When I was a personal trainer, I often gave my clients full-body strength training routines. I believe in doing sets without rest and compound movements that utilize the larger muscle groups. By doing this you will burn more calories and save time.
I spend very little time doing strength-training but what I do is impacting and accomplishes a lot in a short amount of time. One of my most frequently asked questions is, ”Do you lift weights?” and “How did you get your legs and arms so ripped?” Here’s my secret to achieving a tight, toned and sculpted physique in about 20 minutes, three to four days a week.
1. Bicycle Crunch. This is my favorite abdominal exercise because it engages the entire rectus abdominus (the six-pack muscles, including the obliques (the side muscles that create a narrow waistline) and lower abs (the pouch area). I do 40-120 reps.
2. Squats. The squat is a super exercise. It utilizes the quadriceps (front of the leg), the hamstrings (back of the leg), and the glutes (the booty). Because these are the largest muscle groups in the body, they burn more calories when used. Squats are also great for stabilizing your muscles, creating symmetry, and actually increasing flexibility. They are an asset to any athlete or fitness novice.
3. Dumbbell Deadlift. This is one of the secrets to having a nice apple shaped bottom. Maintaining proper alignment in this exercise is crucial or else you will end up recruiting more back muscles than butt muscles.
4. Bent-Over Row. This exercise will tighten, tone and strengthen your upper back, and the ”lats,” the larger muscles that run along the sides of your back.
5. Dips. These can be done from a sturdy chair, coffee table, or weight bench. They will strengthen and firm your triceps, the upper back of the arms that are a common flabby area on many women.
6. Alternating Bicep Curls. I prefer to alternate my bicep curls so that I can concentrate on proper form, and contracting each muscle without rocking back and forth.
7. Overhead Shoulder Press (Standing). Although I love working my shoulders in a variety of ways, when I’m pressed for time, this is the one I choose. Having sculpted shoulders adds symmetry to your physique and creates the illusion of having a slimmer waist.
8. Donkey Kickback. From all-fours, cradle the dumbbell between the back of your bent leg. Raise the leg up and down while engaging the glutes and hamstrings.
9. Dumbbell Chest-Press. While lying down on your back, press the dumbbells up towards the ceiling, fully straightening the arms and rotating the palms in, and return to starting position. This strengthens your chest muscles and helps keep your boobs perky!
10. Jump-rope. To get even more bang for your buck, jump-rope for 1-2 minutes in between your strength-training sets. You will shred fat, and increase your cardiovascular fitness at the same time!
Complete each exercise for 15-20 repetitions. Repeat the entire circuit for an even longer, body-sculpting, fat-blasting workout. Do this workout 3-4 days per week, consistently, and you will achieve the firm physique you’ve always wanted!
Get it Tight; Get it Right!
Staff Writer: @hollylowejones