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9 Next-Level Strength Training Moves That Burn More Calories and Sculpt All Over

You do the classic strengtheners—plank, squat, lunge, sit-up, and so on. Now here's a simple trick to upgrade them so you get even better tone-up results faster: Slip a set of exercise discs under your palms or feet.

"The discs create friction [AKA resistance] with the floor or a wall, which you can increase by moving slowly and by leveraging more of your weight onto them," says Michael Cummings, a performance specialist for SKLZ, a sports training company in Carlsbad, California. This means you milk each rep for extra strengthening from beginning to end. "That's true for your core, too, because your stabilizing muscles are firing to keep you steady," Cummings says.

Take the typical lunge: Your leg muscles ordinarily ease up on their workload midstep, but if you use discs underfoot to slide into lunge position, those muscles—and others—will constantly contract to help you keep your footing. "Activating more muscles and muscle fibers will burn more calories and build more lean muscle," Cummings says.

We asked Cummings to rev up nine go-to exercise moves by incorporating exercise discs for a workout that will maximize your sculpting from every angle. (We use Slidez discs here, which are specially padded and won't mark floors or walls, but most other discs—or even paper plates—will do.)

"Sliding lets you get deeper into the moves and adds variety to what could otherwise feel like basic or simple exercises," he says. And because you control the resistance, speed, and intensity, anyone can do it. In addition, you'll do different reps and sets based on your personal fitness level.

It's time to see for yourself what this little piece of plastic can do for your physique—your tighter body awaits.

How it works: Do all nine moves in order. If you're a newbie, do one set of five to 10 reps of each move once a week. If you're a regular exerciser, shoot for two sets of eight to 12 reps twice weekly. Sweat vets, you can do three to five sets of 10 to 20 reps two to four days each week.

Total Time: up to 15 minutes

You will need: Sliding discs

1. Wall Squat

A.

Stand with back against wall with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Place a Slidez disc between wall and middle of back to start.

B.

Lower into a squat, walking feet forward until legs form a 90-degree angle. Keep feet planted and press lower back into wall to move disc up to return to start position.

Sets:

2

Reps:

5 to 20

2. Squat Press

A.

Stand facing wall with feet hip-width apart or wider and a Slidez disc between each hand and wall, arms extended at chest level, elbows slightly bent. Squat slowly, straightening arms overhead and going as low as you can with heels on floor.

B.

Stand, pressing discs into wall as you rise onto tiptoes and reach arms overhead.

Sets:

2

Reps:

5 to 20

3. Drop Lunge

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart and left foot on a Slidez disc, arms by sides to start. Extend arms forward at chest level and bend knees as you sweep left leg behind and across right until knee grazes floor. Return to start position. Switch sides; repeat.

Sets:

2

Reps:

5 to 20

4. Lizard Lunge

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms with legs together and each foot on a Slidez disc. Keeping body in a straight line, bring left foot to outside of left palm. Return to start position. Switch sides; repeat.

Sets:

2

Reps:

5 to 20

5. Plank Rotation

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms with legs together and right foot on a Slidez disc. Keeping body in a straight line, draw right knee toward chest, then extend leg underneath body to left side. Reverse motion back to start position. Switch sides; repeat.

Sets:

2

Reps:

5 to 20

6. Side Knee Tuck

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms with each foot on a Slidez disc.

B.

Keeping body in a straight line, bring knees to outside of left elbow. Return to start position. Switch sides; repeat.

Sets:

2

Reps:

5 to 20

7. Hamstring Curl Crunch

A.

Lie faceup on floor with legs extended and a Slidez disc under each heel, fingertips behind head and elbows bent out to sides to start.

B.

Sit up, bringing heels toward butt. Lower to start position.

Sets:

2

Reps:

5 to 20

8. Body Saw

A.

Start on floor in plank on forearms with palms facing up and with each foot on a Slidez disc.

B.

Keeping body in a straight line, press forearms into floor (forearms will not move) to push body backward so arms form a 60-degree angle (or as wide an angle as is comfortable). Reverse the motion by pressing into forearms to pull body forward to start position.

Sets:

2

Reps:

5 to 20

9. Alternating Glute Bridge

A.

Lie faceup on floor with knees bent and each foot on a Slidez disc, arms by sides on floor with palms up. Lift hips to form a straight line from shoulders to knees to start. Extend left leg, sliding foot forward. Pull it back to start position. Switch sides; repeat.

Sets:

2

Reps:

5 to 20

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