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Sculpt your body type: Curvy

Girls with curves are known for their bombshell bodies — think Marilyn Monroe, Beyonce Knowles and Christina Hendricks. You don’t want to ditch your curves with an overzealous workout routine, you just want to keep your assets tight and toned.

Building a bombshell body
Christina Hendricks

The key to sculpting an hourglass figure is to know your trouble zones. Curvy ladies tend to gain weight all over and may struggle to make their muscles “pop,” especially in the upper arms, shoulders, hips and thighs. Regular interval training combined with full-body strength exercises will keep your booty toochin’ and your shoulders rockin’ all year long. Try this routine at least three times a week to start sculpting your curves today:

Kick it off with cardio intervals

Start your workout with 30 minutes of high intensity cardio intervals. You can choose to perform this routine on a bike, treadmill or elliptical, or, you can simply head outside and go for a run. Use the RPE method (rate of perceived exertion) to determine your intensity level.

RPE cardio interval workout:

Note: RPE 1 is the equivalent of sitting still, RPE 10 is the equivalent of running a sprint as fast as you can
  1. 00:00 to 05:00, warmup at RPE 4
  2. 05:01 to 07:00, RPE 6
  3. 07:01 to 09:00, RPE 7
  4. 09:01 to 11:00, RPE 5
  5. 11:01 to 12:30, RPE 8
  6. 12:31 to 14:00, RPE 6
  7. 14:01 to 15:30, RPE 8
  8. 15:31 to 17:00, RPE 4
  9. 17:01 to 18:30, RPE 9
  10. 18:31 to 20:00, RPE 4
  11. 20:01 to 26:00, repeat steps 5-8
  12. 26:01 to 30:00, cool down starting at RPE 5 and reducing to RPE 3

Finish it off with a full-body circuit

Finish your workout with a series of full-body toning exercises. Perform these exercises in a circuit, moving quickly between each exercise, performing the full circuit twice. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions of each exercise unless otherwise noted.

Squat press with dumbbells

Nothing’s going to keep your booty high and your shoulders strong like a squat press with dumbbells. Just make sure you perform this exercise in the full range of motion and with proper form to get the most out of the workout.

Squat press with dumbbells 1

Spider plank

Planks are great for your core, chest, shoulders and even your thighs. When you add the “spider” movement by rotating your hip outward and drawing your knee toward your elbow, you’ll further challenge your core while also working on hip flexibility and balance. Perform 10 spider planks to each side of your body, alternating from side to side.

Spider Plank 1

Curtsy lunge with biceps curl

Curtsies may be a thing of the past, but hot hips certainly aren’t! When you change the angle of your lunge to perform a curtsy lunge, you’ll actually be targeting your “saddle bags” even more! Just grab some dumbbells and add a biceps curl to turn this exercise into a full-body fat blaster.

Curtsy lunge with biceps curl 1

Plank jacks

Like the spider plank, the plank jack is going to kill your shoulders, core and hip flexors; the difference is it will also get your heart racing when you perform the movement as fast as you can. Just start in a plank position and jump your feet in and out as if you were doing a jumping jack. Aim to perform plank jacks as fast as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat for another 20 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

Plank jacks 1

Balance skull crushers

You can keep those “bat wings” at bay by performing triceps exercises like skull crushers. Perform them on a stability ball to increase the difficulty of the exercise and to challenge your core.

Balance skull crushers 1

Assisted pullups

Finish off your circuit and keep your back looking trim by adding a set of assisted pullups. You can use a Smith Machine, an assisted pullup machine, a low bar at the gym or a Lebert Equalizer to perform a version of this exercise.

Assisted pullup 1

More body-sculpting workouts

Sculpt your body type: Pear-shape
Sculpt your body type: Athletic
Sculpt your body type: Rectangle

Photo credit: Apega/ (Christina Hendricks), Lance Williams/Girls Gone Sporty (all others)

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