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The Ab Lab: 3 Moves to Strengthen Your Core

Photo courtesy of Allison Hagendorf

When it comes to abs, Allison Hagendorf knows what’s up (ahem, see photo above). But her secret to a stronger core isn’t what you think. That’s right — it’s not crunches — but the good, old-fashioned squat.

“In order to do a squat properly, everything has to be engaged and it starts with your core,” says Hagendorf, the official host of Times Square New Years Eve. “Your shoulders are back and you need to have a nice tall chest and the way you’ll do that is having your core engaged, otherwise your shoulders come forward and you’re hunched. It’s your core and abs and obliques that hold you up and help get proper form.”

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A CrossFit coach and certified health coach, Hagendorf teaches an Ab Lab class at her local box (that’s CrossFit speak for gym). Most people who show up are surprised when they realized they aren’t in for a million crunches — but rather, a workout filled with planks, squats, rotations, plyometrics and agility moves.

However, while you can plank and squat to your heart’s content, Hagendorf is quick to point out that, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” The self-described food lover sticks to a diet primarily comprised of plants, animals, nuts and seeds. And she’s seeking to spread the word about the importance of balancing eating and exercise at her Fit to Feast event series in Los Angeles. “I lead everyone in a quick, efficient workout — ­it’s not about duration but efficiency. And then I partner with a chef and we curate a menu of real, nutrient dense whole foods. It’s a delicious culinary experience.”

Get a taste of one of Hagendorf’s workouts with this quick, three-move ab series designed exclusively for Daily Burn 365! Perform each move for 45 seconds, resting for 15 seconds in between. Do three rounds repeating moves 1-3 for a total of nine minutes of work.

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Want more awesome ab workouts? Head to DailyBurn.com/365 to get a new, live workout every day.