Use these complex exercises to trim and tone from head to toe.
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Despite the unfortunate name (don't yell this one across the gym floor!), the snatch is a powerful total-body move.
Grab a kettlebell in one hand with an overhand grip. Squat down until the kettlebell is centered between your feet, your arm straight. In a single movement, snap your hips forward and stand up as you try to throw the kettlebell at the ceiling—without letting go of it. Allow your forearm to rotate until your arm is straight and the kettlebell flips over and rests (gently now!) on your forearm. For more of a challenge, use a 'bell in each hand.
Form tip: Keep the 'bell as close to your body as possible at all times. Good form is important so if you're confused, check out this video.
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You don't have to be a power lifter to appreciate the power of this move. And while it may look like your lower body is doing all the work, when done right the deadlift activates every major muscle group in your body.
Stand in front of a weighted bar, two dumbbells/kettlebells, or a sandbag with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Bend at your hips and knees and grab the weight(s) with an overhand grip. Keeping your lower back slightly arched, not rounded, pull your torso back and up, thrust your hips forward, and stand up with the weight in front of your body (Keep it close as if you are shaving your legs). Lower the weight down to the floor, keeping it as close to your body as possible.
Form tip: Pulling your shoulders back and down (contracting your lats—the muscles down the sides of your back) will help you maintain a comfortable arch in your lower back and keep the work in your legs and glutes. Click here for a how-to video.
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This move combines the genius of a push press with the agony, er awesomeness, of a deep squat.
Hold a weighted bar or a pair of dumbbells at your shoulders with your elbows slightly forward. Squat until the tops of your legs are parallel to the ground. Explosively stand up (a little jump at the top is fine) as you push the weight straight up over your head. Lower the weight back to the starting position.
Form tip: Initiate the movement by pushing your hips backward, then bend your knees and lower your body as far as possible. Click here for a how-to video.
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Don't underestimate the power of this simple (but not easy!) move.
Get in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head (get that butt down!). Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause at the bottom, and then push back to the starting position as quickly as possible.
Form tip: If your arms/chest give out before your core, back, and legs, try doing as many reps as you can from your toes and then finishing from your knees. Keep your neck straight and eyes on the ground. Click here for a how-to video.
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If the plain pushup is too boring, make it into a burpee to add a plyometric twist and an extra lower-body challenge.
Start standing with feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips. Squat down, place both hands on floor and jump your legs straight back into a plank position. From here, do a pushup. Jump your feet back in and jump back to standing.
Form tip: Don't crane your neck up. Try to keep looking forward no matter which part of the move you're on. Click here for a how-to video.
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Popular with kettlebells, this move is also a fantastic whole-body exercise when done with other types of weights like a sandbag (for added instability) or a weighted ball.
Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell with an overhand grip and hold it in front of your waist at arm's length. (You can also hold the weight with both hands). Standing with your feet wide and toes forward, bend at your hips and knees and lower your torso until it forms a 45-degree angle to the floor. Swing the weight between your legs. Keeping your arm straight, thrust your hips forward, straighten your knees, and swing the weight up to chest level as you rise to standing. Now, squat back down as you swing the weight between our legs again.
Form tip: The power in this move comes from snapping your hips forward, which makes you use your legs, hips, core, and glutes to do most of the work swinging the weight. If you feel this primarily in your lower back or shoulders, you are doing it wrong. Click here for a how-to video.
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Lie on your back holding a weight in your right hand with your arm straight above you. Roll on to your left side and prop yourself up on your left elbow. Push yourself to a kneeling position, and then stand up, keeping your arm straight and the weight above you at all times. Once standing, reverse the sequence to Lie back down.
Form tip: Don't take your eyes off the weight at any time. This helps make sure the weight stays straight up through the entire movement. It also helps keep you from dropping it on your head. Which hurts. A lot. Click here for a how-to video.