Drop an Entire Dress Size With This Speedy Strength Workout
Time-crunch workout solutions
Crunched for time but still want to tighten and tone? Try this full-body strength workout from New York City—based trainer Pete Cerqua, author of The 90-Second Fitness Solution. Instead of countless sets and reps, you’ll do each exercise just once (or once per side), stretching the movements out over a full 90 seconds. Follow this routine 3–4 times a week (with 1 day of rest in between) and you’ll shrink a size in a month.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms raised to shoulder height for balance. Bend knees and slowly descend, keeping hips over heels and back straight. One-third of the way down, pause and hold for 10 seconds. Lower 2 inches more, raising heels, as needed; hold for 10 seconds. Continue to lower your body in this pattern 3 more times, ending in a deep squat. To complete the move, slowly straighten legs in 4 (10-second) increments.
Trainer tip: Keep your legs engaged, belly drawn in, and shoulders drawn back throughout the move.
Single leg squat reverse fly with ball
A. (top) Start with a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand and right leg lifted so top of right foot rests on exercise ball behind you. Bend left knee to 45 degrees, rolling ball backward and hinging forward until back is parallel to floor and arms are hanging down.
B. (bottom) With elbows slightly bent, raise each arm a few inches and hold for 10 seconds. Raise arms 2 inches more, and hold for 10 seconds; repeat pattern 3 more times, ending with arms at shoulder height. Slowly lower arms in 4 (10-second) increments. Repeat with opposite leg.
Trainer tip: Trouble balancing? Draw abs in and up and square your hips, imagining your inner thighs are drawing toward one another.
Lying rotary torso
A. (top left) Lie on your back with legs lifted straight up, arms reaching out to either side and palms down.
B. (lower right) Lower legs a few inches to the left, and hold for 10 seconds. Lower 2 inches more, and hold 10 seconds; repeat 3 more times, ending with legs hovering just above the floor. (Your right hip will lift as you move, so draw your abs in to protect your lower back, and keep your right shoulder down.) Raise legs back to center in 4 (10-second) increments. Repeat on opposite side.
Trainer tip: For variety, try rotating legs left and holding a few inches from the floor for 45 seconds. Return to top position, then repeat on the right side.
Ball bridge fly
A. (top) Lie on back with feet on top of exercise ball and legs straight. (Don’t lock your knees.) Hold a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, arms raised over chest. Press heels into ball, and lift hips so body forms a straight line. (Don’t let your hips sag.)
B. (bottom) Bend elbows slightly, open arms a few inches to the side; hold 10 seconds. Open 2 inches more, and hold 10 seconds; repeat 3 more times. Close arms in 4 (10-second) increments.
Trainer tip: It’s OK to take a quick break partway through if you need to.