TODAY   |  April 09, 2014

3 core exercises you can do at home

In Wednesday’s edition of TODAY’s “6 Months to a 6-Pack Challenge,” nutritionist Joy Bauer and fitness trainer Jeff Halevy demonstrate three core exercises you can do at home to get that “brick house” you’ve always wanted.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to our six months to a six-pack challenge where we help you get that tight stomach you've been looking for. our three contestants, kelly , tamara , and ralph have been working so hard. and today, we're going to help them strengthen up their cores.

>> and today, joy bauer has revamped some of their fattening favorites without sacrificing flavor. and fitness trainer jeff has three core exercises that everyone can do at home. good morning to all of you guys. i am just blown away at the transformation already. kelly 's pants are falling off. that tells you how good it is. let's start with kelly . when you first started this journey, how much did she weigh?

>> she started at 177 pounds. this morning, she was 142, so she's down 35 pounds.

>> wow.

>> incredible.

>> and this is since january 1st .

>> just a couple months.

>> come over here away from the table. look at the pants. look at her belly, how flat that is.

>> it is a flat belly challenge.

>> totally flat.

>> absolutely.

>> what is your craving, kelly ? what was the one thing you couldn't live without?

>> love pasta. love the heartier foods. love lasagna. three great ingredients in my eyes. cheese, meat, pasta. you can't go wrong with making it, love eating it. have learned throughout this that my serving size was usually this and i'm learning that was wrong, it should be like this.

>> i took on the challenge, because portion size is a problem for kelly , i decided to make lasagna love muffins. because you automatically have your portion control here. there's only one noodle crisscrossed at the bottom. i used whole-wheat noodles and increased the volume of the muffin by adding spinach and zucchini, low-fat dairy.

>> i can't have lasagna.

>> traditionally, 550 calories per small square. this basket, one love muffin, is 220 calories. so really, if you want to have a second portion, you can.

>> you have to cook the noodles first. i cooked the noodles first. i sliced one in half and crisscrossed it at the bottom. tell me what you think?

>> delicious. i'll take these home for dinner.

>> perfect. okay.

>> pretty good.

>> let's move on to tamara . what was the weight coming in january 1st and where are we now?

>> tamara started at 178 pounds. this morning, she's 152. she's down 26 pounds.

>> nicely done.

>> nice. look at you how much you've changed as well. what was your food issue?

>> cinnamon rolls . i love them. i love them. i love the icing. i love the dough. just anything that you can put on a cinnamon roll . i would usually get two, one for each thigh. and i love them.

>> a girl after my own heart.

>> a challenge for me. a typical cinnamon bun with the glaze is 880 calories. and will food your system with 15 teaspoons of sugar. so what i've done here is i made little silver dollar pancakes with pumpkin and nonfat yogurt. the glaze is light cream cheese mixed with a little bit of maple syrup and chopped pecans. so the original 880 calories, this one -- are you ready? 148 calories.

>> oh, my gosh.

>> it's so good.

>> what was the icing again?

>> light cream cheese mixed with a little bit of maple syrup and cinnamon.

>> so good. so good.

>> you like it?

>> so good.

>> and one for each thigh.

>> you can have two servings for breakfast in the morning.

>> there's your breakfast.

>> so good.

>> look at this guy.

>> ralph started at 200 pounds. he's now 166 pounds. he's down 34 pounds.

>> wow.

>> unbelievable.

>> i see that six-pack there already.

>> getting there.

>> what was your big craving?

>> there's no such thing as a bad devil dog. i didn't meet a devil dog i didn't like. i just wolfed them down on a regular basis.

>> what did you do?

>> a regular double dog, 160 calories. but the ingredients are suspect. high fructose corn syrup , transfat. i made these little chocolate loaves. and then i used cocoa powder and apple sauce . and then all you're going to do is -- he's going to dig in. each one 130 calories.

>> you can't turn that down.

>> i've waited a long time for this.

>> you don't eat a devil dog with a fork.

>> i do.

>> and three grams of fiber because of the whole-wheat fiber.

>> that's amazing. ralph , drop the devil dog, get over here and work out. come to work out. all right, your turn.

>> the biggest mistake that people make with working their core is they don't think three-dimensionally. the job of your core is to keep your spine stable. everybody thinks that this is working the core. that actually does nothing honestly. if not hurt you, by the way. so the first exercise we have coming up is going to be for the back. we're going to work back, sides, and front. for the back, what kelly 's going to do is hang forward, extend the bar over her head. now stand up. this works the entire back side of the body.

>> and stabilize the core.

>> your core has to work the entire time because it's trying to stay straight. the next exercise we have is for the side. and this looks deceptively easy. you can hook a band or a bungee around anything that you have in your house. actually, just because we're tight on space, i'll do this instead. but what tamara is going to do is press straight up. the band is pulling her over this way. her core has to fight to keep her straight and balanced just like that.

>> and real quick, what's ralph doing?

>> ralph 's doing the toughest one. ralph is going to saw his body back and forth without bringing his bottom in like that, but really just rotating back and forth on the elbows while keeping his body straight. also a great way to clean the floor and get exercise.

>> okay, you guys look great. thank you so much. jeff and joy, thank you.