Does your body need a little spring cleaning?  With the summer months rapidly approaching, it's time to crawl out of your cold-weather coma and crank up the intensity of your workouts.

For the month of April, I'll be taking you through a series of weekly workouts that will tone and tighten your arms, legs, back, and belly.

The first installment of this beach-body series features exercises that target and tame your tummy. Here's how it works:

Practice three sets of the following ab-chiseling exercises.  Once completed, commit to 30 minutes of moderate-to-intense cardio (running, biking, swimming, etc.). Do this circuit three times per week. Next week, we'll implement new techniques into our training.

High Knee Twist.  Maintaining an elevated heart rate is key in crushing calories. This exercise helps crank up the cardio while targeting the core, tricep, and quad muscles.

  1. Perfect your posture by taking a deep breath.
  2. Elevate both arms overhead.
  3. Twist at the waist as you simultaneously bring the arms down and right leg up. The left elbow and right knee should touch. Lower the leg and repeat the same movement on the opposite side. The right elbow should touch the left knee.
  4. Briskly alternate from side to side for 60 seconds.

V-Tucks.  Test your balance and core strength with an exercise that will make your belly burn. You will need a mat or carpeted surface for this exercise.

  1. Sit down.
  2. Lean back slightly so you are balancing your weight on your coccyx (tailbone).
  3. Extend the arms and legs until the body forms a "V." Hold for 2 counts, then pull the arms and legs in toward the chest.
  4. Continue this movement for 12 to 15 repetitions.

Bird Dog.  Washboard abs are the product of eating well, exercising regularly, and, of course, great genes. Bird Dogs are a great exercise for tightening your corset. You will need a mat or carpeted surface for this exercise.

Beginner's Level:

  1. Rest your body weight on your hands and knees.
  2. Keep your back flat and abs engaged as you extend the right arm and left leg to form a straight line from your fingertips to your toes. Hold for 2 counts.
  3. Switch sides by extending the left arm and right leg. Continue alternating for 60 seconds.

Advanced Level:

  1. Start in a plank position, with the shoulders aligned above the wrists and the body forming a straight line from the head to the heels.
  2. Slowly extend the right arm and left leg. Hold for 2 counts.
  3. Return to plank position and extend the left arm and right leg. Hold for 2 counts. Continue shifting from side to side for 60 seconds.

'Tis the season to shape up.

Earn it.

To learn more about personal training options and Ashley's new virtual workout program, which can be done from the comfort of your home, visit

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