The ultimate fat-blasting workout
Say goodbye to trouble spots! These fat-burning moves will help you get the hips, thighs and tummy you really want
Banish stubborn fat
Ever grabbed a chunk of your flesh and lamented, "How do I get rid of this?" As a fitness trainer, I can tell you it's one of the questions I get most from women. And invariably it's our soft tummy or hips, wobbly upper arms, thick thighs, widening bum-or all of the above.
Yes, it is possible to get rid of fat if you have the right overall plan-and we've got that workout for you. Best Health, along with Sherri McMillan, a Canadian personal trainer and the owner of Northwest Personal Training in Washington State, designed a program of seven exercises that tone your thighs, butt, triceps and core. Follow the cardio prescription; do these exercises; eat a high-fibre, healthy diet; and you will see results within eight to 10 weeks! (Before starting any new fitness program, speak to your doctor to see if it's safe for you.)
How to get started
• A kitchen chair
• A mat or towel
• A pair of dumbbells (three to eight pounds)
• A watch or timer that counts seconds (optional)
Do light cardio for five minutes: Walk or jog on the spot or walk up and down a set of stairs.
Don't forget cardio:
Since you will be doing our targeted muscle-toning program two to three times a week, on the days in between you should do cardio exercises. (And one day a week, rest.)
Each exercise targets at least three "trouble spots." From warm-up to cool-down, this workout should take 30 to 45 minutes. For best results, do the workout two to three times a week. Each time, here's what to do:
• Complete one set of 10 repetitions.
• Do one minute of cardio between exercises, such as jogging on the spot, jumping jacks or skipping. For a fun cardio blast, roll up a towel and place it on the floor-hop over the towel with one or both feet for a minute.
• Repeat the circuit depending on your fitness level: Beginners should do the circuit once, and add another circuit after three to four weeks. If you already exercise moderately, do the circuit twice (or more if you can).
Remember to challenge yourself-if the hand weights are too light, go heavier!
1. Sumo Sky
Works: hips, glutes, thighs, triceps and core
A. Stand over a kitchen chair with feet more than shoulder-width apart and toes angled outward. With one dumbbell in each hand, straighten both arms overhead, hands facing each other, upper arms hugging head. (For proper form throughout this move, engage your core by keeping your back neutral and pulling in your belly button.)
B. (Shown) Looking straight ahead, drop your tailbone toward the chair, hovering over it in a deep squat (be careful your knees do not go beyond your toes). As you lower yourself, bend your elbows fully behind you.
C. Straighten legs, squeezing your glutes and inner thighs as you stand up. Simultaneously straighten your arms overhead, engaging triceps. Do 10 reps.
2. Bridge to Everywhere
Works: Glutes, hamstrings, triceps and shoulders
A. Lie on your back on the mat, your feet on the floor with knees bent; cross your right foot over your left knee, pressing right knee wide out. Take a dumbbell in your right hand and extend your arm straight up to ceiling.
B. (Shown) Pressing your left foot into ?the floor, lift your hips and tighten your glutes at the top of the movement-your right leg will act as resistance. As you lift your glutes, slowly lower the dumbbell toward your forehead, bending your arm at the elbow.
C. Lower glutes back to the floor, and straighten right arm back toward the ceiling, keeping elbow in line with shoulder. Do 10 reps; switch legs and arms.
3. The Spider
Works: Core, chest, triceps and hips
A. Get on hands and knees, and walk your hands out to a push-up position. Straighten your legs so you are now in a plank or push-?up stance.
B. (Shown) Keeping your glutes down, slowly draw your left knee up the outside of your body, taking it out toward your left elbow-in "spiderman/spiderwoman" style. Your left foot should hover an inch or two above the floor.
C. Lower your left leg back down, bringing feet together; switch sides. Complete 10 repetitions with each leg.
4. Lunge Tri-Fly
Works: Glutes, hips, triceps and core
A. Start with your feet together, one dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides. Lunge your left leg back, dropping your knee so shin is parallel with the floor, and bend elbows to 90 degrees.
B. (Shown) Balance on right leg, stand tall and lift left leg behind you ?in "airplane pose"-the leg is extended in the air straight from the hip; squeeze glute. As you extend left leg, bring bent elbows up, tucked by your side. Straighten your arms behind you into a "triceps kickback." Pause for a second.
C. Bend arms back in, return to standing. Repeat 10 times; switch sides.
Works: Core, obliques, triceps and hips
A. Lie on your back, with one weight in each hand. Raise your knees so that your feet and knees are in the air (reverse tabletop position). Straighten arms to the ceiling.
B. (Shown) Extend right leg toward the floor, so it hovers an inch above the floor, while drawing left knee to chest and bringing elbows down to floor, pressed tight to sides.
C. Return to starting position. Switch sides. Alternate 10 times.
6. Triceps Tush-Tuck
Works: Glutes, hamstrings, chest and triceps
A. On your hands and knees, walk hands out slightly in front, arms parallel, shoulder-width apart. Bend your left leg up and behind you at 90 degrees. Press heel up for three pulses.
B. (Shown) Straighten leg in line with body, and lower your upper body into a push-up. Bend your heel back toward your glute in a "mule kick."
C. Return to starting position. Do 10 reps. Switch sides.
Works: Thighs, hips and obliques
A. Lie on your right side, right knee bent at 90 degrees, left leg extended straight. Pulse left leg up about a foot toward the ceiling for three counts. Repeat 10 times.
B. (Shown) As you bring your left leg back down, parallel to floor, lift your hips up toward ceiling (supported by your right elbow and knee) so that you are in a side plank; hold for 30 seconds.
C. Return to starting position. Switch sides