Remember you can't out exercise a bad diet. EAT CLEAN. BE LEAN.
1. Pistol Squats
don't seem very tricky—after all, you did manage to pick up that cotton ball you dropped without putting your newly pedicured foot on the floor—but squatting on one leg seriously challenges your balance. It also activates your core and just about every other muscle in your lower body, including your glutes, hamstrings
, and calves. Try it: Stand holding your arms straight out in front of your body and raise your right leg off the floor. Push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push your body back to the starting position.
Tip: Modify this move by using a resistance band or do them in front of chair or weight bench in case you lose your balance or get stuck (It happens)
Laying on your back and coming to a standing position sounds pretty benign—until you have to do it while holding a weight at arm's length above your head. Up for the challenge? Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and hold a dumbbell
in your left hand with your arm straight above you. Roll onto your right side and prop yourself up on your right elbow. Simply stand up, while keeping your arm straight and the dumbbell above you at all times. Once standing, reverse the movement to return to the startingposition
Tip: Don't take your eyes off the dumbbell at any time.
By combining squat
thrusts with a return to standing in between each rep, the burpee is the ultimate full-body exercise. Just one seemingly simple movement challenges the muscles in your chest, arms, thighs,hamstrings
abs. And because you're using your full body when doing burpees, it's one of the best exercises to burn fat.
Tip: Make your burpees more challenging by adding in a push up before the squat thrust and/or a tuck jump when you come back up to your feet.
There's a reason that hula hooping is all the fitness
rage right now. Not only is it a good option for low-impact cardio, but it's a great workout for your entire core. Plus, the dance moves and upbeat music
make it as fun as it is challenging.
Tip: Get an adult-sized hoop (usually about 10-13 feet in circumference). The larger it is, the easier it is to keep in motion. You can even make your own for just a few bucks.
Arm bikes, or "Kranking"
, have recently gained popularity among endurance athletes
for their ability to skyrocket your heart rate while working your shoulders, arms, and core. If you use them standing up, you'll even feel it down your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Tip: Try rotating the top of the Krankcycle to work yourmuscles in the opposite direction, says Kranking instructor Melissa Schenck. "This counters the hunching forward we do with our back and shoulders in daily activities."
Lowering and raising your body is about as basic as it gets, which leads many people to dismiss push ups as boring or even worse, ineffective. But by using proper form—stomach pulled in toward your back, hands in line with your shoulders—this move becomes a full-body exercise that goes beyond your chest to work your abs, shoulders, and upper back.
Tip: With hundreds of variations, there's never a reason to be bored. Try plyo push-ups by pushing off your hands to catch a little air for a challenge or keep your elbows tucked in to your sides to work yourtriceps.
Barbell Front Squats
Standard squats may not be so bad, but it's a different story when you shift the weight to the front of your body. Try it: Hold the bar with an overhand grip
that's just beyond shoulder-width and allow it to roll back so that it's resting on the fronts of your shoulders. Slowly lower your body until the tops of your thighs are at least
parallel to the floor. Pause, then push your body back to the starting position
Tip: Make sure your shoulders are holding the weight of the bar so you don't strain your wrists or roll the bar into your throat (the worst part of the latter is that not only does it really hurt but you can't even call for help!).
class memories of sitting with your back against a wall, legs shaking until you see stars are enough to remind us of the power of this seemingly simple move. Make sure your legs
are at a 90-degree angle, press your back against the wall, and hold it until you absolutely can't hold it any longer.
Tip: Place your hands on top of your head or hold them out in front to add a little work for your shoulders. But whatever you do, don't cheat and rest them on your thighs!
Jumping rope is an incredible cardio workout
on its own, but go ahead and up the ante (and make it more fun) by throwing in a few tricks such as crossovers, high knees, and the CrossFit
staple: the double under. Start by jumping rope with both feet to establish a good rhythm. Then, swing the rope as fast as you can while you're in the air, trying to get it under your feet twice before you land.
Tip: Once you've got the hang of it, try doing as many double unders in a row as you can.
It doesn't get much easier than holding still. That is, until you try holding still with only your hands and toes touching the ground. To get the most out of this coreexercise
, make sure you pull your bellybutton in toward your spine and keep your hands in line with your shoulders. Don't let your hips sag—you shouldn't be feeling this in your back.
Tip: Bored of the plain ol' plank? Try lifting up one arm and the opposite leg to really challenge your core and balance.