PLANKSgiving Challenge

My Tone It Up Retreat roomie & awesome friend Amy challenged me to a PLANKSgiving November Challenge!

Looks like a lot of core and strength work…but I’M IN!

planksgiving november challenge | sunshine & the bear

Here’s what it looks like today through the end of the week….

  • Thursday November 6 
    • 15 second side plank
    • 15 plank jacks
    • 15 planks with donkey kicks
    • 15 second plank punches
  • Friday November 7
    • 20 second elbow plank
    • 20 plank walks
    • 20 second two point plank
    • 20 second plank with leg raise
  • Saturday November 8
    • 20 second side plank
    • 20 plank jacks
    • 20 planks with donkey kicks
    • 20 second plank punches
  • Sunday November 9
    • 25 second elbow plank
    • 25 plank walks
    • 25 second two point plank
    • 25 second plank with leg raise

Who’s with me?

[Workout] 15 minute ab circuit

I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things for the quickly approaching (OMG how is it coming so fast?!) summer bikini season…

Specifically, I can’t keep discounting the weekends. They count more than ever when trying to reach your goals!

So when I woke up too early this morning (stupid dog...), I could have gone back to sleep, but I got up! No more sitting around trying to sleep if I can’t…I got up to do a little reading and a quick workout! I typically do an hour workout with my trainer on Friday mornings so I didn’t want to do too much strength training but I wanted to get in some abs! I pulled together some of my favorite ab moves to create this quick ab circuit!

katekatebear 15 min ab circuit

If you’re wondering what any of these moves are, here are some explanations!

Reach ups: Begin on your back with your legs and arms up above you. Curl your upper body and reach for your toes.

Leg lifts: Lay on your back with your legs together in the air. Lower your legs to approx. 5 inches above the floor. Make sure you continue to push your lower back into the floor and keep your abs engaged. Raise your legs back above you and repeat.

Side plank dips: Start in a side plank on your forearm and raise and lower your core. You’ll feel this (and see it go!) in your love handles section! :)

V-sits: Place your hands behind your lower back and lift your knees up. Extend your legs and upper body as far out as you can then squeeze your core to bring them back together.

Plank with alt. foot raise: Get down on your hands and toes about shoulder width apart, keep your hips low and your core tight. Alternate lifting your leg off the ground just a few inches.

Bicycle crunches: Lie on your back with your knees bent, calves parallel to the floor and fingertips to temples. Move legs in bicycle motion and your elbows to opposite knees. Keep your heels and shoulders off the floor!

Tummy tucks: On your forearms or hands, shoulder width apart, and maintain a tight core. Bring your left knee up to your left elbow and then return to the ground. Repeat again with your right knee to right elbow.

DON’T CHEAT YOURSELF – TIME IT!boxing timer pro app

Using a clock to time yourself helps but I recently downloaded this amazing app that helps me – Boxing Timer Pro.

With this app, you can set up rounds, the time of each round, rest time, etc. I set this workout up for 7 rounds of 30 seconds each with 10 seconds in between.

It pulls in your music and everything!

Enjoy, everyone! I’d love to hear how you like the workout!


[Workout] Standing Crunch n’ Row

I feel like a broken record saying that “this week has been busy” (when are week’s NOT busy?!). It’s been especially intense at work and I’ve been doing more workouts from home – just to cut out the travel time to the gym, etc.

I’ve been trying to find workouts that combine moves so I can work on multiple muscle groups at the same time. Today’s workout is one of my new favorites!

This week’s workout: Standing Crunch n’ Row
Muscles worked: Core, arms, glutes
Courtesy of: ME (yes, I can do things all by my self!)
Needs: A medium weight

For this workout move, you’re going to start in a standing position – feet about hip width apart. You’re going to tilt your back slightly forward, but not all the way over.

From this position, straighten your right leg out behind you off the ground (alternative is with foot on the ground – if you need help with balance!).

standing crunch row katekatebear

Keeping your hips and shoulders facing forward, pull your raised leg into your chest and your arm up in a row.

standing crunch row katekatebear

Working your arm, leg and core muscles all at once (all while trying to maintain your balance) will really give you a workout!

standing crunch row katekatebear

Do 10-15 on this side and switch!

So ENJOY! And remember, you’ll never regret a workout!

[Workout] Side Plank Twist

Core workout o’clock! Get ready to work it.

I enjoyed this one at CXWORX this morning and had to share!

This week’s workout: Side plank twist
Muscles worked: Core, arms
Courtesy of: Les Mills CXWORX
Needs: You may need a mat, just to be more comfortable on the ground!

Start in a side plank on your forearm with your other arm extended. Keep your top foot on the ground in front of the other on the ground at the bottom.

side plank twist katekatebear

From this position, turn your body without taking your feet or forearm off the ground. Bring your top arm under you until your shoulders are even and your back is flat.

side plank twist katekatebear

Promise my back is flat! My butt is always a bubble like that…haha

Twist back to the side plank and that’s one!

Do 10-15 on each side.

Once you’re done, do a 30 second plank on both arms to add some more core work!

And, of course, I know you noticed my awesome shirt…it’s one of my new ones from the new Under Armour brand house store in Baltimore! GO HON GO! 

under armour go hon go

So GET TO IT! And ENJOY! And remember, you’ll never regret a workout!

[Workout] Side Plank Knee Pull

abs of steel vhsOk so who wants to tone the sides of their core and get rid of those love handles?

No one…oh ok, I’ll just shut up then. 

No matter what your body shape, I feel like this area is a common trouble zone for people. I’ve been doing this move for a long time and it has just resurfaced in my life through a class at the gym so I wanted to share!Oh no you said EVERYONE? Yes, that’s what I thought. :) 

So when I say long time, I mean LONG time. I was doing this workout move with a VHS tape! ABS OF STEEL, baby! haha ——–>

This week’s workout: Side plank knee pull
Muscles worked: Core, love handles, glutes
Courtesy of: Abs of Steel (and, more recently, Les Mills CXWORX)
Needs: You may need a mat, just to be more comfortable on the ground

Ok so to start out, get in a side plank position with your forearm and your knee on the ground. Feel free to go up to your forearm and your foot, but it get’s tough – believe me! 

side plank knee pull

While in this side plank position, raise your top hand over your head and your top leg up.

From there, pull your top arm and leg in to meet above your waist in a CRUNCH! Make sure you crunch to the side, not to the front! 

side plank knee pull

Do 10 reps on one side and then switch!

If you want to really challenge yourself, do this slow (2 counts in, 2 counts out) for 8 reps, then fast (1 count in, 1 count out) for 8 reps. You can feel your butt and core muscles burning! 

ENJOY! And remember, you’ll never regret a workout!