Your Feel-Great-Weight Strength Plan
The six moves in this 20-minute full-body strength workout involve several muscle groups to help you build more strength in less time. Do this workout two times a week (be sure to rest at least one day in between sessions).
Squat and Press
Tones shoulders, butt, calves, front and back of thighs
Stand with feet hip-width apart holding a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, palms facing each other, and elbows in. With weight on your heels and knees behind your toes, reach your butt backward and bend your knees to about 90 degrees. As you return to standing, press the weights overhead, keeping palms facing in. Lower weights to shoulders, then squat and repeat the move. Do 3 sets of 12–15 reps.
Next Page: Push-Ups [ pagebreak ]
Tones chest, shoulders, triceps
Get in push-up position on a mat, fingertips forward, toes tucked. (For more of a challenge, cross one foot on top of the other; for less, do modified push-ups with knees down.) Inhale while slowly bending elbows and lowering chest toward the mat. Keep your back flat, abs and butt tight, and weight on heels of your hands. Stop when elbows are at 90-degrees; inhale and press back up to starting position (dont lock elbows). Do 3 sets of 12–15 reps.
Next Page: Step-Ups [ pagebreak ]
Tones calves, butt, thighs
Stand with your left foot on a sturdy bench or step 6–12 inches high (your left knee should be bent to 90 degrees). Put all your body weight on the heel of that same foot and, using your butt and thigh muscles, pull your body weight up so your right foot touches the step. You should feel this move only in your thighs and butt, and your knees should stay behind your toes at all times. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position, exhaling on the way up and inhaling on the way down. Do 3 sets of 12–15 reps with left foot; repeat with right foot.
Next Page: Single-Arm Rows [ pagebreak ]
Tones back, biceps
Place your right palm and right knee on a sturdy chair or bench, with the knee of your standing leg slightly bent. Hold an 8- to 10-pound dumbbell in your left hand in line with your torso. Keeping your back straight and abs tight, lower weight toward the floor. Bend elbow and use back muscles to bring weight up toward your torso. Do 3 sets of 12–15 reps on left side; repeat on right side.
Next Page: Side-to-Side Lunges
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Tones butt, calves, inner and outer thighs
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands on hips. Pushing hips and butt back as if sitting, take a wide step directly out to your right side, bending your right leg (dont let your knee go past your toes) and keeping your left leg straight. Push off with right leg and return to starting position. Repeat with left leg; alternate side to side. Do 3 sets of 12–15 reps.
Next Page: Diagonal Crunches
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Lying on a mat with abs drawn in and lower back pressed into the floor, draw right knee in toward chest as you bring left armpit toward your knee. Return to starting position, and repeat on opposite side; alternate side to side. Do 3 sets of 20 reps, or as many as you can.