Hungry Eats… Ramen (Little Tokyo, Los Angeles)

If you read the title you know that there are a lot of good things going on so this has to end well. Hungry’s favorite soup and potentially his favorite food is ramen. Most of you are probably thinking why would Hungry love ramen; it’s not good for you and it’s disgusting. That’s what a lot of people I know say until I get them some real ramen. Ramen is a type of noodle popular in Asian cultures such as Japan and Korea.

You can find it in American supermarkets made by Maruchan and Top Ramen for anywhere from 15-25 cents a package. It’s almost completely nutritionally void or negative with dead calories and large amounts of sodium and abundant processing. But I love it. Ever since my sister ate ramen in high school, I have loved it. Luckily, I live a generally healthy lifestyle so I do not feel guilty or see the negative effects of eating it, even in excess, but you need to be careful consuming these supermarket brands (but the real stuff is okay!). BUT this all is going to be saved for another time because I didn’t mean to say this much about ramen. This is a restaurant review for Men Oh Tokushima Ramen in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo (you can see Fit on the left corner!)

Daikokuya is the most popular ramen spot in Japangeles. It is always packed and it was very busy when we went with our party of 6. We decided to pass it up and continue to Men Oh because of reviews on Yelp. It is not in the main drag of Little Tokyo and is hidden in a strip mall so it can be hard to find. You need to find it. The 6 of us (Fit’s family and family friend) walked in the Sunday night before Memorial Day. It was empty but by the time we left it was completely full although it is small. The menu is tiny but I can assure you that nearly everything is amazing since we had nearly everything. Everything we had was amazing so we figure everything is just as good.

The Menu

The Menu

The atmosphere mimics a perfect, small ramen shop but not ramen stop. It was very clean and cute. The staff was organized, kind, professional and efficient. The food was ridiculously filling, delicious and cheap as dirt. It also was much healthier than your store-brand ramen. Their theme is ramen influenced by Tokushima Prefecture on the smallest of Japan’s 4 major islands, Shikoku Island. The industry here is based on raising pork so the ramen has broth heavily flavored by pork bones and filled with pork meat. We got 4 of their 3 ramen dishes available (custom) and all were nearly flawless. I was the only one with great ramen experience but even people having it for the first time were as thrilled as I was.

Awesome painting

Awesome painting

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My dish

My dish

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Fit's dish (without meat or pork broth)

Fit’s dish (without meat or pork broth)

I can’t say much more than this is the perfect spot. You get a cheap, delicious, and filling meal that is quickly served by an efficient and kind wait staff in a clean and enjoyable environment. We will go back whenever we can and bring whoever we can. Michelin might not give this place a star, but I certainly do. And that says a lot. Really. Hungry approved. More to come about my obsession and history with ramen in the future!

Hungry & Fit chowing down

Hungry & Fit chowing down

 

Double-fisting...finishing everybody else's broths

Double-fisting…finishing everybody else’s broths

Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Star Trek Into Darkness

Either one of us could have and wanted to write this movie review, but our hectic schedule recently it fell onto my shoulders. With that being said, I am pleased and almost even honored to be able to review this movie. I have seen all of the previous Star Trek feature films in the franchise although I remember some better than others. I have seen most of the original series, nearly all of The Next Generation, most of Deep Space Nine, all of Voyager, and nearly none of Enterprise. I have attended some minor conventions but I do not consider myself a Trekkie.

Honestly, I was usually forced or felt obligated to be so involved in the Star Trek universe because my father and brother were such large fans. I believe that my brother knows more about Star Trek than nearly anyone but all of those hours I spent watching him play every Star Trek video game led to my own absurd knowledge on the subject. That is why I feel that I am a capable critic for this movie. I am objective because I never loved the series but I am knowledgeable because of my vast experience in the field.

Alana loves the team that created 2009’s Star Trek because they also brought her Lost. She is a huge fan of the first movie and was far more excited than I was about this sequel. The first point I would like to make is that the soundtrack is stellar. It utilizes themes from previous movies and television shows but remasters them. This brings about a very nice nostalgic atmosphere for fans old and new. The soundtrack also fit the context of the movie perfectly and was honestly what I feel was the most successful element of the movie. Special effects, makeup, costumes, and sets were all very streamlined and stylized compared to what was offered decades ago. It accomplished this effect, for me, without diverging too far from being authentic.

The original crew returned and continued to provide solid performances. Zachary Quinto was phenomenal. Chris Pine was good. Simon Pegg provided great comic relief. JJ Abrams was successful in many ways and it is reflected by critic reviews, box office numbers, and some fanboys’ feelings.

Here is my only qualm and it is a major spoiler so please do not continue if you are a Star Trek fan who is familiar with the back story… the WAY back story. Cumberbatch was perfect as Harrison but he is not Kahn. He did not live up to Ricardo Moltoban’s performance in what is widely seen as the best film of the series. They completely ignored the back story and history of the most prominent individual villain in Star Trek, period. Luckily, it did not take away from the context of the movie that Abram’s built. All of these successes, mixed with solid plot twists supported by a misleading trailer, make Star Trek Into Darkness as one of the most entertaining entries in the series. I would rank it in my top 5 all time of the 12 total choices. Off the top of my head, my list would look as follows.

1. The Wrath of Kahn – The greatest villain in the series creates the Enterprise’s greatest challenge.

2. A Voyage Home – Childhood memories and a comedic self-reflecting take make this one enjoyable.

3. First Contact – A powerful race tries to assimilate humanity as TNG crew fights back.

4. Star Trek – The series reboot provides fresh faces and style as Star Trek “enters pop-culture.”

5. Star Trek Into Darkness – Arguably the greatest back to back delivery, depending on how you feel about The Search for Spock.

6. A Search for Spock – Nimoy’s directorial debut takes Star Trek further outside its box and ties together two great films.

7-12. Final Frontier and Undiscovered Country were enjoyable as a child but were not more than that. Generations fail to capitalize on its title’s concept. Nemesis loses fans as it fails to achieve blockbuster status. Insurrection is nothing more than a bright mess. The Motion Picture bores all with its symbolic and body-less villain.

Watch Star Trek Into Darkness Online

We may go back and watch the classics again because it’s been so long and Alana hasn’t seen them all but from my memory that is how the list stands. Whether you’re a movie fan, a Trekkie, someone like me, or just someone looking for a good time, I highly recommend you go out to theaters and watch Star Trek Into Darkness.

The Best Fast-Food Burgers: In-N-Out

Do I really need to do a review on this? I don’t think so. Most people–even East Coasters–know that this is some of the best fast food you can get.  But who doesn’t like a good drool? It’s mostly just on the West Coast right now, though it is slowly expanding. There’s even one in Texas. The In-N-Out company is picky about meat standards which is why (according to a news source), they haven’t landed in Colorado just quite yet. No, this review comes from my sunny home state, California.

Family gathering at In-N-Out (from left to right, relations of Fit): Brother, Fit, Uncle, Hungry, Father

Family gathering (from left to right, relations of Fit): Brother, Fit, Uncle, Hungry, Father

In-N-Out beats most fast food places because they do one thing right: they make it fresh. They cut the fries right in front of you and there’s no freezing of the food either. The beef is free of any fillers or preservatives and the veggies are fresh. They know quality. It may take longer, or cost more (even though it’s not expensive), but they have loyal customers all-over who can’t wait to sink their teeth into another burger. They also have incredible milkshakes. We like the black and white (aka chocolate and vanilla). It’s the perfect thickness and creamy with real ice cream.

Alana, you’re a vegetarian, how can you be talking about In-N-Out burgers! Well, now I will lead you to their not-so-secret Secret MenuSo instead of a burger with meat, I will get the “Grilled Cheese,” “animal-style” and, of course, a batch of their delicious fries. I can never finish all the fries, but Hungry and my brother are always there to help. Hungry likes to get the biggest you can get 4×4–4 patties, 4 slices of cheese. Ridiculous, right? Somehow, my brother always fails to tell us the WHOLE secret menu and we end up missing something. But it’s okay, Kai, we still love you.

My Grilled Cheese

My Grilled Cheese

If you’re in ANY state that In-N-Out resides in (CA, UT, TX, AZ, NV), you better go get some of their delicious food. And you should probably do a workout before-hand so you can rev your appetite and stay hungry and fit!

Exciting Changes and Renovations

Some of you might have noticed while some of you may not have. We hope that you have because recently we have been putting more time into Hungry & Fit’s website to make it better. You might have noticed the overall change in format, addition of colors, change of fonts and some new options on the home page. We have also added many pages that are somewhat lacking but will be getting filled out in the near future.

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The about page is obviously the same for now and has very short bios about our family. The credentials page is a professional page for our business partners and interested clients that want to see what makes us worth their time and money. The giveaways page is a new feature where we give one or more new prizes away every month. Sometimes, it will be to random individuals and sometimes we will offer contests. Check now to see the contest to get Moosejaw red sunglasses. They are really nice and comfortable and have great UV protection.

Moosejaw

H&F’s Friends has links and information to all of our business partners and favorite places. Hungry & Fit Nation has links to all of our other social media outlets and services including Bodyspace, YouTube, Twitter, and many more to come in the future including NationBuilder. Our Services includes all of our free and paid for online and live services that we offer. This includes online personal training and consultations, in person training and boot camps, and also our dog walking and sitting services. Testimonials are a professional page similar to credentials that will help those interested in our services see who and how we have helped people in the past in our time in the industry. Finally, The Gallery is a collection of all of our favorite pictures that sums up who Hungry and Fit really are. Some include us, some include animals, food, fitness and a whole mix of everything we love. Please feel free to stop by any of our new pages and show some support. If you’re interested in our services, email us at hungryandfit@gmail.com or just keep reading our free blog posts to stay hungry and fit!

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alanaplacidbison

The Japanese Taco Masters: Sunny Blue (Santa Monica, California)

During my time in school in South Korea, I found it very challenging to maintain my daily caloric intake of 10,000-12,000. One reason is the food is extremely healthy and calorically low. The second is that the servings are tiny compared to those in the United States. Finally, so much of the food is extremely spicy and very painful for me to eat because of my geographic tongue. The result was I first found out how to say, write, and read wrappers for food. The first words I learned were beef, chicken, tuna and spicy/hot.

I learned how to read the wrappers on a portable food called kimbap, or gimbap, or however you spell or say it. The g and k sound in Korean is one of the tricky ones to learn how to differentiate between when you learn the language. It’s pronounced kimbap, if you’re American. I lived on these… I mean I must have had at least 6-12 a day and they were not of the highest quality. They were typically from 7-11 or a local market similar to 7-11 depending on where I was. We had one of these markets in our residence hall on campus so I got all the ones I could from there. Typically, I would have the not spicy tuna with mayo. It gave me the protein I needed, wasn’t spicy, and had some extra calories from the mayo. It was good, it made me happy and it only led to me losing 30 pounds in Korea as opposed to maybe 40. That’s another story I’ll cover in the future when I talk about my fitness journey and goals. So why did I bother to tell you all this history… well this is why.

Tuna

Tuna

On Main Street in Santa Monica, you can find an amazing little food shop called Sunny Blue. Fit and I went there the first week they opened a few years ago and it was dead every day. The female owner, Keiko,  was nearly the only one working there but we frequented it every day during that week in Samo. Why? Because they served omusubi, or onigiri, or rice balls. These are the Japanese twin of my kimbaps and I was thrilled to find it. They are VERY similar and this location does not lack quality control and creating great flavor profiles. They make all of their omusubi fresh for you. The ingredients are prepared earlier but they are assembled to order, and freshly seasoned in the process.

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Over the past few years, they have gotten much more popular and now when we visit, the line is out the door. We are thrilled that they have seen such growth and success because they deserve it for their devotion to their craft. They also serve some traditional Japanese sodas, shrimp chips, and frozen yogurt. When we got the froyo when they first opened, it wasn’t quite the quality of YogurtLand nor did it match their level of omusubi, so we’ve never tried their froyo again. Nevertheless, Sunny Blue is a must stop-by food location in Los Angeles, and the brilliance is you can eat one whenever. I don’t care how full you are from lunch, each rice ball is a snack sized treat that can find its way to your stomach.

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From our most recent trip, yesterday, the menu has expanded to include daily specials and a long list of classic selections. Popular choices include: miso mushroom, hijike shitaki, tuna mayo, tokyo tori, curry chicken, miso beef, and more. Those are our favorites because of the lack of spice, but richness of other flavors. They are reasonably priced in the range of $2.50-$5.00 depending on what you get. I’ve actually never seen one for more than $4.50 so $3-4 is a more accurate range for the normal menu. PLUS, now they sell very cute t-shirts! Sunny Blue is a hungry and fit favorite. We even learned to make it ourselves so when we depart Santa Monica, we can somewhat resemble the deliciousness. It tastes delicious, is light on the wallet, and can definitely help you stay hungry and fit!

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Tuna

Tuna

Back to the Basics: How to Cook an Artichoke

Ridiculously simple post? Yes, but I find it necessary. The first time I approached an artichoke, I had no idea how to do it! It’s an intimidating vegetable with thorns to boot! So if you know how to cook an artichoke, pass this one over. You can go read about how to cook kale instead. Artichokes bring back good memories for me: sitting with my before-birth friend and her family eating a cooked artichoke with garlic butter. Memories like that always make the food taste better.

My cooking method for artichokes is to boil them. It’s actually easy peasy, so let’s start. I’m not going to even put an ingredients list because all you need is…ARTICHOKE. 

Directions

1. Wash the artichoke by pouring water over it

2. Cut the stem off, leaving 1 inch there.

3. Cut off an inch of the tip of the artichoke

Isn't it purdy?

Isn’t it purdy?

4. Pull off the leaves at the bottom, the very rough ones that you wouldn’t want to eat.

5. Take some scissors (or if you want to make your life awful, you can use a knife, yikes) and cut off the little thorns on the tips of the artichoke “leaves”

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6. Bring a pot of water to a boil and dunk that bad boy in there. Leave it in there for 25-30 minutes. You could always put salt on it here or even drop a clove of garlic in the water while it boils

7. Carefully take out the artichoke and let it cool so you can eat it!

8. While it’s cooling, why not make some melted garlic butter to dip it in? Just put a bit of butter in a bowl with some garlic and heat over stove or microwave. Or you could use hummus, salsa, any kind of dip you enjoy.

So I have this steaming vegetable, how do I eat it? Great question, imaginary friend. Once it’s cool enough to handle, simply pull the leaves off the body and drag your bottom teeth down it to get the “meat” off it. But don’t forget to dip it in your dip first! It can also be enjoyed just by itself. Once you get the meat off the leaf, put the discard (the hard part of the leaf) into another bowl (for garbage). Feel free to eat the artichoke heart at the end in the middle! Sounds like a sacrifice ritual–and those always turn out well! Eating artichokes is a great way to stay hungry and fit! Cheers! 

The remnants of my artichoke feast

The remnants of my artichoke feast

5 Ways to Firm Up Your Glutes

No matter what gender we are, we all want to have nice glutes. And besides aesthetics, the stronger our glutes are, the more powerful we are. Think of when you feel your glutes: walking up the stairs, the beginning part of sprinting, and standing up from kneeling or squatting. Improve your gluteal muscles and you will get up the stairs faster, be able to run and sprint faster, and spring up from the ground like a ten-year old. These are 5 simple exercises that can be performed anywhere!

1. Doggies. You’ve heard me talk about these beforeand I will again because it’s such a great exercise for the glutes! And the more you do without stopping, the better workout it is for those muscles. Go on your hands and knees, kick your leg back and then rotate it around to starting position, keeping the leg in line with your hips. Keep going until you can’t and then go right away to the other side.

2. Hip bridges. This can be done with or without a stability ball. Lie on your back with your feet on the floor, knees bent. Now, lift up, bringing your hips and glutes up. If you want a deeper exercise, you can go up on your toes to get higher. Come down, but don’t touch the floor. Continue up and down, squeezing the glutes at the top until failure. If you want to use a stability ball, simply put your calves on top of it and do the same motion.

3. Box jumps. For this, you can use an athletic box, stepper, a chair, a couch–anything that is raised and stable. Focusing on using your glutes, spring up with both feet and jump onto the top of the box. Try to synchronize so both feet hit at the same time. This is also a cardio workout if you do it repeatedly. Slightly squat down so you can get power, and jump up!

4. Step ups with leg extension. This is different from regular step-ups. Have something similar to what you had for box jumps–a box, a stepper, a chair, a couch, whatever you can find. Now step up with one leg, and extend the other as high as you can behind you which clenches the glutes. Now do the same on the other side. Do this until your glutes and hips cramp up so you can’t do another (aka until failure!).

5. Bobbing squat. You will really feel the burn with this one. Get into a squatting position and hold. Now bob your hips and glutes up and down in little motions. Go for as long as you can until the burn is just too much. Don’t forget to time yourself and try to beat your own record!

So if you’re looking to have buns of steel for the summer time, or better, for your lifetime, make these few exercises a part of your routine. They’re easy to remember and simple to do (though they burn if you do it right!), giving you no excuses not to have the glutes of your dreams! Click here if you’re looking for an over-all non-machine leg workout! Use these exercises to stay…hungry and fit! 

BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria found a nice little spot

Nymeria found a nice little spot

Fit’s Restaurant Rave: Curry n Kebob

Curry n Kebob is a FAVORITE of ours–tons of authentic Indian food on a budget. For a while, Chris wasn’t all about this place because every time we got something, it would be too spicy (even though he said mild). I’ve always loved this place because I always love me some good Indian food. Recently, they have expanded and also have changed their spice levels to “white person” standard so when Chris gets a dish ordered mild, it comes out mild and perfect for him to enjoy.

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This place was actually one of our first meals here in Boulder, before we even got our apartment! I was hooked from then, and we’ve been frequenting the place ever since. It’s a family-owned joint, dishing out 4.5 star-quality food (as per Yelp, out of 5 stars) with a nice price to boot. It’s always the mom and pop in the kitchen, with the kids running the cash register and serving the food. You pay up front and they bring you your meal. It’s prompt service and they are always ready to answer questions about food when needed.

We always go for the “Daily Specials” whether that be $7.95 for lunch or $9.95 for dinner. And it is so worth it because I can never finish the endless pot of the main dish they give us, PLUS all the other sides that come with it. It ends up being two meals for me, which I can never argue with. With the daily specials, you have a choice of about 10 dishes (5 meat, 5 veggie). It comes in a big pot, way more than just one serving. In addition to the main dish, you get a full naan (which is split into 4 massive, buttery pieces–oops I’m drooling), huge thing of rice, an onion bhajipineapple for dessert, and a red sweet dipping sauce I can’t quite figure out (but love). Sounds like a lot of food? It is!

Perfection on a plate

Perfection on a plate

I usually get the Mushroom Mutter with medium heat and Chris gets the Chicken Masala with mild. I am satisfied every time and leave with a smile. I have no complaints about this place and would suggest it to everyone living or visiting Boulder. I just think how much my Dad would love this place too (I get my love for spice from him). They also have take-out and delivery. I would get this on a regular basis if my budget would allow it. It is an awesome post-workout meal, with enough protein and carbs to re-build muscles and re-energize you. Traditional Indian families don’t know how lucky they are that they get to eat this food every day. This is a perfect place to stay hungry and fit! Cheers!

My mushroom mutter with Chris' chicken masala in the distance

My mushroom mutter with Chris’ chicken masala in the distance

BONUS KITTY PIC

Cuteness forever

Cuteness forever

5 Foods You Shouldn’t Go Without this Summer

We all have our staples in our fridge, pantry, or freezer. But do they change each season? We’ve compiled a short list for you of foods you shouldn’t go without this summer. Foods that will keep you lean and mean until the first leaf of autumn falls. These foods are perfect for staying hungry and fit!

1. Greek yogurt. If you get the right kind (see: 0% plain Chobani or Fage), Greek yogurt is one of the healthiest foods you can eat! It is packed with protein, helping you repair your tired muscles and also keeps you full for longer. With protein up to 25g, Greek yogurt may provide more than a piece of chicken would! And (if you get the 0% plain–avoid the sugary fruity kinds) it has zero fat , leaving you even more guilt-free. It’s light and refreshing to eat–just what we want on a hot summer day. Don’t forget other benefits like tons of calcium (your bones will thank you!) and live and active cultures that serve as probiotics to keep that tummy healthy! As you can see, I can go on about greek yogurt all day, but I won’t (you’re welcome). You can have this plain, with fruit, honey, atop waffles or pancakes, or even add it to a Mediterranean meal!

An evening snack of Greek yogurt and Bonne Mamam preserves

An evening snack of Greek yogurt and Bonne Mamam preserves

2. Avocados. I know some people don’t like avocados, and I just don’t understand where they’re coming from. I’m sorry. It’s just so good. Besides it tasting amazing and being a great snack or addition to a meal, avocados provide your body with a ton of benefits. Avocados have the healthy fat that you want, that your body needs. Even though avocados are technically a fruit (weird, huh?) they carry about a gram of sugar. That’s not very much! What another reason to eat some guacamole! In addition to the awesome healthy fats in this green beauty that help absorb vitamins and minerals, avocados carry lots of fiber–10 grams to be exact! Avocados are perfect for almost every meal (though I must admit I haven’t tried it in my cereal yet)–indulge and enjoy!

3. Mangoes. Another fruit I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t rave over. So positively refreshing with amazing flavor to sink into. Fresh mango is the ultimate snack, you can chomp on it like an apple or slice it up and share with a friend–the perfect summer snack,  easy to pack and bring along with you. And I’ve been picking them up $1 a pop! Mangoes are rich with antioxidants that help fight against a wide array of different cancers. These delicious fruits also pack a punch of fiber and vitamin C which help fight against that bad cholesterol none of us want to keep in the body. Another trick of the mango is why it is such a good summer fruit. Mangoes contain certain enzymes that improves digestion so you’re not sitting alone on the beach with a full belly while your friends enjoy the water. Eat alone, in Greek yogurt, or get crazy and have a mango-avocado grilled cheese on wheat bread!

4. Fish. Now I hated fish when I was little. But I don’t feel like that anymore, now I look forward to nights eating salmon, cod, and tuna. And who doesn’t like sushi! Fish is a great way to get protein without all the cholesterol and bad fats you get from traditional meat. It’s a perfect way to stay lean on those beach days and summer nights. It’s a very high-quality protein, rather than that bacon you were going to eat this morning. It’s stacked with omega-3 fatty acids that our body needs to maintain our heart and our bodies cannot produce them by itself. So fry up a fish this summer and enjoy all those benefits.

5. Cranberry juice. And no, I’m not talking about that awful juice cocktail stuff. I’m talking about the real deal, straight from that little berry, no sugar added. There’s nothing like a fresh glass of cranberry juice after a long hot day to refresh you. Besides it’s #1 use of preventing UTIs, this delicious tart juice also prevents dental plaque. In addition, it is a wonderful antioxidant fighting away pesky things like cancer and immune system disorder. So along with your fish, put a cranberry juice in the freezer and enjoy a nice slushy after your day at the beach.

Enjoy these wonderful foods all summer long and reap the benefits! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC 

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20 Minute Core Blast

If you’re interested in shredding your abs and developing a strong core, this non-stop core ripper workout is the one for you. This requires no equipment (except a stopwatch or phone), all you need is a ground of some kind. It can really be done anywhere. This is to be done with no rest in between. That means it’s going to be really tough. If you need to break in betweeen, you can. 20 minutes is a long time to do things non-stop. That’s what’s so great about circuit-style: burn fat and calories while building your physique. Every exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds, unless otherwise noted. Let’s do it, here’s the list (with some amateur pictures, too):

Planking--keep it tight!

Planking–keep it tight!

  • Crunches
Mid-crunch

Mid-crunch

Reach!

Reach!

Mid-bicycle, keep it slow and extend

Mid-bicycle, keep it slow and extend

Mid-row, push legs out and in

Mid-row, push legs out and in

Just hold it!

Just hold it!

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Hips up and down

Turn in and then extend arm straight up

Turn in and then extend arm straight up

  • Side touches

It’s a long list.  And amateur pictures with a messy apartment in the background (oops). Repeat as many times as it takes to get to 20 minutes (if you have the time).  Do your best, try with no rest in between. Remember, each exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds unless otherwise noted. This is a great way to get that six-pack ready for summer! Use this quick workout to stay hungry and fit!