To score tighter abs or a firmer butt, most of us think we need to (groan) work out longer, harder or more often. There's some truth to that. But, to get the job done fast, you can also try some fresh exercises you've probably never seen before.
Why is exploring something new so important? "When you do the same moves all the time, you tend to plateau," says Andrea Bowman, M.A., C.S.C.S., a certified trainer in Virginia Beach, Va. But the six moves Bowman prescribed exclusively for Shape give your muscles a change of pace. These supershapers fire up your muscle fibers and stimulate positive changes. Depending on your goals, you can incorporate one or both trios of exercises into your regular program. In just four weeks, we guarantee your abs and butt will be out of their rut.
Three everyday way
To fool your abs into getting firmer
1 Discover job stability: Replace your desk chair with a large stability ball. It will force you to use your abdominal muscles to sit up straight and maintain balance.
2 Tighten up: Keep your abs and back taut when moving or sitting throughout the day to maintain good posture and to support your lower back, whether you're walking around, sitting in traffic or working out.
3 Brush side-to-side: To work your oblique muscles (at the sides of your waist), do torso twists or side bends while brushing your teeth.
To fool your butt into getting firmer
1 Side squeeze: Squeeze your butt muscles anywhere and everywhere -- as you walk, or while sitting in a car or standing in line at the grocery store. No one has to know you're doing it!
2 Tune in and tone up: Do squats while watching TV, adding 20 small pulses to the end of every set.
3 Lead with your heels: Whether you're riding a bike, climbing stairs or doing squats and lunges, put more emphasis on your butt muscles by leading with -- and pushing through -- your heels.