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Women’s Workout

Chest

  • Medicine Ball Pushups - Sets: 4, Reps: 8
    come into a pushup position with left hand on top of a medicine ball, right hand on the floor. Engage legs and draw belly button up and in. Keep the body in a straight line, bend elbows and slowly lower down as far as possible. Press up through both hands to return to starting position. Complete the prescribed number of reps on one side and then place the opposite hand on the ball and repeat.
  • Chest Pass - Sets: 4, Reps: 20,
    Lie face up on the floor with knees bent and feet flat, holding a medicine ball at chest. Keeping lower back pressed into the floor and abs engaged, explosively throw the ball straight up as high as possible. Catch with straight arms and immediately lower back to your chest and repeat. Continue at a quick pace until all reps are complete.
  • Single-Arm Chest Press - Sets: 4, Reps: 8
    Grab a dumbbell with right hand and lie on back on a Swiss ball. Raise hips so that body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Hold the dumbbell at chest and draw shoulder blades down and together. Press the weight straight up and then lower back down to the chest. Nothing but your arm should move. Complete the prescribed number of reps with right hand and then repeat on the left to complete one set.
  • Y Raise - Sets: 4, Reps: 20
    Grab a pair of light dumbbells and stand tall with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the weights in front of thighs. Keeping core braced, draw shoulder blades down and back as you lift the weights above head in a Y position. Return to start at a slow and controlled pace.
  • Renegade Row - Sets: 4, Reps: 8
    Grab a pair of dumbbells and get into straight-arm plank position. Dumbbells should be directly below shoulders, feet slightly wider than hip width. Without moving hips, bend left elbow and lift the weight up to chest, keeping elbow close to body. Slowly lower the weight back to starting position, and repeat on the other side. That's one rep.
  • Rear Lateral Raise - Sets: 4 Reps: 20
    Stand with feet-hip width apart, holding dumbbells with palms facing forward. Bend knees, shift hips back, and bring torso close to parallel with the ground. Without moving torso, raise arms straight out to sides to shoulder height. Pause, than slowly return to starting position.

Biceps

  • Close Grip Chin-Ups - Not all chin-ups and pull-ups are created equally. The way you place your hand determines which muscles are the focus of that exercise. By placing your palms close together and facing you on the chin-up bar, you’ll recruit more of the muscles in your upper arm. How to do chin-ups: For this exercise, use either a freestanding pull-up bar or a gym machine that supports part of your body weight. Grab the bar with your palms facing you and your hands close together (shoulderwidth apart). Start from the hanging position then raise yourself up towards the bar until your chin is just above it. Lower yourself back down to the start.
  • Arm Circles - Incorporating arm circles into your daily workout is a great way to tone from the shoulders down to the elbows. Start with a few sets without weights for a good warm up, then incorporate a pair of dumbbells into the exercise and say goodbye to arm flab. How to do arm circles: With a 3- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, stand up straight with your arms out to your side, raised to shoulder-height. Rotate your arms forward in small, circular motions for ten counts then switch to do circles in the opposite direction for another ten counts. It helps to think of drawing circles on the wall closest to the weights. Next, do larger circles forward and backward for ten counts each. Lower your arms back to start.
  • Hammer Curls - Though this exercise is very similar to standard biceps curls, hammer curls emphasize one of the smaller arm muscles (brachioradialis, in case you’re curious) while the standard curl focuses on the biceps brachia, the largest muscle of the arm. How to do hammer curls: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand. Unlike with standard curls, your palms should be facing your side as you bend your elbows to raise and lower the weights to your shoulders and back down. Remember to inhale on the raise and exhale on the lower.
  • Push-Ups - Most people have a love-hate relationship with push-ups. That’s because although they’re the quickest way to work the arms, chest, and core simultaneously, they can be a bit difficult to execute correctly. Here’s your guide to proper push-up form: How to do push-ups: With your stomach facing the floor, raise your body so that your weight is supported by your hands and feet. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders and your body should resemble a plank. Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor, keeping your elbows back along your body. Don’t arch or sag your lower back. Straighten your arms back to start. For a modified version, balance on your knees instead of your feet for your reps
  • Bicep Curls - This exercise is hands down the most popular and efficient biceps exercise. That’s because it’s one of the few exercises that focuses on the three primary muscles of what’s commonly called the biceps the biceps brachia, brachialis, and brachioradialis. Master the basic form then try alternating arm curls, preacher curls, or concentration curls. How to do biceps curls: Grab a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms down by your side with your palms facing outward. Bend your arms at the elbows to raise the weights to your shoulders then straighten back down. Do this move slowly and with control and keep your elbows in toward your body.
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Triceps

  • Triceps Lift - Reps: 25 per side
    Grab a dumbbell with right hand and stand in a split stance with left foot forward. Bend left knee and lower torso until parallel to the ground. Keep back leg straight, and shoulders facing forward. Lift right arm to shoulder height, pointing the weight up to the ceiling. From there, pulse right arm 1 inch up and down, keeping arm as straight as possible. Do 25 pulses, than switch sides.
  • Triceps Pushup - Reps: 10
    Place hands directly below shoulders, feet hip-width apart. Keeping elbows pointed back and as close to your sides as possible, slowly lower body to the ground. Once your chest touches the floor, press back up to a straight-arm plank. Be sure to keep core and legs engaged the entire time. If this is too challenging, modify by dropping down to your knees. Do 10 reps.
  • Triceps Extension - Reps: 20
    Hold one dumbbell with both hands overhead. Draw shoulders down and back and engage core. Keeping elbows pointed forward, bend elbows and allow the weight to lower down back. Extend arms to bring the weight back overhead. Keep core and glutes engaged the entire time. Do 20 reps.
  • Side Plank with Dumbbell Raise - Reps: 10 per side
    Grab a dumbbell with left hand and come into a side plank with right elbow directly below shoulder, feet stacked. Raise hips off the ground so that your body forms a straight line from ankles to shoulders. Extend left arm straight out directly above the shoulder, still holding the dumbbell. Lower left arm back down until it's parallel to the ground. Make sure to keep hips lifted and chest up the entire time. Do 10 lifts on each side, and then grab a jump rope for a quick cardio blast. 1-minute cardio blast: Jump rope as fast as possible for 1 minute, swinging the rope with your wrists rather than your arms.
  • Triceps Lateral Lift - Reps: 25 per side
    Grab a dumbbell with right hand and stand in a split stance with left foot forward. Bend left knee and lower torso until parallel to the ground. Keep back leg straight and shoulders squared to the front. Lift right arm behind body up to shoulder height, palm facing the floor. From there, squeeze entire arm in toward body. Continue this small movement in and out until you've completed 25 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

Neck

  • Bumblebees - Bumblebees exercise the jaw muscles. Inhale through the nose, and make chewing motions while vibrating the sound "mmmm" through the nose as you chew. Any sound can be used or even gibberish. Chewing gum or pretending to chew gum can be used instead of doing bumblebees.
  • Tongue Reach - This is a yoga exercise for the neck. It firms and tones the skin directly under the chin. Stick out your tongue, and say "Ahhhhh." Hold your tongue out while keeping the rest of your face relaxed -- hold for 60 seconds.
  • Lower Face Lift - The muscles under the chin are connected to the jaw muscles, and they work together. A lower face lift exercise targets the lower jaw. Start in a seated position -- keep your spine erect and your abdominal muscles tight. Open your mouth wide, and roll your lips over the teeth, pulling the corners of the mouth toward the back teeth. Look upward, and smile. Place the index fingers at the tops of your ears, and, while using light pressure, push your face forward and your shoulders back. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Kiss the Ceiling - This exercise works the jaw and neck and can be done standing or sitting. Hold your arms at your sides, tilt your head back slightly -- your head should not be parallel with the ceiling -- pucker your lips, and try to "kiss" the ceiling. The muscles in the jaw and neck tighten and stretch. Hold for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat five times.
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Back

  • T Rises - Reps: 15
    Grab a pair of 2- to 3-pound dumbbells and stand with feet hip-width apart. Take a slight bend in knees as you shift hips back and lower torso until its parallel to the floor. Bring weights together and turn palms to face forward. Keeping arms straight, lift weights up to shoulder height then lower back down. Make sure to keep core and glutes engaged the entire time.
  • Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows - Reps: 10 per side
    Grab a 15- to 25-pound dumbbell in one hand. Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend knees, and shift hips back, lowering torso until nearly parallel with the ground. Place right hand on a wall in front of you for balance. Draw the weight up toward chest by bending left elbow straight up toward the ceiling. Make sure to keep shoulder blades down and together and core engaged the entire time. Do 10 reps on each side.
  • Delt Raise - Reps: 10
    Grab a pair of 5- to 10-pound dumbbells and stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Shift hips back as you lower torso until nearly parallel with the ground. Turn palms to face each other, bend elbows, and lift weights up to shoulder height. Focus on using your back, not your arms, to raise the weights. Gently lower back down, keeping core and glutes engaged during the entire movement. Do 10 reps.
  • Assisted Pull-Ups - Reps: 8 to 10
    Loop a band on top of a pull-up bar or the Life Fitness Machine at your gym. Hold onto the bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder width, palms facing each other. Place one foot (or knee if you prefer) inside the band. Hang at arm's length. You should return to this position known as a dead hang each time you lower back down. Pull body up in one straight line, bringing head just above hands. Squeeze shoulder blades together and pull upper arms down forcefully. Slowly lower body all the way back down to dead hang. Repeat motion without swinging. Aim for 8 to 10 reps.
  • Plank with Lateral Arm Raise - Reps: 10 per side
    Come into a straight-arm plank with hands below and in line with shoulders, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Keeping hips as still as possible, lift one arm up to shoulder height. Return to center, than lift the other arm to shoulder height. Draw belly button up and in and keep your body centered. Do 10 reps each side.
  • Pushup Holds - Reps: 5
    Come into a pushup position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width, feet hipwidth apart. Your body should form a straight line from heels to head. Bend elbows and lower body until hovering a few inches above the ground. Hold for 1 deep breath, and then press half-way up and hold for 1 deep breath. Lower back down to your lowest point, holding for 1 deep breath. Come back to your half-way point for one more hold. Repeat pattern 3 more times, 5 times total.

Glutes

  • Deadlifts - Reps: 10
    Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip and hold them at arm's length in front of your thighs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Without changing the bend in your knees, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor (keep the weights as close to your body as possible). Pause, than return to standing. Your back should stay naturally arched during the entire movement. Do 10 reps.
  • Step-Ups - Reps: 10 per side
    Grab a pair of dumbbells and place your right foot on top of a box, bench, or step. Without moving your foot, drive through the ball of your big toe to come all the way up to standing. Slowly lower down until your back foot touches the ground. Your front foot stays on the stair the entire time. Be sure to keep chest up and core engaged. Do 10 reps per side.
  • Single-Leg Jumps - Reps: 10 per side
    come onto your right leg. Bend your knee, shift hips back, and jump as high as possible off the ground (possibly on top of a box, step, or bench). Land softly with knee bent. Make sure knee does not track too far over toes and focus on pushing your hips back behind you. Do 10 reps on each side.
  • Single-Leg Hamstring Curl - Reps: 10 per side
    Lie on your back with a Swiss ball under your feet. Bridge up onto the ball by lifting hips off the floor and pressing feet into the ball. Bend right knee into your chest, keeping left foot firmly planted on the ball. Keeping your hips lifted and draw ball in toward your butt by bending your left knee. Hands should be planted on the mat to help you balance. Slowly extend left leg while left knee stays bent into chest.
  • Kettlebell Swing - Reps: 15
    Hold a kettlebell (or dumbbell) with both hands and stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend at your hips and lower your torso until it forms a 45- degree angle to the floor, keeping lower back naturally arched. Swing the kettlebell between your legs. Keeping your arms straight, thrust your hips forward, straighten knees, and swing the kettlebell up to belly-button/chest level. Continue swinging until you've completed 15 reps.
  • Lateral Band Steps - Reps: 10 per side
    Position a resistance tube or band right above knees. Bend knees and shift hips back as if you're sitting in a chair. Step right foot wide out to the side, then step left foot half way in. From there, step out with left foot, and step half way in with your right. Continue to step back and forth, making sure to stay in a deep squat the entire time. Keep chest lifted and shoulders back. Do 10 steps on each side.
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Calves

  • Gate Swings – Reps: 10 per side.
    This move is a great warm-up because it activates your core and stabilizing muscles in addition to targeting those inner thighs. How to do it: Stand on your left leg with your hands clasped behind your head. Bend your right knee and swing your leg up and across your body, right foot flexed. Without putting your right foot down on the floor, sweep your right leg out to the right side. Repeat 10 times back and forth with the right leg, and then 10 times with the left.
  • Side Lunge Sweep – Reps: 15 per side.
    Side lunges are great for toning the inner and outer thigh region. The extra cross over in this move works your inner thighs even more and adds a balance challenge for the core. How to do it: Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips. Take a wide step out to your left side and lower into a lunge, bending your left knee and pushing your hips behind you. Push through your left heel and stand back up, crossing your left leg in your front of your body without touching the floor. Swing your leg back out to the left side and repeat. Do 15 reps with your left leg, and then 15 with the right.
  • Sumo Squat Slide In - Reps: 20 per side.
    There's a reason ballerina's have amazing legs! Sumo squats (AKA grand plies) are awesome inner-thigh toners. The addition of the slide in this move forces your muscles to work even harder. How to do it: Stand with your feet together, knees and toes turned out about 45 degrees. Take a wide step out to the side with your right foot, and squat down as low as you can. Keep your back straight, drop your hips low, and reach your arms to the ground in front of you. As you stand up, slide your right foot into your left, squeezing your legs together until your heels touch, and reach your arms overhead. Step back out into your squat with your left foot and repeat 20 times total, switching legs each time.
  • Chair Pose Close – Reps: 10 per side.
    This move works both legs from multiple angles to help you get the most out of every rep. How to do it: Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips. Lower into a narrow squat by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Hold the squat position on your right leg and extend your left leg out to the side, pointing your foot. Lift your left leg off the floor and bring it in front of your body, squeezing your inner thighs until your knees are touching. Hold for 1 count and then lower your left leg back down to the side. Repeat 10 times on the left, and then repeat 10 times with the right leg.
  • Side Shuffle Switch – Reps: 20 per side.
    This fast-paced move gets your heart rate up (to help blast body fat) and recruits your inner-thigh muscles to help you quickly switch directions. How to do it: Stand with your feet together, arms by your sides. 'Shuffle' to your right by taking three quick steps to the side (right, left, right), and then lift your left knee up, swinging your right arm forward. Immediately reverse your shuffle (left, right, left) and land with your right knee up, left knee bent, swinging your right arm forward. Repeat 20 times in a row as fast as you can, alternating sides.
  • Attitude to Side Extension – Reps: 15 per side.
    Another ballet-inspired move, this leg toner forces your inner-thigh muscles to engage to control the motion of your leg (without falling over). How to do it: Stand on your right leg, right knee slightly bent, hands on hips. Lift your left leg into an 'attitude' position by bending your left knee and lifting your leg up and across your body, turning your left heel up as you lift. Next, open your left leg out to the side of your body, straightening your leg out into a full extension as shown. Repeat 15 times with your left leg and then 15 times with the right leg.

Full Body

  • Single-Leg Deadlift
    I love this exercise because it lifts and tones the glutes and activates my entire core (which helps prevent back pain). How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand on your left foot. Lift your right foot behind you and bend your knee so you’re right lower leg is parallel to the floor. Bend forward at your hips, and slowly lower your body as far as you can. Pause, and then push your body back to the starting position. As you come up, think about using your glutes to push your hips forward instead of lifting from your back. Keep core engaged and chest up during the entire movement.
  • Side Plank
    This exercise is my secret weapon to help tighten and shrink my waistline. It works the deep abdominal muscles (oblique, transverse abdominisa) that many abs exercises don’t reach. How to do it: Lie on your left side with your knees straight. Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Turn around so that you’re lying on your right side and repeat.
  • Pushup
    I’m a huge fan of this classic exercise because it works the entire body, burning a significant amount of calories, as well as tightens my chest muscles to keep things perky in your bikini. How to do it: Get down on all fours and place your hands on the floor so that they’re slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders, feet close together. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor and then push yourself back to the starting position. Make sure to keep your hips lifted and your core braced the entire time.
  • Second Position Plies
    This ballet move sculpts the inner thighs as well as tones the gluteus minimus (side of butt) for lean legs like a dancer. How to do it: Stand with feet wider than shoulderwidth apart, toes turned out slightly. Lower your body down by bending your knees until your thighs is parallel with the floor. Bring arms overhead and shoulders down and back. Pause, than slowly push yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Cardio Intervals
    incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your routine to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, as opposed to long, slow endurance exercise. How to do it: Choose any piece of cardio equipment (elliptical, jump rope, treadmill, bike, etc.) and repeat the following pattern for 10 time total. 3 minutes at 50 percent of your maximum effort. 20 seconds at 75 percent of your maximum effort. 10 seconds at your absolute maximum effort.
  • Triceps Extension
    This is my favorite exercise for toning the back of shoulders and triceps. I use light weights and perform a high number of reps (25+) for this exercise. How to do it: Come into a lunge position, with your back heel on the ground. Lean over your front bent knee as your lift your arm straight up by your side, top of the weight facing the ceiling. Lift and lower the 2-3 pound weight about an inch (30 times each side).
  • Step-ups
    This exercise targets the muscles of your glutes and hamstrings to create leaner, stronger legs, and a tighter, lifted rear. Step-ups also work your quadriceps since they require you to straighten your knee against resistance. How to do it: Stand in front of a bench or step and place your left foot firmly on the step. Press your left foot into the step and push your body up until your left leg is straight. Lower your body back down until your right foot touches the floor and repeat. Keep your chest up and core engaged the entire time. Keep your weight balanced evenly, not leaning too far forward or too far back.
  • Bridge
    Bridges are not only the perfect exercise for a perfectly rounded rear, but they will also help keep you’re back healthy and pain free. How to do it: Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips so your body forms as straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause in the up position, than lower your body back to the starting position.
  • Plank with Arm Raise
    Adding an arm raise to an already excellent exercise like the plank improves posture and core strength, which makes me feel better, look taller, and feel more confident. How to do it: Start to get into a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core and maintain your hip placement as you lift your right arm straight out in front of you. Draw your shoulder blades down and back as you lift your arms. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds and then switch arms.
  • Shoulder Stand
    There are so many physical and mental benefits to yoga. Inversion postures are great for helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite. I do a shoulder stand or put my legs up the wall for 5 minutes every night before I go to bed. How to do it: Lie down on your back and lift your legs and hips off the ground, bringing your legs up over your head until your toes touch the floor behind you. Place your hands behind your back and extend legs straight in the air, creating a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Keep your neck relaxed as your hold the shoulder stand. Try to hold it for at least one minute and then slowly come out of it.
  • How to Use These Moves
    • Total-Body Workout
      For a quick, total-body tone up, pick five of the moves and do 3 sets of each exercise 10 times (unless otherwise noted below). Move as fast as possible between moves for maximum calorie burn. The next day, do the other five exercises. You can incorporate a few sets of cardio intervals into the totalbody training session or do it separately for a longer period of time.
    • Target Your Trouble Zone
      if you want to tighten up one specific area, pick the exercises that focus on those places and incorporate them into your daily routine. Just remember to continue challenging your body by gradually increasing the weight or number of reps as you get stronger.