Renee's shed 17 pounds in the past eight months -- thanks, in large part, to workouts with her Seattle-based trainer, Michael Hildebrand (hildebrandfitness.com). Since Renee's busy schedule doesn't leave much time for exercise, Hildebrand's routine is designed to work all major muscle groups -- and add a cardio element to her strength workout -- in just an hour. What's the trick? Supersets, Hildebrand says. Renee does back-to-back sets of two moves, like lunges and rows, without stopping. The routine's fast pace raises her heart rate to burn off more calories. Try one of Renee's workouts, below, to tone your entire body.
Do 15 reps of each exercise. Perform 3 sets, alternating between the two moves. Rest 30 seconds between supersets.
Warm-up: Walk briskly on treadmill for 5 minutes on a 2-degree incline.
A. Lunge with medicine ball
Hold an 8-pound medicine ball directly in front of your chest, lunge forward with left leg and slowly lower until both knees are bent 90 degrees. Your front knee should be in line with your ankle. Push back with front foot to return to start position. Repeat with right leg.
B. Seated row
Attach the V-shaped narrow-grip bar to the bottom cable of the seated-row machine. Sit with back straight and legs extended, a slight bend in the knees. Tighten abs and squeeze shoulder blades together, then pull the bar toward your bellybutton. Straighten arms to return to start position.
A. Stability-ball hamstring curl
Lie faceup on the floor with heels on top of a stability ball, legs straight, and hands on the floor by your sides. Contract your abs and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from shoulders to heels. Bring your heels to your glutes, rolling the ball toward you so the soles of your feet end on top of the ball. Roll the ball back to return to start position.
B. Dumbbell chest press
Hold an 8-pound dumbbell in each hand and lie faceup on a weight bench with arms out to sides, elbows bent 90 degrees so forearms are perpendicular to floor, palms facing forward. Press weights up directly over chest until arms are straight, and lower them to starting position.
Adjust the Smith machine bar to shoulder height. Stand with feet just wider than hip-distance apart about 8 inches in front of the bar, arch your back slightly and push your hips slightly behind you. Keeping your back straight, slowly squat until thighs are parallel to the ground. Rise up to starting position.
B. Shoulder press
Hold 5-pound dumbbells and stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Raise arms out to side, elbows bent 90 degrees and even with shoulders, palms facing forward. Press arms directly overhead and hold for 1 count before lowering them to starting position.
A. Bosu squat
Balance on a Bosu Balance Trainer, flat side down, with feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping back straight and abs tightened, lower hips until thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 3 seconds before rising up to starting position.
B. Triceps press-down with cable
Attach a short bar to a cable-pulley machine adjusted to the top position and add about 25 to 35 pounds (weight varies by machine). Grasp bar with an overhand grip, elbows close to sides. Keeping upper arms stationary, press bar down and hold down for 1 count. Slowly raise bar to starting position.
Do 3 sets of each of the following exercises.
1. Stability-ball crunch
Sit on a stability ball, then walk your feet forward and roll down until your lower back is on the ball [(or is more under lower back, which is more challenging?)] with feet hip-width apart. Stretch back over the ball, then crunch up, lifting your shoulder blades off the ball. Lower to starting position. Do 30 reps.
2. Bicycle crunches
Lie faceup on the floor with fingers resting lightly behind head. Bring both knees toward your chest as you lift your head and shoulder blades off the floor (don't pull on your neck). Extend right leg out 45 degrees from the floor while turning upper body to the left, bringing the right elbow to the left knee. Switch sides to complete 1 rep. Do 30 reps [(or 15 if one crunch to each side is one rep)], alternating sides.
Lie facedown on the floor and extend arms in front of you, palms down. Pulling your abs in, lift straight arms and legs off the floor and hold for 1 count, then release. Do 15 reps.
Position yourself facedown on toes and hands, wrists aligned under shoulders. Pull your abs toward your spine so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 30 seconds.
Cool-down: Walk briskly on treadmill for 5 minutes on a 2-degree incline.