The best total-body workout

The right fitness routine can help you reach your goals. Celebrity trainer Bruce Krahn has developed this total-body workout that you can try at home

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cora/bruce

The ideal at-home workout

After her daughter was born, new mom Cora Coady, 29, needed a workout to help her drop the extra baby weight. But with a new baby at home, Cora's tight on time and a gym membership doesn't fit into her new family's budget. So we asked celebrity trainer Bruce Krahn to develop an at-home, total-body workout that would help increase Cora's muscle strength and endurance, and kick-start her metabolism. You can follow Cora's workout plan at home using these easy-to-follow steps. >>

 

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free weights

Getting started

What you'll need:
• Two sets of weights: heavy (8-10 lb.) and light (3-5 lb.)
• Skipping rope
Exercise band or tubing

Warm-up:
Do jumping jacks, light skipping or walking for at least 5 minutes.

Weights:

Perform the exercises in a circuit format-one after the other-trying to rest only 30-60 seconds between sets. Decrease rest time each week as you become fitter.

Do the toning routine over 3 non-consecutive days.
• Weeks 1-2: Do 1 set of 15-20 repetitions per exercise.
• Weeks 3-4: Do 2 sets of 15-20 repetitions per exercise.
• Weeks 5-6: Do 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions per exercise.

Keep In mind:
• Allow no more than 60 seconds of rest between sets, to keep heart rate elevated.
• If you are not a beginner, you may begin with 2-3 sets.
• Change your exercise program after 6 weeks.

*Talk with your doctor before starting any fitness plan.

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Works: Glutes, quads, inner thighs, shoulders

Dumbbell Swings

Stand with feet apart and toes pointed out. Hold a heavy dumbbell (8-10 lb.) at shoulder height with both hands, arms slightly bent. Squat down (not shown), bending slightly at the waist and knees, swinging the dumbbell between legs (A). Straighten legs as you bring dumbbell back up to shoulder height (B), keeping back flat. Do 15-20 reps.

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dumbbell swing

Dumbbell Swings

Works: Glutes, quads, inner thighs, shoulders

Stand with feet apart and toes pointed out. Hold a heavy dumbbell (8-10 lb.) at shoulder height with both hands, arms slightly bent. Squat down (not shown), bending slightly at the waist and knees, swinging the dumbbell between legs (A). Straighten legs as you bring dumbbell back up to shoulder height (B), keeping back flat. Do 15-20 reps.

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romanian dead lift

Romanian Dead Lift

Works: Hamstrings, back

Stand straight, knees slightly bent and holding heavy dumbbells (8-10 lb.). Push hips back while bending at waist and lowering dumbbells toward ankles. Return to standing. Do 15-20 reps.

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iron cross

Iron Cross

Works: Glutes, quads, chest, shoulders

Stand and hold light dumbbells (3-5 lb.) with arms extended at shoulder height in front of body. Squat down (A). Begin to open arms (B) while coming to standing position. Once upright, arms should be wide open (C). Bring weights back together. Do 15-20 reps.

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squat pull

Squat Pull

Works: Glutes, quads, upper back, biceps, shoulders

Stand with feet apart, toes pointed slightly outward, holding one heavy dumbbell (10 lb.) with both hands. Dangle weight between the legs as you squat down (A). Stand back up, pulling the dumbbell up to the chin, elbows wide, engaging the upper back and shoulders (B). Straighten legs, squeezing glutes together; lower weight back down. Do 15-20 reps.

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overhead squat

Overhead Squat with Band

Works: Glutes, quads, shoulders

Stand straight, holding exercise band in both hands with arms extended overhead. Stretch the band to form a "Y" and squat down, sitting back on your heels. Keep tension on the band as you repeat for 15-20 reps.

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reverse wood chop

Reverse Wood Chop

Works: Abs, shoulders

Hold a light dumbbell (3-5 lb.) with both hands, arms at left side, and knees bent (A). Move both arms in a diagonal direction across the front of your body and up, bringing weight to right side at shoulder height (B). Be careful not to hyper-extend. Repeat for 10 reps; switch sides.

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mountain climbers

Cross-Body Mountain Climber

Works: Abs, chest, shoulders

On your hands and toes, shoulders in line with wrists (A), draw left knee across body toward the outside of the right elbow, rotating hips slightly (B). Return to start, alternating knees for 20 reps.

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woman doing pushups

Body-weight exercises

Click through to learn how to do perfect push-ups and crunches.

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clean press

Clean & Press

Works: Glutes, hamstrings, quads, shoulders, chest

Place a pair of heavy dumbbells (8-10 lb.) on floor and stand behind them. Squat down, as if sitting in a chair, knees aligned over toes. Grab weights. Stand up quickly, bringing weights to shoulder level, palms facing forward, and do an overhead shoulder press. Slowly lower weights to floor. Do 15-20 reps. (Need a visual?

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skipping

Cardio

Do at least 30 minutes of cardio, enough to "get a sweat on," says Bruce. This can include a fast-paced walk, interval skipping (see below) or stair climbing. Do cardio on three alternating days (the days you're not doing the toning exercises).

• Interval skipping. Skip fast for 30 seconds, slower for 1 minute. Or try fast for 10 seconds, slower for 20 seconds. Do either skipping routine for 10-15 minutes total.

• Walk. Make it brisk (20-30 minutes).

Bodyweight cardio matrix. (Click through for a video demonstration.)

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stretch

Stretch

Stretch at the end of any workout. Hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds, making sure to do both sides.

• Quadriceps.
Lie on your right side, keeping knees parallel. Pull left heel toward left glute, stretching the front of the thigh.
• Hamstrings. Lie on your back and straighten one leg directly above your hips. Hold calf or thigh, pressing heel toward ceiling as you pull straightened leg toward you.
• Glutes. Lying on your back, cross right leg over bent left knee. Bring left knee to chest, holding on to the back of your thigh, gently pressing right knee wide.
• Calves and chest. Standing on edge of a stair, interlace fingers behind your back. Straighten out your arms and lift them away from your glutes, lifting chin to ceiling. Lower one heel off step and hold.
• Triceps/shoulders. Put left arm overhead, bend at elbow joint, and extend palm down centre of your back. Grasp elbow with right hand. Then straighten left arm across the chest, pressing at the elbow joint; feel it through the shoulder.
• Core/back. On all fours, round out your back (like an angry cat), and then invert it, making a C-shape with your spine. Repeat three times. Sit back on your heels, forehead on the mat, arms extended in front of you, as you lengthen out your back.

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Vichy BHC

Join the Vichy Best Health Challenge!

Ready to make a healthy change in your life? Sign up today for the Vichy Best Health Challenge and get tons of free, exclusive benefits! Find out more >>

Want to try your own workout? Skip the gym and strength-train at home with our at-home boot camp program. Believe us-you'll break a sweat! Download it now.

Related:
Meet Challenge winner, Cora Coady
Follow Cora's journey on her blog
How to reach your fitness goals