Shape Studio: Jen Widerstrom's Strength Workout for Glowing Skin

This strength training workout from fitness pro Jen Widerstrom gives your muscles and skin a rejuvenating boost.

That post-workout flush is a thing of beauty — the tomato face during it, not so much — but the mechanism behind that dewy post-sweat glow is the real benefit to your complexion.

"Exercise that elevates your heart rate and accelerates blood flow not only pushes more oxygen into your muscles; it does the same for your skin," says physiologist Michele Olson, Ph.D., a Shape Brain Trust member. Your skin cells, as with all other cells in the body, are powered by mitochondria.

"The increase in oxygen flow boosts the number of these powerhouses and also sparks the mitochondria to manufacture more energy to support the skin cells' work — such as producing collagen," says Olson. As a result, similar to how your muscles firm from working out, the skin's outer layer plumps over time.

Level up your skin care with this Shape Studio workout video, a twofer for keeping your skin in fighting form: It's a mix of cardio to bring on the immediate oxygen rush and strengthening moves to give skin the firmest foundation in the long run.

"Another benefit of exercise is how much the collagenous tissues improve in the skeletal muscle, which in turn makes our skin look better thanks to the nice muscle tone beneath," says Olson.

Celebrity trainer Jen Widerstrom, Shape's contributing fitness director, delivers the benefits with this mini routine that will sculpt every spot as you burn through sweaty compound moves. "Working your muscles while activating your heart is truly the best of both worlds in fitness, so why choose one?" says Widerstrom, who offers streaming workouts on Openfit.

This workout brings the heat not with speedy reps but with full-body movement combinations. "When you move more of your body at once, it requires more oxygen and a higher heart rate," she says.

You'll use a set of eight-pound hand weights to do a circuit of supersets (trade up to 15 pounds for the rows and lunges if you have them handy); each superset alternates a pair of 45-second, as-many-reps-as-possible exercises, such as a curl-to-press. "It's four movement pairs, two rounds of each to equal one great way to take care of your skin from the inside out," she says.

Ready to glow? Perform a couple of rounds with Widerstrom in the video above.

Strength Workout for Glowing Skin

How it works: Do each move for 45 seconds, completing as many reps as possible. Repeat each set twice before moving on to the next set.

You'll need: medium hand weights (8 to 12 pounds)

01 of 01

Portzon Neoprene Dumbbells

Portzon 8lb Neoprene Dumbbells
Amazon

Set 1: Curl to Press

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand by sides.
B. Curl dumbbells up to shoulders, palms facing in.
C. Then press dumbbells overhead, directly over shoulders.
D. Slowly reverse the movement to return to start.

Do as many reps as possible for 45 seconds.

Set 1: Lateral Raise

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand by sides.
B. With arms straight (but not locked), raise dumbbells out to the sides up to shoulder height. Pause for a second.
C. Slowly lower arms to sides to return to start.

Do as many reps as possible for 45 seconds. Repeat both exercises in Set 1.

Set 2: Iso Lunge (Right)

A. Start standing in a staggered stance with the right leg forward and left foot balancing on toes, holding a dumbbell horizontally at chest level.
B. Bend knees to lower into a lunge until the front knee is bent at 90 degrees and back knee hovers just off the floor.
C. Press through both feet to straighten legs and return to start.

Do as many reps as possible for 45 seconds.

Set 2: Staggered Row (Right)

A. Start standing in a staggered stance with the left leg forward and right foot balancing on toes. Hinge chest forward at about 45 degrees, holding a dumbbell in the right hand hanging directly below shoulder.
B. Draw elbow back to row right hang up toward right ribs.
C. Pause for a second, then slowly lower dumbbell to return to start.

Do as many reps as possible for 45 seconds. Repeat both exercises in Set 2.

Set 3: Iso Lunge (Left)

A. Start standing in a staggered stance with the left leg forward and right foot balancing on toes, holding a dumbbell horizontally at chest level.
B. Bend knees to lower into a lunge until the front knee is bent at 90 degrees and back knee hovers just off the floor.
C. Press through both feet to straighten legs and return to start.

Do as many reps as possible for 45 seconds.

Set 3: Staggered Row (Left)

A. Start standing in a staggered stance with the right leg forward and left foot balancing on toes. Hinge chest forward at about 45 degrees, holding a dumbbell in the left hand hanging directly below shoulder.
B. Draw elbow back to row left hand up toward left ribs.
C. Pause for a second, then slowly lower dumbbell to return to start.

Do as many reps as possible for 45 seconds. Repeat both exercises in Set 3.

Set 4: Marching Bridge

A. Start lying face-up on the floor with feet planted and knees toward the ceiling. Extend arms out to the sides, palms pressing into the floor. Engage glutes to lift hips up into a bridge.
B. Lift the right leg, bent at 90 degrees, until shin is parallel to the ceiling without letting hips drop or turn. Return right foot to the floor.
C. Lift the left leg, bent at 90 degrees, until shin is parallel to the ceiling without letting hips drop or turn. Return left foot to the floor. Continue alternating.

Do as many reps as possible for 45 seconds.

Set 4: Single-Leg Suitcase

A. Start lying face-up on the floor with legs long and arms stretched overhead, holding a dumbbell horizontally between both hands.
B. Use abs to crunch chest up and draw left knee into chest, reaching dumbbell past knee.
C. Slowly release arms and leg back to the floor. Repeat on the other side. Continue alternating.

Do as many reps as possible for 45 seconds. Repeat both exercises in Set 4.

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