Katrina Hodgson, NASM CPT, BS Health Science, has helped thousands reach their goals by designing fitness programs with her workout videos and her website ToneItUp.com. As one of Diet.com’s featured personal trainers she hopes to share her passion for fitness and continue to make a positive impact for the Diet.com community.

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Fitness Expert Katrina

by Katrina Hodgson, Diet.com Fitness Expert

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Hey everyone! It's Katrina Hodgson from www.ToneItUp.com, my website to find my fitness videos, workouts and my own healthy recipes. Here are some of my favorite ab exercises! Some you can do at home and some in the gym!

Hanging Leg raises at the gym- with upper arms firmly in the slings, bring your knees up to your elbows in a slow manner, using your core to crunch the lower body up and to prevent swinging!

Image from JumpUSA.com

Sit-ups with feet on a exercise ball

sit ups feet on exercise ball
Image from JupiterImages

Side crunches on ball
side crunch on ball

Exercise Ball Reverse Crunch
This exercise is advanced and requires you to have excellent balance and core strength.

Watch video demo of Exercise Ball Reverse Crunch here

V-sits (or 'Teasers' in Pilates)
You can do this modification or put your hands in the air toward your feet or on the floor behind your lower back.

v-sit, teaser
Watch video demo of V-sit/Teaser here

Side planks
You can progress this by moving your hip close to the floor and then returning to the starting position, also known as a Dynamic Side Plank.

Watch video demo of Side Plank here

Medicine ball twists
Maintain a tight core and twist holding ball from side to side

medicine ball twists
Watch a variation of this exercise here

When we work the abs we want to also work the lower back.

Back extensions on an exercise ball.
With hips on the ball, bend your body down and extend back up to a neutral spine position. Do not over extend.

back extension on exercise ball
Click here for video demo

Have fun and be safe!!



Katrina Hodgson, www.ToneItUp.com, NASM CPT, BS Health Science, has helped thousands reach their goals by designing fitness programs with her workout videos and her website ToneItUp.com.

@ 8:31am ET on August 7, 2007
WOW, Those look fun but tuff! I can't wait to try them out! Thanks Katrina!

@ 5:51pm ET on August 8, 2007
yes i have seen some of these.
I have heard that if you focus on a muscle, let's say abs. That you can't really see results until you get all other muscle groups and you are fat % down in order to see results?

It maybe just a wise tale too..

@ 7:28pm ET on August 8, 2007
Yes!! You want to work all muscles in the body to build strength, flexibility, increase your metabolism and also weight loss. Not only does cardio and diet focus on losing the fat on the outside of your body to expose the tone in your body, but so does strength training. So what you have heard is true! We want to lose the fat on top of muscle to see the actual results. To create those results we want to combine strength training to increase your metabolism, strengthen your tendons and ligaments, prevent injuries, increase confidence, build shape in certain areas and also to burn calories( ‘burn fat’)lucky for us the more muscle we have the more calories our body burns in a day just to maintain it - Cardio for cardiovascular fitness and to burn calories, decrease your resting heart rate and much more and also a healthy diet lower in saturated fats and high in fiber rich foods and high in nutrients. All these components can lose fat in the body based on the magic fat loss secret--- calories in and calories out! We want to do all three to have great fitness levels. Also studies show that this combination is most effective in keeping weight off for good and prevent the 'yoyo' weight loss game- which we have all experienced and it is not fun!

Another great part of mixing exercises like these into your workouts is to change up your routine and also to burn fat. Some core exercises can burn up to as many calories as some cardio exercises. Try one of my workouts in recent blogs. Also see the strength training blog two weeks ago to see benefits. You may find one of my first blogs interesting on ‘burning fat’ and it is all about calories and why that is important.'Burn those Calories'. Thanks for your response! It is not a wise tale at all! ;) We do want to lose fat on top to expose that tone…. so work it!

If you have any questions about your exercise or flexibility routine you can send me a message! I would love to help. Looks like you are doing great!


@ 6:11pm ET on August 24, 2007
great post!

@ 10:35am ET on September 7, 2009
katrina,Thanks,your tips are effective,keep us posted always.

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