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It may be the body part of the summer that everyone loves to hate, and while the media cracks down on the elusive “Ab Crack” that seems impossible for most to attain, we want to celebrate strong, beautiful and unique abdominal muscles because they are truly a key to health and athletic performance. Natasha is a pro runner and rocks a mean and sexy ab crack that she’s earned through a consistent and diligent core routine paired with a lot of running and a healthy diet. While we can’t guarantee you’ll get Natasha’s six-pack (or blazing fast race times), we can assure you that her core advice will crack down on your weaknesses and can improve your posture, reduce back pain and enhance your total body performance!

Do abs everyday: The best way to start your day is with some core work that you can do regularly. Need a break from sitting at your desk? Combine some sit ups with pushups to get a quick jolt of energy. Commercials during your favorite show? Hold a plank for the length of the commercials. Core work does not have to take a long time to do and can be easily incorporated into daily life.

Plank it up: Planks are a great way to gain strength in the core, and can also help to reduce back pain. While planks can challenge your abdominals, they can also work to improve balance and posture too—talk about a win-win! For an extra burn, try pedastal variations like these demonstrated by Natasha on

Try something new: You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment, simple training tools like the Perfect Ab Carver Pro can serve as a fun visual reminder to do some ab work. Get ready to feel the burn!

Find a core partner: Want to step up your core routine? Find a partner to help take your core to the next level. Balance exercises with a core-focus can be a great way to work with a partner, and have some fun too! Consider both using a BOSU ball for some ball tosses that help strength both abs and balance.

Other core routines that we love include burner workouts from Amanda Russell founder of Fit, Strong and Sexy (try her 7 minute ab routine here) and the “Butt and Gut Beatdown” from Men’s Fitness fitness director BJ Gaddour.

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Whether your goal is an ab crack, a 6 pack or a stronger mid-section, we promise that it only takes a few minutes to take care of your core, and you won’t regret the strength and fun muscles that you’ll attain.