If you want a stronger core, celebrity fitness trainer Simone De La Rue shared her favorite exercise when she came by Mondays With Marlo. To strengthen your midsection muscles, nothing beats the plank. Hold the position for as long as you can -- and then do three sets of them.

Watch the full interview here or check out Simone's home workouts.

For more advice on looking and feeling fit, see Simone's fantastic tips:

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  • Take A Shot Before Working Out

    Of espresso, that is. A quick coffee drink before a workout will kick up your heart rate, helping you burn more calories and lose weight faster.

  • Break Up Your Workouts

    Don’t have time to hit the gym? Spurts of cardio for 10 minutes throughout the day are just as effective as one long, interrupted workout. Get a resistance band and do pull ups and tricep extensions in the morning. Take a walk during lunchtime, and then do a circuit of planks, jumping jacks and push-ups in the evenings. You’ll get the health benefits without the long time commitment.

  • Rethink Dairy And Soy Products

    If you’re struggling with belly fat (and who isn’t?), Simone recommends experimenting with your soy and dairy intake. Dairy has been known to cause belly fat, while soy promotes hormone imbalance, which can make it more difficult to lose weight in stubborn areas. Try reducing or eliminating dairy and soy from your diet to get results.

  • Use Resistance

    If you usually shy away from resistance training, try using a resistance band instead of heavy weights to give you long, lean muscles. Bands are portable, inexpensive and can be just as effective for sculpting while being kinder to your joints.

  • Skip The Gym

    If you don’t want to pay expensive gym fees, you can still get a great workout. Put your favorite tunes on and dance around the house to get your heart rate up. Go into the fridge and use milk cartons as weights for bicep curls. Do plies and squats to strengthen your quads and glutes. Strengthen your core and arms with planks and push-ups. And for a bit of nature, take a walk or run outside for free.

  • Strengthen Your Core To Eliminate Back Pain

    If you suffer from back pain, you likely suffer from weak ab muscles as well. Core-strengthening exercises like planks and push-ups will tone your ab area and strengthen your back muscles, reducing future back pain.

  • Warm Up And Cool Down

    Forget about stretching before working out -- you should be warming up your muscles through movement, like running in place or doing jumping jacks, to prevent injury. Save the static stretching for afterward, giving extra attention to the areas you focused on in your workout.

  • Look Good, Feel Good

    Invest in workout clothing that fits well and makes you feel good. It will improve your motivation -- and keep you exercising.

  • Increase Your Cardio Activity

    As we age, it becomes even more important to incorporate cardio into fitness routines to prevent weight gain and keep your heart healthy. It’s easier than you think, too. Jumping rope for 10 minutes will get your heart rate up. Taking a dance class, going for a swim or walking briskly will all help burn calories.

  • Rehydrate With Coconut Water

    Skip your sports drink and sip on coconut water after an intense workout. Plain coconut water has fewer calories, less sodium and sugar than most sports drinks.


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