Falling into a gym rut? These moves make use of run-of-the-mill equipment for major total-body sculpting
If you're like us, shorter days have forced you to kiss those glorious sunset runs goodbye and forced you back inside the gym. Since it's easy to fall into a rut doing the same old rotations, we've got some full-body moves to refresh your routine this winter, incorporating equipment like kettlebells, resistance bands, and the pull-up bar in ways you probably haven't thought of using them.
Scope the crazy effective exercises from celebrity trainer Jacqueline Kasen, a former backup dancer for J.Lo and the Black Eyed Peas and trainer to the Biggest Loser contestants, and currently a "body architect" at Miami Beach-based health and fitness center Anatomy at 1220. (Plus, check out Total-Body Moves That Double Results—In Half The Time.) You won't even mind staying inside with these moves in your repertoire!
1. Pull-up with Band
Wrap a resistance band around the handle bar and step into it with two feet. (The tougher the resistance, the more assistance you'll have.) Pull elbows into ribcage and squeeze lats while pulling body up. Perform as many reps as possible.
2. Lateral Steps with Ankle Band
Keep legs completely straight with feet hip-width apart and step laterally, maintaining the hip-width position. Open up the band with glute medius and abductors (the outside of the leg). Perform 20 reps on each side.
3. Single Leg Hamstring Slider
Lay flat on back, bending both legs and keeping heels flexed. Place one slider underneath one foot. Go into a hip thruster position, engaging glutes in full hip extension, and slide a single leg out, driving heel into the slider, and then back in, until even with the other leg. Make sure glutes stay engaged the entire time without lowering hips. Perform 15 reps on each leg.
4. Curtsey Step-Ups on Bench
Facing the bench so it is in a vertical position, place one foot on the front of the bench and the other foot on the ground to the side of it. Maintain a 90-degree bent leg position with the leg that is on the bench, while moving the side leg back and forth. Be sure to apply all the pressure on the stationary leg and heel to engage quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Perform 20 reps on each leg.
5. "Y" on the Stability Ball
Lie on stomach on the stability ball, keeping legs in a bent position, and feet flat up against a wall. Grab a set of 2.5- to 5-pound dumbbells. Keep arms completely straight, holding onto the weights hanging over the ball. Lift up arms using upper and mid-back to hold in a "Y" position, holding arms high enough so that biceps are next to ears. Perform 12 reps.
6. Kettlebell Windmills
Stand with feet hip-width apart in an "L" position, keeping heels even. With the leg that is pointed straight, raise the kettlebell overhead in a pressing position. Push that same hip out to the side as you look up at the kettlebell. Keep other arm palm up along the inside of the leg where the foot is pointed outward. Keep legs as straight as possible and drop down alongside the leg (making sure not to fall forward), hand reaching toward the floor, and then stand all the way back up. Perform 12 reps on each side.
7. Single Arm Military Press
Stand on a resistance band underneath the arch of the foot, standing hip-width apart. Hold arms up 90 degrees and alternate pressing one arm at a time while keeping the other arm completely still. Perform 20 reps.
8. Plank Kettlebell Drag
Start in a plank position, hands underneath shoulders, keeping arms straight and hips even with shoulder height, legs straight, and feet together. Hold the kettlebell underneath the chest and drag across the body with the opposite arm. For less of a balance challenge, separate feet to hip-width apart. Perform 20 reps.