Whether your idea of a perfect Thanksgiving includes a turkey trot (or not), any day is a good day for an endorphin-boosting workout by one of the buzziest trainers in New York City—especially when it’s been designed to help you battle the post-dinner bloat.
Fortunately, trainer Patrick McGrath (whose fitness fans include models and celebs like Ellie Goulding) is offering up five abs moves you can do anywhere to help speed up your digestion. It’s a condensed version of the routines he teaches at buzzy studios like Project by Equinox and SLT since he realizes most people find it hard to squeeze in full-blown sweat sessions this time of year.
“Holidays get so hectic in terms of schedule, so don’t be too hard on yourself,” he says. Instead, maximize the time you do have with multi-tasking workouts. “When you can, combine strength training and cardiovascular training to maintain optimal health,” McGrath says.
For example, the core workout below takes only 15 minutes, but the 5 moves it involves will work not only your abs, but also your back, arms, and legs. McGrath recommends doing 2 rounds of each move for 1 minute apiece with a 30-second rest between exercises.
Keep reading for Patrick McGrath’s Planksgiving abs workout.
1. Push-up with hand release and back extension
Start with your hands under your shoulders and your feet together in a plank position, keeping your pelvis tucked. Slowly bend your arms, keeping your elbows narrowed in to the sides of your rib cage. Drop your chest to floor at the same time as you drop your thighs, and then lift your hands, upper body, and lower body for a back extension. Press your palms into the floor and push back up to your starting plank position. Lower down on a 3 counts and back up on a 1 count. To modify, perform the move on your knees. For an extra challenge, swap your standard push-up for a plyo variation by lifting your hands off the ground or adding a clap.
2. Superwoman walk out
From a standard plank position, with your pelvis tucked under, walk your feet backward until your shoulders come slightly behind your wrists. Your trunk should stay as still as possible. Hold in this extension for 1 count, and then walk your feet forward until your shoulders come in line with your wrists. To modify, use a smaller range of motion, and go at a slower pace for more control. For even more of a challenge, hold the extension longer in between each walk-out.
3. Alternating side plank with knee-to-elbow tap
Begin in a side plank, with your head, shoulders, hips, and feet making one long diagonal line toward the floor. Squeeze your glutes and press through your forearms to lift out of your shoulder socket. Rotate forward with control to reverse your side plank and transfer your weight to your opposite side, maintaining your plank position. Reverse the movement, and when you return to your initial side plank, lift your top knee to tap your top elbow, engaging your external oblique. Then, extend back to side plank position, and repeat. (For your second round, perform the series on the opposite side.) To modify the move, do the exercise on your knees, and hold the side plank static, eliminating the rotation. For a challenge, add a straight arm and straight leg tap.
4. Bear plank with alternating hand-to-knee tap
Modify your standard plank position by keeping your shoulders over your wrists but shortening your stance so you can bend yours knees at a 90-degree angle, hovering off the floor. Keep your trunk as still as possible while you tap your opposite hand to opposite knee underneath your body, alternating sides. To modify the move, lower your knees to the ground into a tabletop position. For more of a challenge, bring your feet closer together for less stability, and instead of tapping your hand to your knee, extend one of your arms and legs out in opposition.
5. Saw-to-tricep press
Start in a forearm plank position. Pull your body forward, so your shoulders come over your hands, and then backward, so they extend behind your elbows. Return to your neutral forearm plank. Then, push up off the ground into a standard plank position. Lower back into a forearm plank, and repeat. To modify, you can do this move on your knees, and press up one forearm at a time. For a challenge, lift a single leg, alternating with one leg lifted for each saw to press.
Now that you’ve worked your core, try these moves for major butt-sculpting from Tone It Up. Plus, find out which essential oils can help take your workout to the next level.