One-Move Wonder: How Kayla Itsines Gets Those Abs


Kayla Itsines

There are no shortcuts on the journey to a healthy physiquebut there are certain high-efficiency exercises that come pretty close. We seek them out in One-Move Wonders, our series about the quick-hitters that deliver major results in minimal time, straight from some of the best trainers and fitness experts around the world. Grab your water bottle, rev up your playlist, and let's go!

Australian fitness guru Kayla Itsines's rise to superstardom has been nothing short of remarkable. In barely more than two years' time, the trainer has made a name for herself—largely via Instagram, where she currently boasts 4.4 million followers—for her crazy-effective (and notoriously tough) workout plan, which promises a transformed body in a matter of weeks. And the Bikini Body Guide (or #BBG in Insta-speak) results don't lie: Part of Itsines's MO is encouraging her followers to post photographic proof of their progress for other users to see

Many things are appealing about Itsines's program—the 30-minute DIY workouts are convenient, for starters, and a readymade community of cheerleaders is just a few phone taps away. But at the end of the day, we're all a little superficial, and we'd be willing to bet that a significant percentage of Kayla's recruits joined up simply after scrolling through the ever-growing feed of #BBG-sculpted abs. Starting of course, with Itsines's own.

Anyone who has ever tried one of Itsines' workouts knows that she typically relies on a circuit of moves for full-body toning. But we had to ask the trainer the fitness version of that desert island riddle: If she had to pick one move for a defined stomach, what would it be? Her answer might surprise you.

One extra tip about burpees: A super-secure ponytail elastic is a non-negotiable, unless you're looking for a mouthful of hair. We're obsessed with Invisibobbles ($8), which have a unique coiled texture that grips tight but doesn't leave a crease. 

What's your favorite move for killer abs? Tell us in the comments below.