I started weight training approximately a year ago. I didn't do it to lose weight, though. My goal was to gain muscle and tone. That's exactly what I've been seeing.

I became discouraged when my weight started to go up. Gaining muscle means gaining weight. It's not about the number, it's about the progression that you can physically see.

For each workout below, I am working for 45 seconds and resting for 15 seconds.

1. Basic crunches.

Put your feet up and be aware of the shape of your legs. Proper form is key for strong results!

2. Toe-taps.

Reach as far as you can past your heels. Get those oblique lines!

3. Cross crunches.

Pro-tip: make sure you are lifting your shoulder blades off the ground with each crunch. It will help engage your entire abdominal rectus.

4. Leg raises.

Feel the burn more by placing your hands under your buttocks. This will also relieve any pain you may feel in your lower back. Keep your chin up and tucked to ensure you are engaging your core.

5. Starfish crunches.

You can do this exercise by putting your legs up in a bent stance or straight out in the shape of an X.