Here at Bite Size Vegan, my focus is always effective educational content. I push myself beyond the limits of my mind and body. Putting in the long hours of research, writing, filming, editing, fact-checking, re-checking and in-depth citation creation insanity. All to provide you with rigorously reference-backed, quality educational content on a impossible timeline that boggles the mind.
But it’s all worth it when I see the message connecting.
I post about the emptying of our oceans.
You say my arms look awesome.
I expose the evils of dairy.
You ask about my abs.
A lot. Like really a lot.
And some of you think I’m gross. That’s nice.
Okay so fine! I’m finally giving in. Here’s a video all about my abs and core training.
And for the sake of consistency, I expect a flood of intellectually stimulating questions in the comments of this post!
Every now and again I act like a proper YouTuber and bust out a video with a focus on fitness. With the plethora of requests about my abs as of late, I decided to share with you my favorite crunch-free moves for 100% vegan no-kill killer abs. Because no one has to die for your gains. Including you. Just check out my vegan athlete series for more proof!
And, as an additional nugget of awesomeness, I've made you a whole bonus video showing my full-body workout routine. I’ve posted publicly on my Patreon page. So check that out at the end for an example of how I pull everything together.
My approach to abdominal training is a bit atypical. I don’t have “ab days” and I don’t do any sit ups, crunches or any moves that compress the lower back. I focus on functional, whole-body movements while consciously engaging my entire core throughout.
The moves I’m sharing today are bodyweight moves, but I’ve included links below to other workout videos of mine that involve Olympic weight lifting and basic weight-training in my creepy basement gym!
A word of caution: please consult with a trainer for proper form, always be sure to warm up, cool down and stretch, and if something feels wrong or hurts in the bad kind of “feel the burn” way, just stop it!
With that said, the first step for any killer workout is looking awesome. Which I’ve clearly got in the bag. [see video for irrefutable proof] For me this is extra essential as I’m working out in full view of my neighbors.
You’re welcome, neighbors.
Step two is a rousing musical track. Buuut since this is YouTube and I don’t fancy a copyright strike, you get to listen to some stock music!
So here are my favorite core bodyweight moves with some variations. You can find a list of them on the blog post for this video, linked below as well as on the bonus bodyweight routine post on Patreon.
Let’s start with some plank-based moves before moving off the floor. Planks are ideal for full-body functional core engagement. It's probably best to watch the video for reference (and my incredible level of style and finesse….yup) but here is the written version of “mah moves.”
Move Numbah One: Basic Plank With Variations
It may seem simple, but a properly-executed plank is no joke. Always work to keep your body in a straight line from your heels to the crown of your head. No booty popping or core-sagging. Proper form trumps longer holds or higher repetitions every single time.
You can step up your plank by playing around with leg lifts, alternate leg and arm lifts—be sure to stay centered—work from a forearm plank, or take it down a notch with a cross reach move on your knees, still engaging!
Move Numbah Two: Side-To-Side Plank Crossovers
Again keep your body inline. No booty popping or core-sagging. With this move you can play around with your over/under hand placement.
Move Numbah Three: Front to Back Plank Walk With Variations
If you’re on a slick floor, you can really dial this move up by putting a towel under your toes and basically dragging your lower half, keeping it engaged, of course! A variation is using your forearms. Once again, straight line!
Move Numbah Four: Side Plank Pushup Rotation With Optional Leg Lift
As I said, I rarely work just my core. This is a great move for full-body engagement and balance-training. The key is slow and controlled movement with proper alignment and mental muscle focus. No sagging or popping!
To lower the intensity, you can take out the pushup or leg lift and just do the to side to side plank rotation.
Or take it up a notch by keeping your raised foot in the air throughout the full rotation.
Move Numbah Five: Up/Down Plank With Directional Variations
I’m sure there’s a better name for that. This is one of my favorite moves. Anytime I’ve seen it performed, it’s with the more natural progression of down right, down left, up right, up left. I like to instead go directly back up on the last arm I put down as fighting the sway of my body demands more of my core. As always, proper engagement and alignment!
Move Numbah Six: 10/10 Pushups
Pretty simple but pretty killer when you really focus. Hold a proper plank for 10 seconds, then lower to a hovering position, elbows against your body for 10 seconds, then repeat till you crap out. There’s a tendency to bow the back as you raise up, so stay engaged and stop when you find yourself dipping.
Move Numbah Seven: Jumping Jack Burpees
If you wanna toss in some cardio, jumping jack burpees will just about do it! More than any move so far, core engagement here is absolutely key. This may not be an appropriate move until you’ve built up some basic stability. If you find your lower back dipping, or booty popping, do not do these.
Move Numbah Eight: Elevated Optionally One-Legged Pike Pushups
For a side of shoulder with your core training, try these out. You can always take out the elevation and use both feet.
And finally we’re off the floor for:
Move Numbah Nine: Slow Mo Hovering Run Or L-Sit
Let’s start with the most ridiculous-looking one. This may look like nothing and if you don’t engage it is a whole lot of nothing. But with focus on the motion, extension and engaging, it’s a nice move. You can also, of course, bust out a classic L-Sit hold.
Move Numbah Ten: Warrior Three Squats With Half-Moon Variation
This move works everything. Focus on keeping your body inline, pulling your navel in, engaging your back, butt, and legs, pulling your shoulders away from your ears and pushing out through your heel.
You can vary your arm position and/or do a variation of rotating from warrior three to half moon. Always balance with the other side.
Move Numbah Eleven: Pull Up/Leg Lift Combos With Variations
This is a little more advanced and variations are available. You can work with a band, or break the move into component parts with hanging leg raises or even knee raises, hold one pull up and continue leg raises.
You can also play around with moving vs holding, and lowering with extended legs. Always engage!
Move Numbah Twelve: Peel the Potato In Pike Position
So this is typically called skin the cat, which is actually what I call it in the bonus workout video I’ll link to. But just for fun I thought I’d use a more vegan-friendly title for it here. Cause nothing says fun like speciesist semantics!
Now some final tips: core training doesn’t have to be core moves. Keeping your core engaged no matter what you’re doing protects your spine, builds stability, and prevents injury. Just don’t associate engaging with tension or not breathing!
And of course, be sure to take your before and after pics to show the incredible transformation, and take any opportunity to gratuitously flex your vegan mooscles for any protein-concerned observers.
Cause we vegans kill it without killing.
Now go check out the Nugget Army Bodyweight Bootcamp Bonus Workout where I show you a sample routine!
I hope you enjoyed my crunch-free moves for no-kill killer abs! Don’t forget to exercise your mind too with the rest of my content.
Cause smarts are sexy!
Now go live vegan, kill it without killing, and I’ll see you soon.
▶︎➤BONUS VIDEO: Nugget Army Bodyweight Bootcamp Workout
▶︎➤ MY OTHER FITNESS-Y VIDS:
➣ Amazing Vegan Athletes
➣ My Vegan Muscle Photo Shoot & Transformation
➣ My Olympic-Lifting-Based Workout
➣ How to Get Thin, Fit, and Toned in Four Easy Steps!
➣ My Creepy Basement Gym & Epic Outdoor Gym Tour
➣ Vegan Body Image: Thigh Gaps, Washboard Abs & Weight Loss
➣ Retaining Muscle & Strength on a Vegan Diet
▶︎➤THE “GEAR” I USE (other than mah body)
You can really make this work without buying anything if you use playgrounds, architecture, etc :P But here are some of the things I use in this video
➣ Free-Standing Pull up bar
➣ Parallel “Dip” Bars
➣ Exercise Bands
➣ Squat Rack (in my basement)
➣ Doorframe pull-up bar (this is in my basement and the bungees for assisted pull-ups I use in this video came with it)