Do 1 set of each move (in this order), one immediately after another, circuit-style. Rest 1–2 minutes, then repeat the circuit twice. Do this 30-minute strength workout 2–3 times per week, with at least one day of rest in between. Bonus: Click here for more challenging moves to help you kick it up a notch!
(for chest, shoulder, triceps, core)
A. (top) Get into plank position with hands on the floor and feet elevated on a bench or low chair. Activate your core by pulling your belly button in toward your spine and squeezing your butt muscles.
B. (bottom) Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body toward the floor, stopping when your elbows are at 90-degrees; press back up to starting position. (Make sure your core stays engaged throughout the entire movement, and don’t let your lower back arch.) Do 12–15 reps.
Forward lunge with elbow extension
(for butt, thighs, calves, shoulders, triceps, core)
A. (inset) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and abs drawn in. Holding a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell between your hands, raise it above your head."]
B. Keeping body aligned, step your left foot forward and lower into a lunge, keeping most of your weight on your left leg. In the deepest part of the lunge, bend your elbows to bring the weight behind your head. Push back up to starting position while ex-tending your elbows. Do 12–15 reps, then switch legs and repeat.
Alternating resistance row with lateral step
(for back, shoulders, biceps, butt, thighs)
Attach a resistance band to a door knob or column. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, gripping handles with arms extended at shoulder height. Step out to the right, bending your right knee; at the same time, drive your right elbow back, pulling your shoulder blade toward your spine. Return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side; that’s 1 rep. Do 12–15 reps
Dumbbell alternating shoulder press
(for shoulders, biceps, core)
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, palms forward. Keeping body aligned and abs tight, push your right hand upward until your arm is fully extended (as shown above). Slowly lower right arm while simultaneously pushing left arm up; continue to alternate arms. Each right-left extension counts as 1 rep. Do 12–15 reps.
Cobra on the ball
(for shoulders, back, butt, core)
A. (inset) Kneel in front of a stability ball, resting your chest against it. Slowly roll forward until your legs are straight behind you."]
B. Draw your belly button in toward your spine, squeeze your butt muscles, and tuck your chin as you begin to lift your torso off the ball. Slowly draw your shoulder blades down and back toward your spine while lifting your arms and extending them toward your feet, rotating your hands so your palms face down. Slowly return to starting position. Do 12–15 reps.
Photo: Heather Weston (all)
(for butt, legs, core)
A. (inset) Get into plank position with your hands on a bench or low chair and feet on the floor."]
B. Keeping your abs tight and body aligned, bring your right knee in toward your chest, then straighten it again. Do 12–15 reps, then switch legs and repeat.