The Slender Set: Plank & Crunches

It occurred to me the other day that it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a Slender Set workout. In case you’re a new reader or just need a refresher, these are workouts based on muscle groups that are set to music. Put the right song on and even someone as exercise disinclined as myself (it’s true) will want to get their sweat on.

Since I’m doing this, I might as well be on-trend and, let’s be honest, nothing is more in vogue right now than Miley. Her new album just came out and while I’m not completely sold on the quasi-pop/rap trend throughout, Do My Thang is a song I can get down with. And by “get down with” I mean do three minutes of ab workouts to.

A fun ab workout set to Miley's new song! | The Slender Student - Check this out to see proper plank form. You can also opt to hold it on your hands instead of your forearms, but I find the latter to be far more comfortable and easier on the wrists. Use your abs and obliques to keep your core aligned and avoid letting your butt rise or slump.

This is a plank saw.

– Your simple crunch. It’s basic but effective.

Bicycle crunches work your upper abs, lower abs, and obliques. Win/win/win.

Spiderman planks kill and I think I mean that in a good way.

– Check out these variations of side planks. Choose a level that’s challenging but do-able.


The Slender Set: Started from the Bottom

If your spring break was anything like mine, then you probably spent more time poolside ordering margaritas than you did in the gym sweating them off. No shame in that game, but all good things must come to an end. Ease back into real life with today’s new Slender Set workout. Lower body workout to "Started from the Bottom" by Drake | The Slender Student - Prisoner squats are a variation of a regular squat, designed to keep your posture aligned properly.
Jump squats are tough because they involve both strength training and cardio. Go as fast as you can to get your heart rate up, making sure your posture is correct the whole time. Land on soft knees so you don’t hurt yourself.
Single leg squats are great for working your quads and butt (hey, we’re starting from the bottom, aren’t we?). If you don’t have great balance, rest your foot on the ground between squats to catch yourself. You’ll improve as you gain strength.
– On your high knees, make sure to keep your weight over your hips without allowing yourself to lean back.
Wide squats focus on your inner thighs and the added calf raise is just a bonus. Feel free to hold a weight, as seen in this video, or just place your hands lightly on your hips.
– For the wide squat hold, try and stay low with your thighs parallel to the floor, creating a 90 degree angle with your legs.

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The Slender Set II: Queen Bey Full Body Workout

Have a cooking, nutrition, fitness, or totally random question? Ask away!

And keep sending in YOUR SLENDER SORORITY pictures!

The Slender Set II: a full body workout set to Beyoncé songs | The Slender Student

All semester I’ve been working on shaping up for a cruise in March with all my friends. I’ve been eating clean, keeping a food journal, and waking up at the crack of dawn for daily spin classes. No more. I’ve given up on the notion of a “spring break bod.”

Start working on your Beyoncé body with The Slender Student

I’m now officially working toward my Beyoncé bod. With me? Ready to lose that jelly? Then add this Slender Set to your normal cardio routine. If you need instruction on the individual moves, check out the posts for lower body, abs, and upper body.

Oh, and here’s a bonus round: arms & back to Countdown

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The Slender Set II: Upper Body

I know a lot of people like entering the gym with a zen attitude, focusing on positive thoughts and thanking their strong legs for allowing them to run, blah, blah, blah. That sunny disposition has gotten me through many a workout as well, but sometimes I find my most effective gym temperament is basically just pissed off. Save the sugar and spice for the kitchen.

Assuming I’m not alone in this, I chose this song and boxing-inspired moves accordingly. What’s wrong with sweating out some angst and slendering down at the same time?

Grab a heavy (5-10+ lbs) and a light (2-3+ lbs) set of weights for this workout. Don’t own hand weights? Grab a couple cans of tomatoes or filled water bottles.

A fun upper body workout set to music! | The Slender Student

– Use the heavy set of weights for your bicep curls and half curl pulses. On the pulse, extend your weights all the way to the tops of your thighs, then bring them up until your arms have reached a 90° angle. You’re basically performing a bottom half curl.
– Do the push ups on your toes or knees, whatever you’re more comfortable with… But challenge yourself!
– Use your lighter set of weights for all of the boxing moves. Here’s how to throw a hook. Focus on putting a lot of power into all of your punches. This will help burn more calories, increase your strength, and relieve any anger you’re harvesting.
– Do your triceps extensions with one or both of your heavy weights. For the pulse, only press through the upper half of the workout, starting with your arms at a 90° angle and pressing up.
– For the punching bag move, imagine that you’re hitting a speed bag above your head. Light weights in hand, hold your arms up so they’re about forehead level. Alternate right and left hand punches, hitting a few inches higher than your starting position.
– Finish up the workout with alternating jabs, using your lighter set of weights. Hit like ya mean it.

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The Slender Set II: Abdominals

Every woman has one. Some are short, black and fitted. Others are sequined and backless. Your freakum dress is probably in your closet, tucked away in the back, awaiting the next time you feel slender enough to slip it on. Well, this ab workout (and the rest of The Slender Set and The Slender Set II) will have you well on your way.

Fun ab workout set to music! | The Slender Student

Bicycle crunches are a triple threat ab workout. They target your lower abs, upper abs, and obliques. Difficult but worth it.
Here’s how to hold your elbow plank. Because of the stabilization required, you’ll definitely feel this working your obliques. For an added challenge, reach your outer arm to the ceiling.
This is a muscular, highly energetic guy with a New York accent demonstrating how to do a front plank. Do it from your elbows or your hands. This works your abs, obliques, shoulders, and back.
– For this workout, do your Russian twists unweighted.
– Finish up the plank exercises with a plank saw, which involves getting into a regular plank position and rolling back and forth on your toes.
Here’s how to do a toe touch. It hones in on your lower abs more than a regular crunch does.

Have you caught on to the theme in The Slender Set II?

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