The Best 6-Minute Ab Workout

The 6-Minute Ab Workout You Can Do To Really Feel The Burn Without Ever Having To Leave Your Bed

I promise, these six minutes will feel like an eternity.

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If you don't like going to the gym or want to simply switch up your ab workout routine, this is for you.

Each exercise is done for approximately thirty seconds to a minute, so set your phone or watch timer for six minutes, place it next to you or somewhere you can see it with a quick glance and begin. Try not to stop in between exercises, and repeat as desired (if you dare)...

1. 1-Minute Cross-Body Extended Leg Crunches

Lying flat on your back, cross one arm over your body, reaching for the opposite leg. Lower arms and legs in a slow, controlled way, and alternate sides for the duration of the minute.

Video Credit: Built Lean

2. 1-Minute Cross Body Crunches

Lying flat on your back, lace your fingers behind your head, keeping your elbows bent, and cross one elbow over your body at a time, reaching for the opposite bent knee. Alternate sides for the duration of the minute.

Video Credit: FitHo Wellness

3. 30-Second Raised Leg Bent Knee (Reverse) Crunches

Go slow and squeeze your core for each of these. Do as many as you can in thirty seconds. For added lumbar support and comfort, place a small towel underneath the lower back.

Video Credit: So Train Me

4. 30-Second Flutter Kicks

Slowly alternately raise and lower legs to work the lower abdominal muscles. If you find that your lower back is arching too much, place your hands underneath your tailbone to ensure that only your lower ab muscles are being engaged instead of your back.

Video Credit: FitnessBlender

5. 30-Second Ankle Reaches

Having your legs back on the ground should feel like a relief at this point...keep going, only two minutes left to go!

Video Credit: Rachel Eslick

6. 30-Second Double Leg Lift

At this point, you're probably feeling your lower abdominal muscles working hard, while your upper abdominal muscles take a break. Remember to make precise, controlled movements so as to both avoid injury as well as feel the full effect of the exercise.

Video Credit: LivestrongWoman

7. 30-Second Russian Twists

For added resistance or increased difficulty, hold a weight in your hands while you twist.

Video Credit: LivestrongWoman

8. 30-Second Bicycles

This is where you might start to feel like you can't continue, but keep going! Only a minute left once you're done with this exercise!

Video Credit: Workout Warriors

9. 30-Second Cross-Body Mountain Climbers

Maintain a flat back and straight arms as you perform this exercise. Ignore the quantities she lists in the video, and do as many as you can in thirty seconds.

Video Credit: Fitwirr

10. 30-Second Forearm Plank

You did it!! The last exercise!! Only thirty seconds! Keep your back flat, your core tight, and don't forget to breathe!

Video Credit: Dr. Oz

Wooo! You made it! Now stretch it out and repeat as desired or take a breath and hit that "Next Episode" button.

Note: This exercise routine has not been created by a certified health professional, but is simply the routine I use multiple times per week and was assembled by me. This routine is likely not recommended for anyone who may be pregnant or have other health issues. If you have questions or concerns about if your ability to complete the exercises due to pre-/existing health conditions, please contact your physician prior to performing any of the exercises.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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If You've Ever Ran A Half-Marathon Then You've Probably Had These 18 Thoughts

There's so many thoughts during a half-marathon.

Loui
Loui
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Two weeks ago I ran my first ever half marathon. I've never run a race in my life before and I'm not really a runner so it was an interesting experience. Over the course of my training, I actually learned to enjoy running and I can say that I actually like it now.

This half marathon was really challenging but really rewarding. These are all the things that I was thinking about (there was probably a lot more, too) during those 13.1 miles.

1. "This is really easy but all these people are running way too fast."

2. "This is so much easier than a training run."

3. "Wow I already ran three miles."

4. "I need water."

5. *Casually sings Neon Moon by Brooks and Dunn

6. "I'm getting really hungry. I hope there's muffins at the end."

7. "Dang, this is easy. I feel like I could run for forever."

8. "Okay, so we went six miles so 13 minus six is seven. We have seven miles to go." 

9. "The sun is so hot."

10. "I could use some more water."

11. "Would my group judge me if I walked at mile eight?"

12. "Why am I running again?"

13. "I'm on mile 10 so in 10 minutes I'll be on mile 11. This will totally go by fast."

14. "I'm still on mile 10."

15. "I'm still... on... mile.... 10... now mile 11."

16. "This is the longest run of my life."

17. "Oh great, now my calf is cramping." 

18. *When the run is over* "Man, I feel like I could do another one!"

Loui
Loui

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