Blast fat, build strength, and focus your mind in one fell swoop!
Multitask to a Bangin' Body
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In an ideal world, we'd all have the time (and discipline) to stick to a well-rounded weekly workout routine that not only includes strength, cardio, and flexibility training but also offers enough variety to keep our muscles guessing—the key to avoid a plateau.
In reality, sometimes life gets in the way of even the most dedicated exerciser's schedule. That's why we asked Miami-based fitness expert Jessica Smith, star of the Cross Training for Fitness DVD, to design this one-hit-wonder routine! It blends principles of Pilates, kickboxing, strength training, yoga, and even some Qi Gong moves to provide you with an intense but balanced cross-training session.
Ready to take multitasking to a whole new level? Do this routine today to blast fat, build strength, and focus your mind in one fell swoop!
Workout Details: Do 1 set of the recommended number of reps for each exercise, moving from one move to the next with little or no rest in between. Complete 3 sets total. For best results, do this routine three to four days a week, alternating it with 30-45 minutes of your favorite cardio activity.
You'll need: A set of light dumbbells (3-8 lbs, depending on your level)
Sculpting Side Angle
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This move fuses a little Pilates, yoga, and resistance training to help you develop core strength, improve flexibility, and sculpt your thighs, back, and arms.
How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, knees and toes turned out about 45 degrees. Bend your knees and lower your hips straight down, keeping your back straight and abs tight. Squeeze your elbows into your sides and curl your arms halfway up (your arms and body should resemble a letter 'W') [left photo]. Inhale and hold for 1 count.
As you exhale, shift your weight into your left leg and straighten your right leg (foot stays pressed into the floor), pressing your left elbow on top of your left thigh as you extend your right arm straight outside of your ear and look up to your hand [bottom right photo]. Inhale and return to the starting position [left photo]. Exhale and repeat to the other side [top right photo]. That's one rep. Do 20 reps total, alternating sides each time.
Balance of Power
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Develop control and power with this challenging move that draws from martial arts and yoga to build core strength, boost flexibility, and strengthen your back.
How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand on your right leg, abs braced in tight, with your left leg extended behind your hip, foot flexed.
Keeping your spine naturally arched, hinge forward and reach the dumbbells to the ground, until your left heel and head make a straight line parallel to the floor [left photo]. Hold for 1 count and then bend your left knee up to your chest as you bring your body up (back stays straight). Curl your arms into your chest and do a front kick, extending your leg from the knee, pushing out through your left heel [right photo]. Without lowering your leg, return to forward hinged position and repeat. Do 10 reps total with the left, 10 with the right leg.
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Take traditional pushups to the next level with this martial arts-inspired move that will work your core, arms, chest, and legs, as well as challenge your coordination.
How to do it: Begin at the top of a full pushup position, feet hip-width apart. Do a pushup, lowering your chest a few inches off the ground [top photo]. Bring your body back up and then quickly pivot on your left foot to extend your right leg to the left, and reach your left hand to your flexed foot [bottom photo]. Bring arm and leg back to the starting position and repeat, changing sides. Do 10 reps in total, alternating sides each time.
Rolling Side Kick
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This exercise combines a Pilates side plank with a kickboxing-style side kick to target your core, hips, thighs, arms, and shoulders.
How to do it: Get into modified side plank, with your left knee bent on the floor and left hand outside your hip. Bend your right knee and left elbow (hand in fist) into your chest.
Perform a side kick by straightening your right leg out to the side of your body slightly higher than hip height, pushing out through the heel of your foot, extending your right arm with your leg [left photo]. Quickly bend your right knee and lower your hips to the floor, rolling onto your back and bringing your elbows into your body (both legs will lift up at about 90 degrees when you roll onto your back) [right photo]. Turn over onto your right hip and immediately rise up into your side plank and do a side kick on the left side. Do 20 reps in total, alternating sides each time.
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Pilates meets boxing with this multi-muscle upper-body move that'll tone up your shoulders, biceps, and triceps, along with your abs and legs.
How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet together, knees and toes turned out about 45 degrees. Take a wide step forward with your right leg, bending your right knee over your toes and keeping your back leg straight, foot pressed into the floor. Keeping your back naturally arched, hinge forward from your hips about 45 degrees and curl the dumbbells up in front of your shoulders, palms facing in [left photo].
Extend your right arm outside of your ear, palm facing down, and your left arm behind you (palm also facing down), so that your arms form a diagonal line [right photo]. Bend your arms back to start. That's one rep. Do 20 reps in a row on each side.
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Mix some yoga, martial arts, and sculpting together and you'll get this compound movement that develops strength, balance, and coordination while working your shoulders, upper back, thighs, ankles, and calves.
How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet together. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower into chair pose. Squeeze your inner thighs and keep your back naturally arched in this position. Reach your arms down to the floor (they should stay at chest level as you lean forward) [left photo].
Lift your heels off the ground and open your arms out to the sides slightly above shoulder height (palms face the floor) [right photo]. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades back and together as you lift your arms. Gently lower arms and heels to the ground. That's one rep. Repeat 20 times in total.
Grab and Go Abs
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Inspired by a wrestling grappling move and the Pilates teaser, this unlikely combo is a great way to target your core and tighten your waistline.
How to do it: From a seated position, bring your body into a modified teaser by bending your knees and lifting your legs up to 90 degrees, balancing on your sit bones. Reach both arms forward just outside of your legs, lifting your chest up [top photo].
Gently but swiftly lower your feet to the floor and roll through your spine onto your back. Lift your hips up into a bridge and roll onto your right shoulder, reaching your left arm to the right, tapping the floor (right arm is bent and pressed onto the floor) [bottom photo]. Quickly roll back onto your back and return to starting teaser position. Repeat to the other side. That's one rep. Do 20 reps total.
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This yoga and Qi Gong move is a great transition between rounds of this circuit or as a cool-down. Be sure to focus on your steady breath and energy flow during this exercise.
How to do it: Stand in tree pose, with your left knee bent and foot as high on the leg as possible (just not at the side of the knee joint), maintaining your balance.
Separate your palms, keeping your hands flexed, begin to trace a circle with your right hand, and then your left (palms face in to each other). Imagine you're pushing through water with your open palms. The movement of your arms will challenge your balance, so keep your standing foot rooted to the ground and connect your energy to the earth, as if you were drawing energy up through your foot into your body. Breathe deeply as you alternate making 10 full circles (one with the right hand + one with the left = one full circle). Exhale out any stress or tension, pressing it away from your body with the palms of your hands.
Photos by: Vanessa Rogers Photography