Wednesday, November 13th

Today’s “Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!” workout has two of my favorite exercises: Plié Squats and Mason Twists. Plié Squats not only work the glutes but also the inner thighs—an area that’s often neglected. Mason Twists are an incredible core exercise—engaging your abdominals throughout the entire exercise. I hope you enjoy all of today’s exercises and please let me know which ones have been your favorites so far!

Today’s workout is designed to last 30 minutes and is developed so each individual can exercise at his or her own pace. Each exercise should be performed to failure—when you feel as though you can’t complete even one more rep—or to the max number of reps listed.  For example if the exercise is squat jumps and lists a max of 50 reps, you should do as many reps as possible up to 50. If you complete 10 reps and find that you can’t do another rep while maintaining good form, then simply move on to the next exercise.  If you can complete all 50 with good form, do so and then move to the next exercise.

If you get through all 5 exercises in less than 30 minutes (which should be the case), repeat the cycle until the 30 minutes is up.

Please note: Before adopting any new exercise routine, you should consult your physician.


Today’s full-body, calorie-burning workout:

Exercise 1: Plank Punch (Perform to failure or max 20 punches each side)

Exercise 2: Plié Squats (Perform to Failure or max 50 reps)

Exercise 3: Scissors (Perform to failure or max 50 reps)

Exercise 4: Mason Twists (Perform to failure or max 25 reps each side)

Exercise 5: Tuck Jumps (Perform to failure or max 40 reps)

A detailed description and accompanying photo is provided for each exercise below.


Exercise 1: Plank Punch (Perform to failure or max 20 punches each side)

How to do it: Lie on your stomach. Place your palms flat on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width. Push up off the ground so your arms are fully extended and you’re on your toes. Keep your back flat and engage your core. While in plank position, lift your right arm so that all your weight is resting on your left arm. Make a fist with your right hand and punch your first out in front of you. Lower your right arm back to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm. Alternate right and left punches.

Plank Punch001

Exercise 2: Plié Squats (Perform to Failure or max 50 reps)

How to do it: Stand straight with you feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Toes pointed out. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Squeeze your glutes as you push yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat.

Pile Squats_labeled

Exercise 3: Scissors (Perform to failure or max 50 reps)

How to do it: Lie flat on your back with your arms tucked slightly under your hips with palms facing down. Lift both legs off the ground so they are 6 to 8 inches off the ground. Slowly lift your right leg up until it is at a 45-degree angle while keeping your left leg a few inches off the floor. Switch legs: Slowly lift your left leg up until it is at a 45-degree angle and lower your right leg until it is a few inches off the floor. Continue to alternate legs.


Exercise 4: Mason Twists (Perform to failure or max 25 reps each side)

How to do it: Sit on the floor. Bend your knees so that your feet are planted on the floor in front of you. Bend your elbows and clasp your hands together in front of you. Lean back slightly so you’re your core engages. Lift your feet slightly off the floor. Rotate first to the right and try to touch your clasped hands to the floor near your hip. Rotate to the left and try and touch your clasped hands to the floor near your hip. Repeat. As you rotate from side to side, try and keep your core engaged and your feet stable.

Mason Twist001

Exercise 5: Tuck Jumps (Perform to failure or max 30 reps)

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend your knees as you come to a squat position. From the squatting position explode up and tuck your knees to your chest.  While in mid air, grab your knees with your hands. Release your knees and extend your legs as you come back down. Allow the knees to bend upon landing. Repeat Note: Do not lock your knees on landing.

Tuck Jumps_labeled

I hope you enjoy today’s workout. Please share your feedback with me by commenting below.


About the Author:

d_stone_headshot_finalDawna Stone is a health, fitness, and wellness expert. Her new book, Healthy You!: 14 Days to Quick and Permanent Weight Loss and a Healthier, Happier You is available on To find out more about Dawna or to view her Healthy Living videos, tips and recipes, go to

An American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified Health Coach, Stone has contributed health and wellness articles to numerous newspapers and magazines. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, and her master’s degree from UCLA. An avid runner and Ironman triathlete, she lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband, 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.

Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide helpful and informative material and is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any health condition, nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician before adopting a new eating or exercise regimen. The author and publisher specifically disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence of reading this information or participating in the exercises suggested in this material.

Copyright © 2013 by Dawna Stone

by Dawna Stone

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