Too busy to exercise? Now all you need is 10 minutes a day to firm and tone your body.
Keli Roberts, a personal trainer in Los Angeles, has designed this workout that delivers maximum toning in no time at all
Pick three for a 10-minute routine. For a full-body workout, choose one exercise per category. Or do lower body one day and upper body the next. Vary your routine for the best results.*
Work out at least three days a week, but strive for more. “Your body will get stronger, tighter and nicely toned in just one month,” says Roberts. Add a 45-minute walk most days and lose weight, too.
Firms hips, buttocks and inner thighs. Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands on hips. Contract abdominals throughout entire set. Step forward with left foot, bending both knees. (Left knee should be directly above toes.) Keep your back straight. Sink down so left hamstring is parallel to floor. Return to the start position. Repeat with other leg. Do 15 repetitions on each side. Pump it up: Hold 3- to 5-pound dumbbells (or cans). Work your way up to heavier weights.
Firms hips, buttocks and inner thighs. Stand with knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Point toes straight ahead and your tailbone down. Pull navel in and up. Lift chest and relax your shoulders down and back. Lengthen neck and look straight ahead. Slowly start to sit down, as if you were aiming for a chair. Pause when thighs are approximately parallel to floor. Try to keep your knees above your feet. Return to the start position. Do two sets of 15 repetitions. Take 2 to 4 seconds for each phase of the exercise. Pump it up: Hold 3- to 5-pound weights at your side, palms facing in. When you can do 15 reps, increase weight to 8 or 10 pounds.
Tones the quadriceps, hamstrings and buttocks. Starting with left foot, step up onto the center of a step. Ideally, the back of your thigh should be parallel to the floor. Follow with your right foot so that you’re on top of the stair. Then step down with right foot and follow with your left foot. Control your movement by accelerating on the way up and riding the brakes on the way down. Do 15 repetitions, then repeat starting with other leg. Pump it up: Don’t place second foot on step. Instead, lift it up so that your knee is bent at a 90° angle. Hold for one count. Step down.
Strengthens and defines the triceps and shoulders. Get on the floor, resting on your hands and knees. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and lower your chest toward the ground. Tuck your elbows in tightly by your ribs. Push up off the ground, keeping your back and neck in a straight line. Lower your torso again, so that your chest almost touches the floor. Do two sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. Pump it up: Instead of resting on your knees, balance on your toes and hands. Keep your face parallel to the floor so that your neck is in a neutral position. Aim for 8 to 15 repetitions.
Tones and strengthens the upper body and back. Holding 3- to 8-pound weights, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Lean forward at the hips so your back is parallel to the floor. Contract your abs, keeping head and neck in line with spine. Lower arms so your hands are under your shoulders, palms facing in. Pull up, keeping your elbows close to your body. Finish with hands next to your ribs. Pause, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Lower to start position. Do two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Pump it up: Increase weight by 5 to 10 pounds when exercise is not challenging.
Strengthens and defines biceps. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and toes straight ahead. Hold 3- to 8-pound dumbbells with an underhand grip. Lift chest and relax shoulders down and back. Look straight ahead and lengthen your neck. Lift weights up toward chest, keeping your elbows directly below shoulders. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps. Pump it up: Increase weight by 2 to 5 pounds as needed.
Tones and strengthens the entire abdominal area. Lie on stomach with legs extended. Pick your shoulders and chest off the floor by placing elbows directly under your shoulders; clasp hands. Tuck your toes under and raise hips and thighs off the floor until you’re in a plank-like position, resting on toes and forearms. Tighten your abdominal muscles to prevent back from sagging or arching. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, then lower. Don’t forget to breathe. Do 5 to 10 repetitions. Pump it up: Try raising one set of toes off the ground for 10 to 30 seconds. Switch sides.
Side Elbow Balance
Tones and strengthens entire abdominal area, specifically the side. Lie on side with hips stacked on top of each other and your top foot resting in front of your bottom foot. Prop yourself up on your elbow, which should be directly under your shoulder. Place your other hand in front of you. Inhale, tightening your abs, and lift your hips up so your body is in a straight line. Pause. Keep your chest open as you lower down. Do one set of 6 to 8 slow repetitions on each side.Pump it up: Work your way up to 15 repetitions in each set.
Blast Off Extra Pounds
To get rid of excess body fat and let your muscles emerge in the process, your best bet is to choose a cardiovascular exercise that targets the area where you want to get greater muscle definition, says Keli Roberts. Here’s how:
To shape hips and buttocks:
Take a brisk 30-minute walk that includes rolling hills at least five days a week. Strike the ground with your heel and roll through to your toes. This works the back of your calves, thighs, hips and butt.
To shape your abdominal area:
Do five 3-minute sessions of jumping rope at least five days a week. You’ll burn just as many calories as you would walking, and you’ll strengthen your abdominals at the same time.
To shape arms:
Try swimming for 20 to 30 minutes three to five times a week. This “joint friendly” exercise is excellent for improving upper body strength and muscle tone.