Sculpt lean muscle from unfamiliar angles with an incredibly efficient, calorie-burning workout from the 21-Day Fix creator
Bikini season is so close you can smell the coconutty sunscreen. The first month of our Summer Shape-Up helped you peel off extra pounds with calorie-crushing cardio. Now, add weights to your workout to tighten that trimmer bod.
“Strength training—not cardio—is what gives you definition,” says Autumn Calabrese, the creator of the hit workout-DVD and nutrition-plan series 21 Day Fix, and your trainer this month. “You have to lift weights—there’s no quicker way to build lean muscle.” Her inventive exercises will sculpt your whole body from fresh angles—you’ll feel it from the first curtsy-twist-thrust you do. Keep the pace of these compound movements snappy and you’ll burn serious calories too. “Doing resistance moves at a cardio clip makes it easy to get a more effective workout in less time,” she says.
Newbies: Use lighter weights. If you’re a workout pro, lift heavier ones and move faster. Either way, make every rep count. Your goal for each move is to sweat, get breathless, and let your muscles burn. (Missed last month's Summer Shape-Up? Check out Tony Horton's Circuit Workout for a Total-Body Burn.)
How it works: Do 10 reps of each move—no resting between sets! Then repeat the entire circuit once or twice. Do this routine four days a week for the first two weeks, then up it to five days a week for the final two weeks.
Total Time: up to 30 minutes
1. Sumo Press
Stand with feet wide and toes turned out, holding one weight at ends with both hands in front of chest to start. Squat, rotating torso to right and reaching weight above right foot (arms go on either side of knee).
Stand, curling weight to chest, then press it overhead as you rise onto balls of feet. Return to start position. Switch sides; repeat. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps.
2. Lunge-Kick Kickback
Stand with feet together, a weight in each hand, arms by sides to start. Lunge forward with left leg, bending both knees 90 degrees. Push off of left leg to kick left foot forward.
Without touching floor, step left leg back into a reverse lunge, bending both knees 90 degrees. Lean forward from waist, bring weights to ribs, and extend arms back with palms facing in. Return to start position. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
10 reps per side
3. Lunge to Lift
Stand with feet together, a weight in each hand, arms by sides to start. Keep left leg straight and step right far right, bending leg 90 degrees and bringing a weight to either side of knee. Lean forward and pull weights to ribs.
Shift body weight to left leg, lift right foot up and behind you. Lean forward with a flat back until body forms a straight line from head to right heel and arms extend down. Return to start position. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
4. Single-Leg Squat Press
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding one weight at ends with both hands at chest level to start. Lift left foot off floor. Squat as low as you can.
Stand, lift left knee to hip level. Press weight overhead as you straighten and extend left leg to side. Return to start position. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
5. Dumbbell Squat-Lunge Curl
Stand with feet hip-width apart, a weight in each hand, arms by sides to start. Squat, pausing at bottom of movement to lift heels off floor.
Without rising, lower heels and extend right leg into a reverse lunge as you curl weights to shoulders. Return to start position. Switch sides; repeat. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps.
6. Row-Raise Lunge
Start in plank with a weight in each hand. Draw left weight to ribs, then right weight.
Step left foot between hands and raise weights out to sides at shoulder level. Return to start position. Switch sides; repeat. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps.
7. Bridge Fly
Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat, holding a weight in each hand in front of chest. Lift hips so body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees, and extend right leg and arms up with palms facing in to start. Lower arms out to sides until triceps are parallel to floor. Return to start position. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
5 per side
Stand with feet hip-width apart, a weight in each hand, arms by sides. Step left leg behind and across right, bending both knees.
Stand, turning over left shoulder to uncross legs (you’ll come to face the opposite direction with feet wide).
Crouch, place weights on floor, jump feet to plank. Jump feet to hands; stand. That’s 1 rep. Switch sides; repeat. Continue alternating sides for 10 reps.
10 reps alternating sides