2 New Ways to Get Your Ass in Gear While You Wait for Your Latte to Cool

Many of us can’t make it to the gym every day of our lives. But we can usually make time for a coffee break. Put yours to good use with these strengthening coffee break stretches.

We checked in with New York-based movement consultant, choreographer, and fitness instructor Erika Shannon who gave us some suggestions for working out (and doing so in a way that looks terribly elegant). If you’re in need of a mini mid-day workout, this one looks and feels inspiring: just lock your office door, get down on the floor, and

The Modern Contraction (Abs)

“This is a prettier variation of a standard sit up—one which also targets the obliques,” Erika says.

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Sit on the floor with both knees bent in front of you with your feet are still on the floor—don’t let your feet creep too close to you. Hold your arms out in front of you. Think of dropping the shoulders down in this position. Inhale.

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On the exhale, sweep both arms to the right side of your body, and lower yourself halfway to the ground. Inhale back up to the starting position, and repeat on the other side.  The key to this one is keeping those feet on the floor!

Perform 2 sets of 20.

The Jazz Press (Glutes and Quads)

“This is a dancier, fancier version of the yoga bridge,” Erika tells us.

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Sit on the floor with your left foot flat on the ground, knee up, and your right leg in front of you.  Place your right hand flat on the ground close to your body so your wrist is under the shoulder. Hold this pose and inhale.

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As you exhale, contract your tummy, press up through your left foot, and lift your hips and butt off the floor, while bringing the left hand over the head and arching the back.  Remember to keep that right leg straight. Inhale to come back down.

Do 10 reps and then switch sides—you’ll feel it for sure!

More workouts you’ll love…

Crunchless Abs: The Ultimate Guide

How to Sculpt Strong, Sexy Calves

Long, Lean, Limber: These Injury-Preventing Dancers’ Stretches are En Pointe