New Year Fit List: 7 Moves to Master in 2015

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BJ Gaddour New Balance DSW


Happy New Year! I’ve partnered with New Balance and DSW to bring you the 7 moves you must master in 2015 to get into the best shape of your life. Please share this with any fitness friends and family if you can.

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#1- The Best Abs Exercise You’ve Never Done

Today you’re going to learn about the Hollow-Body Hold. It’s probably the best abs exercise you’ve never done! This is a foundational move in gymnastics that teaches you how to create total body tension from head to toe and it bulletproofs your back. Employing the hollow position on classic muscle-builders like push-ups and pull-ups will also make you stronger as the kinetic energy from the accessory muscles like your thighs, glutes, and groin radiate up to your working muscles. The key to properly executing this move is to assume a lying plank position with your legs and shoulders off the ground and your lower back firmly pressed flat into the floor. Begin with a more tucked body position and progress to extending your legs and arms away from each other. I like to say “make yourself into a hammock” as it’s a great visual to understand the shape you want your body to take. Here’s how to use this move to create a killer 5-minute abs workout you can do anytime, anywhere: perform a 30-second hollow-body hold immediately followed by a 30-second glute bridge for active recovery. That’s 1 round. Perform 5 total rounds.

#2- The Top Squat for a Tighter Tummy

Today you’re going to learn about the top squat for a tighter tummy! The squat works your entire lower body and puts your metabolism on overdrive, but there’s a way to make this classic move even better by holding a weight in what’s called the “goblet” position. This front-loaded position better engages your core, allows you to stay more upright which takes pressure off of your lower back, and also allows you to sit deeper than you could otherwise due to the counter-balance. But first, let’s activate your core with a 30-second front plank. Keep your ribs and shoulders down, abs crunched, and glutes clenched throughout the drill. Now use your muscle memory to take this planking concept over to your squat. Here’s how to do it: Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell at chest level and stay tall as you sit down while getting your knees out. The ideal depth is achieved when your hip crease is just at or slightly below your knee crease. Pause for a count and then push your feet through the floor to come to a full stand. And here’s an awesome 10-minute squat workout you can do at home or at the gym using this might move: Do up to 10 reps every 2 minutes for 5 total sets. Once you can do 5 sets of 10, increase the load by 5 lbs and repeat. Remember- the quickest way to look hotter, is to become a better squatter. TRUST!

#3- The Arms and Abs Assault

If you’re sick of sit-ups and tired of planks, then you need to try this core-crushing combo that will also sculpt your triceps in a serious way! It’s called The Arms and Abs Assault and you’re going to combine 2 core-carving moves into one killer combo: the plank walk-up and the mountain climber. First, move from a high plank position on your hands to a low plank position on your forearms, leading with your left side. Focus on keeping your hips and shoulders as square to the floor as possible. Then reverse the movement and perform mountain climbers for 3-5 seconds. Be sure to move at your hips, not your lower back, when getting after those climbers. Now perform a plank walk-up leading with your right side, go back to mountain climbers, and repeat for time. Make it easier by elevating your hands onto a stable box or bench (or even onto a couch or ottoman at home). Make it harder by bringing your hands and feet closer together or by increasing the speed of movement. Your challenge is to do this combo for 60 straight seconds without stopping. Then rest 30 seconds and repeat 2 more times. This is tough, but you’ve got this. Don’t forget- if it doesn’t CHALLENGE you, it doesn’t CHANGE you!

#4- The Get Ready to Run Exercise

If you want to get ready to run, then you first need to be able to hop! Running requires single-leg hopping from one leg to the other with a controlled forward fall. So you need to condition your feet, ankles, and lower legs to prevent injuries and unwanted wear and tear when pounding the pavement or treadmill. There are several keys to proper hopping. One, the concept of assuming a standing plank where you keep your ribs and shoulders down, abs crunched, and glutes clenched to prevent excessive hyper-extension of your lower back. Two, you want to keep your knees soft and slightly flexed. Three, you want to stay on the balls of your feet. Start hopping on 2 legs and gradually progress to doing them on one leg a time. The single-leg version is like a lie detector test for your running gait, as it will quickly expose any strength and stability imbalances between sides. If you have a weak side, perform twice as many sets on that side to bring it up to par with your strong leg ASAP. And try this 4-Minute Bodyweight Cardio Burner today: perform as many hops on your left leg as you can in 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds. Now repeat on your right side. That’s 1 round. Perform 4 total rounds. Oh yeah- this workout will make your legs look legit in heels. I should know- I just bought myself a pair of stilettos at DSW and I look amazing. And you will too!

#5- The Leaner Legs Workout

If you like to work your thighs, then you’re in for a quite a surprise with The Leaner Legs Workout! Our weapon of choice is the Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat, a superb single-leg exercise that strengthens imbalances between sides, mobilizes your hips, and bulletproofs yours knees. For these reasons, it’s a great strength and conditioning exercise for regular runners. The key to doing it properly is to maintain a vertical shin on the lead leg which takes pressure off of your knees and better engages your hip muscles. Also, keep your abs crunched throughout the move to stabilize your spine and lightly clench the glute of your back leg to stretch your hip flexors. But the special potion is doing this move in a slow and continuous motion. Take 2-3 seconds on the way down and 2-3 seconds on the way up without stopping or resting at the top or bottom. This continuous tension will light your legs on fire! Your goal is to be able to perform multiple sets of 120 seconds straight on each side with only 1 minute rest between sides. Once accomplished, add weight. You may start at only 40-60 seconds or less and that’s okay! Just gradually add 5-10 seconds per session or per week and you’ll get there in no time! Prepare yourself for some serious burning sensations. Most people usually get crazy eyes about 60 seconds in, ha! And that’s when you truly know you’re MAKING A CHANGE!

#6- The Best Butt-Burning Exercise

The glutes are like hot dogs- they plump when you cook ‘em. And the best butt-burning move on the planet is the hip-thrust! To do it, set your upper/mid-back on a box, bench, or even a couch or ottoman at home. With your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, lift your hips until there is a straight line from your hips through shoulders. Pause for a count, reverse the movement, and repeat for reps or time. This move creates max glute activation at terminal hip extension and results in greater range of motion than the traditional glute bridge you do on the floor at your yoga class. And besides building your butt, it also stretches your hip flexors (these muscles get tight when you sit all day) and bulletproofs your back. Just make sure to keep your abs crunched throughout the move so you don’t get unwanted motion at the lower back. Start with the two-legged version and gradually progress to doing it on one leg a time. Still not convinced you can smoke your hips with just your bodyweight? Then try the 4-Minute Butt-Quake! Perform 20 seconds of hip-thrusts and then immediately hold the top position for 10 seconds. That’s 1 round. Do 8 total rounds. At about 4 rounds in, you’ll be screaming “MERCY!, MERCY!” And you know what MERCY means in French, right? Thank you. You’re welcome ;)

#7- The Backside Burner

The fastest way to burn fat all over is to ignite the muscles of your back and butt. These are your most metabolically-active muscle groups and there’s no better way to fire them up then with The Backside Burner! You’re going to combine two moves into one: the step-back for your lower body and the bent-over row for your upper body. The first move involves reaching one leg back behind you while hinging at your hips and keeping your back flat. This hammer your hips and hamstrings and is also easy on the knees. Now from this position, perform a bent-over row by pulling the dumbbells to your rib cage so your arms are bent at 90-degree angles. This targets all of the muscles of your back and your rear shoulders which improves posture. Pause for a count, lower the weights so you’re arms are fully extended again, and then step the back leg forward to a full stand. That’s 1 rep. Now repeat on the other side. Either plug this move into a circuit or use it in this quick whole body workout: Do as many good reps of the step-back and row as you can in 2 minutes. Then rest a minute and repeat 2 more times. All you need is a pair of dumbbells so you can pretty much do this anywhere. So, add this move to your arsenal TODAY and people will still hate to see you go, but they’ll love to watch you leave.

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