Nicole Williams, owner of Allure Pole Dance & Fitness Studio, demonstrates four killer moves for getting flat, sexy abs in these Tone Skincare gifs.

1. Scissor Kicks

Begin lying down with your arms propped up on your elbows behind you. Lift both legs a few inches off the floor, and bring your right leg as close to your chest as possible. Begin to lower your right leg while simultaneously raising your left leg to switch sides. Make sure not to let your heels touch the ground until the end. Complete 30 reps, 15 on each leg.

2. Butt Raises

Begin lying on your back with your legs in the air and the bottoms of your feet toward the ceiling. Keeping your palms flat on the ground, squeeze your abs, and lift your hips off the floor. Lower your hips back down with control. Repeat this 10 to 15 times, and complete three sets.

3. Leg Straddles

Begin sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you and feet together. Place your hands behind you to the sides, and lean your upper body back to a 45-degree angle. Raise and separate your legs until you’re in straddle position. Then bring your legs back together while lowering them to the ground with control. Complete three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

4. Double Crunch

Begin lying flat on your back with your legs stretched out in front of you and your arms by your side. As you crunch your abs, raise your chest, and tuck in your knees so that your upper body and lower body meet above your hips. Slowly return to starting position, making sure your shoulders and heels meet the ground at the same time. Repeat this 10 times, and complete three sets. (Source)

Anonymous said:
is hiit (such as sprint intervals or plyometric circuits) treated as cardio or as strengh training? i'm asking this, because i don't when and what to eat as my post wokrout meal after hiit session :)


It can be described as muscle building cardio - so you’ll need some carbs and some protein.

This is from Greatist’s Complete Guide to Workout nutrition. Although circle training and HIIT is not necessarily the same, it can be seen as a combination of strength and cardio as well, so I imagine it’s somewhat the same :)


Office Stretches to Do at Your Desk by hiredmyway: Take care of yourself and give yourself a break.

10 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism Besides Exercise


Metabolism is basically the rate in which your body burns energy. Exercise is crucial to a healthy metabolism. You should still exercise. However, there are some additional methods that can help keep that engine revved up.

1. Eat foods with omega-3s - Foods like avocados have omega-3 fatty acids that contain a myriad of benefits. Don’t get turned off by the word fatty. These acids help regulate blood sugar and inflammation, which can help keep your metabolism steady. For easy recipes that include avocado click here.

2. Don’t forget to eat breakfast - It’s the most important meal of the day for a reason. Eating breakfast is crucial in maintaining optimal energy levels throughout the day. Skipping breakfast sends your body in to starvation mode, which conserves energy by slowing down your metabolism.

3. Snack when you are hungry - Snacking during the day not only keeps hunger at bay, but it keeps your energy level consistent. This will keep your metabolism revved up by maintaining normal blood sugar levels. The key is to eat healthy snacks. For several snack ideas click here.

4. Spice up your life - Add some hot sauce or chile peppers to your meal. Spicy condiments contain capsaicin, which has been shown to increase resting metabolic rates by spiking hormone levels. A number of delicious spicy recipes exist.

5. Drink some green tea - Green tea contains phenols, which are chemical compounds that increase your body’s internal furnace. Drinking green tea throughout the day can keep that furnace and those calories burning.

6. Eat dark chocolate -  Dark chocolate (70% cacao and up) contains caffeine and the antioxidant catechin which, are both know to be metabolism boosters. Just don’t over do it.

7. Include more lean protein in your diet - Foods containing lean protein require a lot more of your body’s energy to burn, which increases your metabolism. They also keep you full and satisfied longer then other food choices.

8. Don’t ever skip meals - Missing meals actually convinces the body that it’s starving so it slows down your metabolism. If you’re hungry you should eat.

9. Take some time to de-stress - Stress causes the production of cortisol which among other things can slow down your metabolism. Read a book, get a massage, or just relax. Making time to alleviate stress will benefit your life in more ways than one.

10. Get some shut eye - A good night’s rest is essential for a healthy metabolism. Sleeping eight hours nightly increases energy levels throughout the day, and helps to keep stress hormones and blood sugar levels stable.

(Source: BuzzFeed)


Stretches For A Flexible Back

Flexibility in your back is important for many sports, including gymnastics. Increasing your flexibility can only be accomplished over time and can be a very difficult or very easy task depending on your body type. All of these stretches have many names and are found in many disciplines, and they will all help increase your flexibility. I quickly run through all these stretches and boy do they feel good on the back.

1. Pike Stretch - Sit on the floor with legs straight in front of you. Lean forward and try to touch your toes. This stretches both the hamstrings, leg muscles, and the lower back. To make this more difficult, keep your back completely straight as you lean over.

2. Standing Pike Stretch -While standing erect, bend forward at the waist and reach towards the ground. Bend forward far enough to feel a comfortable stretch in the back and legs.

3. Camel Pose - While standing or kneeling with your feet (or knees) shoulder width apart push your hips forward and lean back until you feel a stretch. This can be done with or without supporting yourself with your hands.

4. Cat Stretch - Kneel with your arms on the floor in front of you shoulder width apart. Push your spine to the ceiling and hold, then push your spine down and lift your head.

5. Advanced Cat Stretch - Do an advanced cat stretch. Start as with the cat stretch, but slowly slide your arms forward on the mat while arching your back until you get your shoulders to touch the ground.

6. Seal Stretch - Lie on your stomach with your elbows bent and hands by your sides. Slowly straighten your arms and tilt your head back.

7. Basket Stretch - While on your stomach, bend your knees and reach behind you to grab your ankles. Lift up up with your arms and feet. 


  • Don’t force your back to bend too far; it could cause major damage. Start off with small back stretches and work your way up. Stay safe!

  • It’s important to remember to begin stretching slowly to ensure your muscles don’t become too sore.

  • Make a goal for how flexible you want to become. When you achieve your goal, celebrate and set a new one.

  • Don’t push it. Your back isn’t going to become flexible over night.

  • Do exercises to strengthen and stretch your stomach muscles. Your back and stomach work together, so what you do for one will effect the other.

  • Not everyone has a very flexible back, practice frequently for 15 or 30 minute sessions.

  • Decide what stretches are best for you and how often you will do them. If you always do the same stretches every day it will get boring, change it up a bit and you will be more likely to continue.



How to stay motivated?

This can be tough. We all want to live a healthy lifestyle, eat right, exercise, and have fun! But it can be hard with everything going on in life. With school, work, responsibilities, and more, our healthy lifestyles are often pushed aside and forgotten. How can you balance life and stay motivated with your healthy habits?

Eating Healthy:

  • Figure out a good plan. A general one- like which days you need to cook, go to the store, workout, do your assignments, work, visit with friends, etc. Making a plan can help you organize your week so you have more time to get everything done! If you have a test tomorrow then plan on studying tonight and working out tomorrow! 
  • Find new recipes- don’t get bored of the same old foods that you eat everyday! Try something new every week! It is more fun and gives you a great opportunity to try new things!
  • Buy a health book! I love reading about healthy eating and learning about all of the benefits! It really motivates me to eat right!
  • Shop at health food stores! I always get so excited when I get to go to Trader Joes or Whole Foods! I love going there and picking out healthy foods and it definitely motivates me to eat right!
  • Cook with a friend or family! It can be really fun cooking with someone and your family will definitely love the extra help!
  • Make healthy versions of your favorite foods! It doesn’t have to be boring! There are so many good, delicious, & healthy recipes out there! 
  • Flavor up your water with different fruits!

Working Out:

  • Set goals! I love having a running plan to follow throughout the week! You don’t have to follow it perfectly but having a basic plan can definitely help to keep you on track!
  • Remember your goals. Whether you write them down, make a motivation board, etc. Find what works for you! It is important that you keep them in mind! Remember what you are working for and why you are doing this! 
  • Record your progress. Whether it is in the amount of reps you can do, distance you can run, weight you can lift, progress pictures of you, or whatever you want to use, being able to track your progress over time and see how far you have come definitely helps!
  • Find a friend! Friends make most things more fun! Start working out with them, going to the store, cooking new recipes, and just having fun! You two can keep each other on track!
  • Try a new gym class! Now that I belong to the gym I go often! They have all kinds of equipment (so you can mix it up!) and a bunch of classes! From yoga, to cycling, to kick boxing, to aqua aerobics! Find something fun and new ! It is always great to try new things! 
  • Buy some new workout gear! It doesn’t have to be nice or expensive but sometimes just having something new is motivating! I bought a $10 running armband and I always use it and I was so motivated to run once I got it!
  • Mix up your routine! You can change your running path, change your workout routine, try something new, do it at a different time of day! Whatever makes it more fun for you!
  • Make a new playlist! Who doesn’t love when that one song comes on that really gets you going? Make a whole playlist of songs like that!
  • Remember how it makes you feel! I love how I feel from eating healthy & working out and it definitely motivates me to keep it up !

How to stay motivated during recovery:

  • Always remember what you are working for. Remember who you want to become and how amazing your life will be once you rid the disorder. Imagine it, write it down, whatever you want- never forget why you are recovering.
  • Tell yourself everyday that you are beautiful - 10 times a day! It helps- it may feel weird at first but it does help! You will feel happier & better and self-love is so important during recovery!
  • Find support. Whether it be a professional, a friend, your family, whoever. Find someone who supports you and can help you during times when you are struggling! We all slip up and it is important to have someone to go to when you need help!
  • Find someone who inspires you. Let them be your motivation to keep going! You don’t have to be just like them but you can use their successes to inspire your own!
  • Become an inspiration to others! The way you deal with your recovery and hard times will greatly inspire others when they are struggling as well! Keep your head up & never give up! 

I hope this helps you all stay motivated ! I am here if you ever need any help or anything else (:

-Casey (toethefinishline)