or stacking the right foot on top of the inside of the left as you balance on the outside of the left foot. Come back to a full plank, do a push-​​up, and then repeat on the other side.

3. Plank knee cross:
Hold a regular plank and then balance on your left foot and bring your right knee under you towards your left elbow. Keep your hips low to the ground. Return to full plank and repeat on other side. Make it harder by taping the opposite hand to the foot or by “can caning” the leg — after you bring the knee toward the opposite elbow, straighten the knee and kick the leg out toward the left. Bend it again and return to start.

4. Outer thigh side plank (pictured):
Plank on your right hand or forearm and lift your left straight leg off the right leg and toward the sky. Lower leg and repeat 10 times. Move into a plank on the other side and repeat. Make it harder by bending your lower leg and holding a weight in your top hand. Straighten the arm to the sky as you lift the top leg. As you lower the leg lower the hand and weight behind your neck, keeping the elbow pointing to the sky the whole time to work the triceps in a half french press!

5. Glute plank:
Balance on our hands or forearms and lift your left straight leg off the floor, move it over the right foot and then return to start. Repeat on that side 10 times and then switch to the right leg lift and cross. Make it harder by bending the left leg at 90 degrees, with the sole of your foot facing the sky. Lift and lower in pulsing motion for 10 reps. Repeat on the other side.

6. Hip Taps:
Get into a side plank on your left forearm. Lift hips off the floor and then lower them to tap the left hip to the floor and lift again. This works your obliques in an extreme way if you do 20 or more! Repeat on the other side

7. Thread the needle (pictured):
Get into a side forearm or full side plank on your right arm. Lift left arm to the sky and stagger the feet so the top (left) leg is in front. Sweep your left (top) arm toward the mat and “thread” it under your right armpit, reaching for the back of the mat, while rotating your hips to face the ground and balancing on your toes. Rotate your body back to a side plank and repeat 15 times then do the same on the other side.

8. Plank crunch:
Hit the obliques again by getting into a full plank on your left hand and stagger your feet with the bottom (left) foot in front this time. Bend your right elbow and put your hand behind your head. By balancing on your right (top) foot, bring your left knee across to your right elbow to “crunch” then return to start. Repeat 15 times and then switch sides.

9. Spiderman plank:
Get into a full plank on your forearms or hands. Balance on your right toes as you bend your left knee out to the left and towards your left elbow. Return to start and repeat 20 times, then do the other side.

10. Upper Back Plank Rows (pictured):
Get into a full plank position with medium weights under your hands. Lift the right elbow to the sky and return to the ground. Repeat on the other side. Do 20 reps switching arms each time. Wrists hurt? Instead of balancing on weights, you can also work the upper back by doing down dog planks or dolphin planks. Start in a plank on your forearms or hands and then push hips to the sky and push hands into the mat like you are trying to rip it in half between your feet and hands, Your biceps should be next to your ears. Return to start and repeat 20 times.

BONUS Reverse Plank stretch:
Get some relief from your hard work and sit on the floor with your hands on the floor next to your hips, fingers pointing towards feet. Your knees should be bent and feet flat on the floor. Push into your hands and lift your hips off the floor, letting your neck be an extension of your spine and looking at the ceiling. This stretched the chest and shoulders while toning the core, glutes and quads.

So next time crunches make you crazy, fight the plateau with this plank series!

Hard Core: Low Abs Workout

One of the biggest workout requests I get in class and over email and twitter is moves to tone the lower abs. Here are three of my favorites, all done in the same basic position — laying face up on the floor — for quick transitions between moves, and then you can take a nap right on the floor when you are done!

1) Long Leg Lift

Lay on your back with hands palm down on the floor by your hips for support. Extend both legs to the ceiling with knees mostly straight. Lower legs towards the floor while contracting the lower abs (your lower back should not lift off the floor, if it does, keep legs higher.) For an advanced move, take legs a few inches off the floor and raise back to the sky for one rep. For modified move, only lower legs half way and bring them back up. Do 20 repetitions.

2) Hip Hop

Keep lying face up and place hands behind your head. Keep the legs straight and extend them to the ceiling. Flex your feet and use your low abs to lift your hips off the floor to the sky. Return hips to the floor for one rep.

For more intensity, add an upper body crunch so that you lift your shoulders off the ground at the same time you lift your hips. (Be sure to keep looking at the sky and do not drop your chin toward your chest, keep the chin lifted and neck in alignment with the spine.) Do 20 repetitions.

*For extra abdominal toning, after your last rep, hold the hips up at the very top of the move, feet reaching for the sky, and do 10 extra crunches with the upper body, holding the lower body steady with hips off the floor.

3) Criss-​​Cross

Continue to lay on your back and place hands back on the floor, palms down, next to your hips. Keep legs straight and over hips with feet extending to the ceiling. For level 1 drop legs a quarter way to the floor; for level 2 start half way to the floor; for level 3 start with legs just a few inches from the floor as shown. Once you found your level, separate legs out about 3 feet into a “V.” Bring them back together, crossing your right foot over your left. Separate feet again, and then bring them back together with the left leg on top. Repeat for 20 repetitions.

If you are not ready for a snooze, repeat all the moves again for 3 sets. Either way, you’re sure to wake up sore tomorrow and with flatter, fitter low abs!

Fitness, Fit it in.

How to Get “Guns”

Client: Do you know the nearest vet office?

Trainer: Why?

Client: I have some sick pythons. (Client flexes his puny arms and kisses each bicep.)

Trainer: (Rolling her eyes) Drop and give me 50.…

Taking your “sick pythons to the vet” doesn’t have to be a joke. You can really have great guns (amazing arms) in just a few easy steps.

1) Melt the fat over the muscle. That means doing more cardio, eating lean protein after your muscle workouts, and making sure you eat 6 healthy meals a day including lots of fruits, veggie and fiber.

2) Build the muscle my increasing your weight. You won’t get too bulky by lifting 15 lbs free weights, and if you never move beyond the 5 lbs weights you won’t see definition. Work on your arm muscles 3 times a week with a rest day in between. Increase the weight by 2 lbs each week. Aim for 8 reps your first day, 10 the next and 12 the last day, then up the weight.

3) Work the different fibers in your muscles by hitting them from different angles. For example, do outside biceps curls (elbows in by your sides hands lift away from you out to the sides, then up to your shoulders), forward curls, hammer curls, preacher curls and cross curls (bring weights across body from left hip to right shoulder).

4) Make your triceps a triple threat with French presses (hands together overhead holding weight, then lower weight behind your head keeping elbows pointing to the ceiling and press back up), kickbacks (lean forward, lift elbows up near your ribcage and move weights from shoulders to hips and back to shoulders), and dips (sit on a bench, hands at your sides and lift your butt off the bench, lower down toward the floor until elbows are bent at 90 degrees and lift yourself back up by pressing through the palms).

5) Push that weight off your shoulder. Do overhead presses with weights facing forward and another set with them facing your ears. Do front and side extensions by keeping arms straight and lifting the weight away from your body forward and to the side. Throw in some planks and yoga-​​style down dogs in your other workout days to continue to define those delts.

If you can’t get to the gym or are traveling, push-​​ups work all three areas conveniently. And save the corny jokes. Arms like yours are seriously sculpted.

Is Your Vacation Making You Fat?

You worked hard doing Booty Camp and getting in bikini shape. You’ve finally gotten the Hard Core Abs I have been writing about. But the you go on vacation to the all-​​inclusive resort, or home to see family with lots of mom’s cooking and little time at the gym. Your only sweat is from laying out in the sun instead of a run. Your vacation is making you fat.

Here is where my fit travel workout moves and advice can help.

Prepare before you go: The most important part about staying in shape while traveling, for work or vacation, is packing work out clothes. When you have a chance to exercise, the excuse “I don’t have sneakers and a pair of shorts” stops way too many people before they even get started. It is worth finding room in your bag because of the stress, bad food and sitting involved in traveling. Your body wants you to move. You’ll get rid of stress, burn calories and release those feel-​​good endorphins.

While you are there: If you don’t have access to a gym or weights, there are plenty of things you can do with your own body’s resistance. Here are 10 of the 20 moves that make up my exercise-​​on-​​the-​​road routine, and my Fit Travel DVD was shot in 6 scenic locations around the world so your mind gets a vacation while your body gets a workout!

1) Warm-​​up. Start with a simple march and then jog in place for a minute. Move to a step-​​touch while lifting arms to the sides. Add an alternating hamstring curl and biceps curl with both arms. Then finish up the five-​​minute warm-​​up with light jumping jacks.

2) Push-​​ups with a glute raise. Start with regular style or add a multi-​​tasking move by lowering to the knees and adding lower-​​body sculpting. After the first modified push-​​up raise your right foot to the ceiling. Repeat 10 times on the right side after each push-​​up and then 10 times on the left side. You’ve just worked your pecs, triceps, core and glutes.

Pushups and Glute Raise

3) Low leg low ab crunch. Next, lie on your back and straighten your legs 80 percent straight, knees together and feet on the floor. Put your hands behind your head and crunch up for 50. Be sure to keep your eyes on the ceiling, knees together, neck long and chin lifted.

4) Cardio interval. Jump rope (pretend to hold the rope and swing it for extra biceps work) for one minute or count to 100 — alternate from one leg at a time, to feet together and hopping. Maybe hop twice on one leg at a time. Have fun with it. For all cardio intervals in this workout, march in place for at least 20 seconds afterwards to get your heart rate back down to a comfortable level.

5) Triceps dips. Sit on a bench, footstool or chair with your hands at your sides and palms on the bench knuckles up and fingertips curling around towards the floor. Lift yourself off the bench and slightly forward. Lower your backside toward the floor while bending your elbows at 90 degrees. Finish the move by pushing back up so elbows extend again. You can make this more difficult by straightening the legs or lifting one leg off the floor.

Tricep Dip

6) Inner thighs. Lie on your right side and balance on your right elbow and right hip. Bend your left knee to place the left foot in front of your straight right leg. Be sure to keep the right foot parallel to the floor and lift the right leg 30 times. Repeat on the other side. Next lie on your back with your legs extended over your ribcage. Turn the toes out and flex the feet. Begin to open and lower the legs to the sides, away from one another. To finish the move, bring the heels back together. To intensify, only bring heels in halfway and press against your inner thighs with your hands for a true “thigh master” resistance move. Repeat step one on the left elbow and hip.

7) Cardio. Stand up and do 20 jumping jacks with the right foot in front, 20 with the left foot in front and 20 alternating and crossing feet.

8) Outer thighs. Now lie again on your right side, and prop yourself up on your elbow but this time in a half-​​side plank. Bend the right leg lift hips off the floor. Keep the left leg straight as you lift it for 25 reps. Keep the abs tight because you’re working them as well in this multitasker. Repeat on the other side.

Outer Thighs Workout

9) Planks. Alternate from a middle plank (looks like a freeze frame of the top of a push-​​up) to a side plank and hold each for a count of 10 seconds. middle, right, middle, left equals one repetition. Complete 5 repetitions.

10) Cool down. Do a 5 minute cool down with the same moves in the warm up and then stretch your hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, hip flexors, inner and outer thighs, glutes, triceps, pectorals, trapezious and rhomboids (upper back), and lower back with standing rolls or cat/​cow.

Remember to drink a lot of water, and maybe treat yourself to a new exercise clothes as a souvenir to celebrate your healthy habits on the road.