No Squats Belly, Butt and Thighs Workout

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The newest way to shape up your belly, butt, and thighs without stressing your joints: Flip your workout upside down!

These five moves only use one piece of equipment you’re sure to have in your home—a wall. You’ll isolate the tough-to-reach muscles that pull in your belly, lift your backside, and trim your thighs.

The perfect complement to weight-bearing exercises such as walking, inverted moves use gravity to naturally boost circulation and provide an instant energizing rush. They also give your knees and hips a break from the pounding of upright life.

Perform the following routine barefoot 4 or 5 times a week. Do 10 slow, controlled reps of each move. For faster results, do 2 sets of each exercise and add at least 30 minutes of cardio most days of the week.

1. Wall Bridge

Lie on your back with your butt against the wall and arms at your sides. Bend your knees and plant your feet 3 to 4 feet up the wall. Raise your lower and middle back off floor, keeping your shoulder blades on the ground. Hold for a deep inhale, then exhale and slowly return to the starting position.

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Cross your right ankle over your left knee so that only your left foot is on wall.

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Don’t use the wall. Keep your feet flat on floor as you lift into a bridge.

2. Windshield Wipers

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Lie faceup on the floor with your legs against a wall, the bottoms of your feet facing the ceiling. Slowly lower your left leg down the wall like a clock arm toward 9 o’clock, then return to the starting position. Repeat with right leg, sweeping toward 3 o’clock. Continue to alternate legs until you’ve completed all of the reps.

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Wrap an elastic exercise band around your left foot. Hold both ends at your right hip for added resistance as you sweep your left foot down the wall. Do all reps, then switch legs and repeat.

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Move your butt 3 to 6 inches away from the wall while performing the move.

3. Toe Reach

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Lie on the floor with your heels pressed against the wall, your legs straight. Reach your right hand toward your left foot, allowing your right shoulder to raise off the floor. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left hand and right foot. Continue to alternate until you’ve completed all reps.

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Perform the exercise with your feet stacked toe to heel.

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Reach toward your knees.

4. Wall Scissor

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Begin with your butt close to the wall, knees bent, and your feet planted on the wall. Raise your hips up, and place your elbows on the floor and your hands on your hips to support your lower body. Walk your feet up the wall so that your legs are straight. This is your starting position.

From here, lower your left leg toward your head, keeping both legs straight. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right leg. Continue to alternate until you’ve completed all reps.

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As you lower your leg, pause and pulse 2 or 3 times, moving it up and down an inch or two, before returning it back to the wall.

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Start with your hips 3 to 6 inches away from the wall.

5. Knee Press

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Lie on your back with your butt against the wall, knees bent, and feet planted 3 to 4 feet up the wall. Raise your butt and back off the floor and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Without moving the rest of your body, pulse your knee toward the wall 20 times. Lower your body, and repeat on your left side.

MAKE IT HARDER


As you press your knee, lift and lower your hips a couple of inches with each rep.

MAKE IT EASIER


Do the move with your butt on the floor.

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A Tighter Tush With Just One Move

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Get it right and get it tight with squats. If you did not know already, squats are great for toning your booty! They can get a little boring though, so it’s a good idea to try different squat variations. It’s also important to make sure you are performing the move properly, or else you won’t reap the benefits of your hard work!

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Step 1:

Place your hands straight by your sides. Stand with your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Squat down, bending your knees and pushing your butt back as if you were sitting in a chair. Make sure your knees stay behind your toes.

Step 2:

Explode up through the balls of your feet into a vertical leap with your legs and arms fully extended. As you land softly, sink back into the squat position, keeping your knees softly bent. Never land with your legs still extended and do not fully lock your knees out. That is one rep. Do as many power squats as you can within 60 seconds.

Modification: Do not squat down as deep, and rather than jump, simply rise up and stand on your toes as you extend your legs.

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4-Minute Insanely Fast Cardio Workout

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The most common reason for the vast majority of people who do not make regular exercise a priority is a “lack of time”.

Yes, you are busy, really busy – maybe even way too busy, but this full body fat busting cardio workout that requires no equipment and takes only 4 minutes to complete is going to blow all of your time related excuses out of the water.

4 Minutes is quick; lunch break – baby is down for a short nap – my boss isn’t looking – dinner is almost out of the oven – two commercial breaks of your favorite show quick.

And it will go by quick with this fun workout that burns belly fat, butt fat and all types off body fat, by torching calories, bumping up your metabolism, and calling upon muscles that you didn’t know you had.

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How This Workout Works:

4 Exercises
20 Seconds
10 Second Rest Intervals
2 Rounds
4 Minutes Total

Here’s the lineup:

1. Squat Thrusts (Burpees)

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Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands tucked behind your head with elbows out.

Step 2: Start with a quick jump then push your hips back, bend your knees and drop down, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.

Step 3: Kick your legs backward so that you’re now in a push up position.

Step 4: Quickly reverse the movement to return to the starting position by bringing your feet back into your hands.

Step 5: Push through your feet and jump up to the start position. That’s one rep.

2. Mountain Climbers

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Step 1: Get in a push up position. Your body should be in a straight, diagonal line from your head to your toes.

Step 2: Raise your right knee toward your chest.

Step 3: Kick the right leg back as the left leg comes forward. The feet only touch the floor when they return to the back.

Step 4: Alternate legs quickly for 60 seconds.
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3. High Knees

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Step 1: Stand tall with your core pulled in and your shoulders back.

Step 2: Keep this posture and raise your right knee as high as you can. Lower it back and repeat with your left leg.

4. Jumping Jacks

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Step 1:

Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides.

Step 2:

Jump up and raise your arms above your head, while simultaneously kicking your legs out to the sides. You should form an “x.” Without taking a break, quickly reverse the movement and repeat.

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5 “Bad” Foods That Are Actually Great for Your Waist

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If you’ve been avoiding burgers, ice cream, and pizza thinking youre doing your waistline a favor, don’t. They can actually help you lose weight—and keep it off, too. Here are the hidden slim-down perks of five foods that get a bad rap and the best way to add each one back into your diet.

1. Red meat

Even burgers and meatballs can be light fare if you make them with ground sirloin. Lean red meat—lean being the operative word—is a great choice for women who are trying to shed pounds. Its an excellent source of protein. And protein takes longer to digest, helping you feel full and cutting the likelihood that youll snack later on. In fact, a study of 100 women found that overweight women who ate reduced-calorie diets rich in protein from red meat and dairy lost more weight than those whose reduced-calorie plans had little meat and more carbs.

Best way to enjoy it: Choose ground beef labeled “97 percent lean” or “extra lean,” which means it has less than five grams of fat per serving. Want steak? Get lower-fat cuts from the loin, like sirloin tip, T-bone, or strip steak.

Watch out for: Beef that’s labeled Prime — it’s very high in fat. Buy cuts graded Choice; the meat has less fat and still tastes good. And remember to limit your portion size, no matter how lean the meat. For example, many restaurants will serve an eight-ounce steak or burger, which means you’re getting twice the amount you actually need. Stick to a three-ounce serving (i.e., roughly the size of a deck of cards).

2. Ice cream

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Good news for ice cream lovers! A recent Swedish study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that women who have at least one serving of full-fat dairy products a day gain less weight than women who don’t. Researchers aren’t entirely sure why, but it’s believed that a compound in milk fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may aid weight loss.

Not all studies support the dairy-aids-weight-loss claim. But there’s more evidence for than against, even if full-fat dairys secret is simply that it’s more satisfying.

Best way to enjoy it: Have a little cheese, ice cream, or a glass of milk each day. Dairy should be part of your diet, whether you’re trying to shed pounds or not. You need the calcium to maintain strong bones. And the vitamin D and CLA in milk both have cancer-fighting properties.

Watch out for: Fat intake. Remember that full-fat dairy products do contain saturated fat so it’s best to limit yourself to two servings daily—and to make your third serving a low-fat or skim choice.

3. Eggs

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After years of being barred from the average American diet, things are looking sunny-side up for eggs. According to a study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, overweight women who eat egg breakfasts lose twice as much weight as women who start their days with bagels. Researchers say the protein in eggs increases satiety and decreases hunger, helping women eat fewer calories throughout the day. In other words, eggs are a perfect protein source because they have all eight essential amino acids. Also, recent research debunks the idea that they have adverse effects on the heart.

Best way to enjoy them: Try them for breakfast. This is the ideal time for getting the proven fill-you-up benefits the rest of the day. Besides, it takes only a couple of minutes to scramble an egg. Work a hard- or soft-boiled egg into lunch, too, by adding it to a spinach salad. Or make an omelet or veggie frittata with two to three egg whites to every one yolk to keep the calories low (whites have just 16 calories, while whole eggs have 72 each).

Watch out for: Eggs served at restaurants. Even an egg-white omelet is likely to be fried in butter or oil unless you ask that it be prepared with cooking spray. And like pizza, beware of any egg dish that’s smothered in cheese. If you’re craving more flavor, add some herbs or salsa.

4. Pizza

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You already know you can enjoy some mozzarella on your favorite pie and still drop pounds. But there are other ways you can make that slice even healthier. To hike the diet-friendly fiber, choose a whole-wheat crust and top your pizza with veggies like peppers, artichokes, and broccoli. Like protein, fiber is digested slowly and helps keep you feeling full, longer. By sticking with healthful toppings like veggies and lean protein (grilled chicken is a good choice), a medium slice will set you back only 200 to 250 calories.

Best way to enjoy it:  Choose whole-wheat varieties. You can make your own or try a frozen one. If you’re ordering in or dining out, get a thin-crust pie — it’s typically lower in calories and fat than thicker versions.

Watch out for: Additional oil and fat. Avoid any pie that’s deep-dish (i.e., that means the crust is cooked in oil) or loaded with sausage and pepperoni. And while a bit of cheese is fine, a whole lot is not. Skip the extra cheese.

5. Canadian bacon

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Unlike a regular strip of crispy pork fat, Canadian bacon—which comes from the loin, one of the leanest parts of the pig—is a dieter’s best friend, with a third less fat than regular bacon. If that isn’t reason enough to put Canadian bacon on your plate, a recent study from Purdue University shows that women who eat a diet rich in lean pork and other protein keep more lean body mass during weight loss than women who eat a low-calorie diet with little pork and other protein sources. An added bonus: Women who eat meals rich in protein from pork report that they feel satisfied, in spite of the fact that they are on reduced-calorie diets, and say they’re happier overall.

Best way to enjoy it: Have some anytime — add Canadian or turkey bacon, another light pick, to scrambled eggs, or use some in a bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich on whole-wheat bread with reduced-fat mayo. You can chop it into strips and use it for a protein boost on salad, too.

Watch out for: Hidden fat. Some restaurants fry Canadian bacon on the griddle in oil. Before you order, request that it be cooked without oil or heated in the oven.

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Squats are like the perfect exercise staple and they make your body look pretty amazing. But just like your wardrobe, your fitness routine could use some variety. For an upgrade with major results, try these 7 squat variations.

1. Body-Weight Jump Squat

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Place your fingers on the back of your head and pull your elbows back so that they’re in line with your body. (A) Dip your knees in preparation to leap. (B) Explosively jump as high as you can. When you land, immediately squat down and jump again. (C)

2. Pistol Squat

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Stand holding your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level, parallel to the floor. Raise your right leg off the floor, and hold it there. (A) Push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push your body back to the starting position. (B)

3. Wide-Stance Barbell Squat

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Hold the bar across your upper back with an overhand grip. (A) Perform a squat with your feet set at twice shoulder width. (B)

4. Barbell Siff Squat

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Hold the bar across your upper back with an overhand grip. Before you squat, raise your heels as high as you can (A) and hold them that way for the entire lift. (B)

5. Braced Squat

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Hold a weight plate in front of your chest with both hands, your arms completely straight. (A) Perform a squat while holding the weight in place. (B)

6. Dumbbell Split Squat

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Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides, your palms facing each other. Stand in a staggered stance, your left foot in front of your right. (A) Slowly lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position as quickly as you can. (B) Switch legs and repeat.

7. Goblet Squat

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Hold a dumbbell vertically next to your chest, with both hands cupping the dumbbell head. (Imagine that it’s a heavy goblet.) (A) Brace your abs, and lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. (B) Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position.

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6 Butt Exercises For A Rounder and Lifted Butt

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It’s rare to find someone in the world of fitness who isn’t interested in building—or admiring—a bodacious booty. After all, a solid rump indicates a sturdy lower body that offers stability and power to many movements, in and out of the gym.

To create more desirable and stronger booty, here are 6 best butt exercises that shape the perfectly lifted butt men can’t stop staring.

1. Squats

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Basic Squat:

Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. (A) Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. (B) Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.

2. Lunges

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Basic Lunges (with weights):

Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at arm’s length next to your sides, your palms facing each other. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart (a). Step forward with your right leg and lower your body. As you lunge, curl both dumbbells up to your shoulders (b). Lower the dumbbells and then return to the starting position (c). Step forward with your left leg and repeat (d).

3. Glute Bridge

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Basic Glute Bridge (with knee squeeze):

Lie faceup with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place a rolled-up towel between your knees and hold it there as you perform the movement (A). Raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Don’t allow the towel to slip (B). Pause, then lower your hips toward the floor. That’s one rep.

4. Deadlifts

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Basic Dealift:

Grab a pair of five-to eight-pound dumbbells and hold them in front of your thighs, feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend at your hips to lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor, keeping the weights close to your body. Return to standing, keeping the weights close to your body (as if you’re shaving your legs with the dumbbells). That’s one rep.

5. Side-lying hip abduction (Side Leg Lifts)

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Basic Leg Lifts:

Lie on your left side, rest your head on your left arm, and place your right hand on the floor in front of your chest. Your legs should be straight with your right leg on top of your left leg. Without moving any other part of your body, slowly raise your right leg as high as you can. Pause, then return to the starting position.

6. Quadruped hip extension

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Basic Quadruped Hip Extension:

With hands and knees on the floor, lift one leg behind you, keeping knee bent at a 90-degree angle, until your sole faces the ceiling. Lower leg and repeat. Switch sides.

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5 Ways To Build The Perfect Butt

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Who doesn’t want a backside that turns heads? You can do cardio until you’re blue in the face, but you won’t build a great bum unless you do some weight training. Not sure which moves or techniques are best for building the perfect booty? We’ve got you covered.

Here are 5 ways to make yours rounder, fuller, and stronger so you can rock the heck out of those new skinny jeans.

1. SQUAT

Of all the bum-friendly exercises to add to your workout routine, the squat should be numero uno. True, it’s the queen exercise of butt-building, but it’s also a great movement for athleticism, flexibility, and can even tax your cardiovascular system.

Joan Puli, an IFBB Bikini competitor and proud owner of a great booty has some tips for squatting. “Old-fashioned bodyweight squats that go below parallel are a great way to start your leg workout,” she says. “They’re the perfect way to make sure you concentrate on using the right muscles throughout the workout.”

Before each leg workout, Joan does 4 sets of 25 reps of bodyweight squats. She focuses on squeezing the glute muscles to get them firing and ready for her heavier lifts ahead.

Joan also recommends concentrating on form rather than weight. “Focus on feeling the form through all of your exercises rather than using the heaviest weight possible,” she says. “It’s important to feel that mind-muscle connection.”

2. GO “WIDE AND HIGH”

Puzzled about how to grow your glutes without also building massive quads? Amy Luchesse delivers the “wide and high” answer. “When doing any glute-focused exercise, like squats, take a wide step forward to take the weight away from your quads. Or, if you’re doing step-ups, add more elevation. Both adjustments will add more focus on the glutes specifically.”

If you’re really looking for a challenge, Amy also recommends lunging by stepping down from an elevated platform. This increases your range of motion, which will result in greater glute muscle fiber activation and growth.

3. BUILD A GLUTE BRIDGE

One problem Dr. Amanda Dickinson sees regularly is women who are using a regimen that neglects to correct muscular imbalances. “It’s critical to follow a workout that focuses on correcting your muscle imbalances so you can avoid running into injuries,” she explains. “Most of us spend the majority of our day sitting, which further causes the glute muscles to weaken and makes us rely more heavily on our quads and hamstrings to power through our exercises.”

One of Amanda’s favorite exercises to correct this imbalance is the glute bridge. To perform this one, sit on the ground with your upper back against a bench, your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your pelvis high enough off the floor to create a straight line between your knees, hips, and shoulders.

Focus on using only your glute muscles to do the work. If you need a bigger challenge, put a weight plate or loaded barbell on your hips for extra resistance.

4. SINGLE LEG SQUATS

Because this exercise puts your body in an unbalanced position, you’ll have to recruit often-untapped muscle fibers in order to maintain balance. This added challenge will get even the most stubborn glutes to grow.

Single-leg squats are often overlooked, but they’re one of the most challenging and most effective lower-body movements around. Many people won’t be able to do one right off the bat. Hold a weight in front of you for counterbalance, grab a wall for help, or put a thin plate under your heel.

Whatever you do, squat down as low as you can.

5. DO SPLIT SQUATS

The split squat is an excellent butt-building move. When you do it, think about pushing up from the bent-knee position through the heel instead of through the ball or toes of your foot. By shifting your weight to your heel, your center of balance will instantly move slightly backward and will better activate your glutes.

To make split squats even more difficult and thus put more stress on your booty muscles, put a barbell across your back. A barbell works better than dumbbells because your body position is optimized for glute muscle recruitment.

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10 Workouts For A Firmer Bust

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Your breasts are made up of two major muscles – the Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor as well as many smaller muscles. These muscles lie underneath the breast tissue and on the breastbone, and connect to the humerus (the arm bone closest to your shoulder joint).

Your chest plays a major part in helping to bring your arms across your body and your shoulders forward.

These exercises target your upper, middle or lower chest muscles and therefore result in a firmer bust.

1. Push-up

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Lie on your stomach, place hands flat on the ground next to your arm pits and push yourself up so your elbows are slightly bent. Now bend legs at the knees. Bring your feet up and cross at the ankle. Make sure you keep your stomach tensed, slowly lower your chest to the ground in three or four counts, then push yourself back up again. Repeat as many times as you can.

Why it works

A push-up is a great compound exercise that not only works your chest but also your shoulder, back and core muscles. It can be done at home or in the gym and is easy to progress. Just switch your knees to your toes for a harder workout, or take it to the next level by placing your legs on a stability ball.

2. Bench press

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Lie with the middle of your back on top of a stability ball and make sure your shoulder blades have room to move. Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold dumbbells next to your arm pits with knuckles facing forward. Count to three as you push the weights up away from your chest, until your arms are almost straight above you. Slowly lower back to starting position using the same number of counts.

Why it works

This exercise works not only your chest muscles but your triceps too. The unstable surface of a stability ball also works your core muscles and helps to improve balance and co-ordination.

3. Tricep/Chair dips

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Face away from the chair. Place your hands behind you on the edge of the seat, shoulder-width apart.

With your hands securely in place, step a foot or two away, straighten your legs and keep heels in contact with the floor. Straighten your arms so that your body is lifted. This is your starting position.

Bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are at 90 degrees, hold, and re-straighten back to the starting position. Repeat.

Why it works

While this exercise does focus on your triceps, it is actually a great exercise for your pecs too. This is an excellent way to get your arms and chest toned in time for summer.

4. Medicine ball slams

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Hold a medicine ball with both hands. Lift it above your head, keep feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bend. Now try to slam the ball onto the floor as hard as you can. Pick it up and do three sets of 20.

Why it works

You will find this move works your chest during the ‘slamming’ motion. The harder you slam, the harder your muscles will work. This exercise also targets your shoulders, arms and leg muscles as well. It has cardio benefits and will leave you feeling exhausted.

5. Dumbbell flyes

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Lie in the same position as you would for a bench press. Instead this time, place both hands above your chest with arms straight, elbows slightly bent and knuckles facing out to the side. Open arms out wide and lower until elbows are in line with your shoulders taking three or four counts. Bring back to starting position using the same amount of counts.

Why it works

Flyes are different to a bench press because it is an isolated movement, which means you are using just one joint to work your muscle.

6. Burpees

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Do a push-up. Once completed, keep your hands on the ground and jump your legs forward so you are standing in a bent over position. Lift hands off the ground and jump into the air as high as you can. Now bend over again, place hands flat on the floor and jump feet back into a push- up position. Repeat four sets of 20 with 30 seconds break in between each set.

Why it works

This exercise uses your pecs during the push-up phase and also while helping to stabilise your body before you jump into the air. It also works your shoulders and arms and is a great cardio exercise.

7. Medicine ball push-ups

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Position yourself in a push-up position placing one hand on top of the medicine ball and the other hand on floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width away.

The arm that has the hand on the ball should be slightly bent. Perform a push-up by lowering your body down.

As you straighten up, rapidly roll the ball under your body to the other hand, then perform another push-up again.

Continue this 10 to 20 times and do three to four sets.

Why it works

Incorporating an uneven surface like the medicine ball helps increase your balance and core stability.

8. Straight arm pull over

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Lie across a stability ball with only your upper back resting on the ball. Place feet flat on the floor with knees in a 90-degree angle. Hold dumbbells together with both hands and hold above your head with straight arms. Keep arms in starting position and lower dumbbells behind, using only your shoulder joint as far as possible. Slowly return to starting position.

Why it works

This isolation exercise focuses on your chest muscles without the help from other major muscle groups. To further challenge your core muscles, put your feet and knees closer together.

9. Cable chest/fly crossover

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As a heads up, the cable machine will have independent arms or adjustable sides. Ensure the pulleys are sitting at the top of the machine. Select a weight that lets you perform 12 to 15 reps, max. Once you’re set to go, stand tall, lean forward slightly (maintaining a strong core) and hold both handles. Keep feet together, or you can try a split stance. With arms slightly bent, squeeze both handles together using arms and chest (pectorals) and hold for 3 seconds. Slowly bring arms back to start position. Like a pro: Aim for 3 sets and rest for 45 seconds between.

Why it works

This exercise requires your muscles to contract without any change in the length of the muscle; therefore it helps to tone without the muscle growing in size.

10. Medicine ball pull over

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Lay on a swiss workout ball (optional). Hold a medicine ball straight up in the air. Slowly lower the medicine ball behind your head as far as you can, keeping arms lengthened with a soft elbow bend. Squeeze your chest and triceps as you bring the ball back to the original position above your chest.

Why it works

This exercise is a great way to wrap up a chest workout or to do on its own. The muscles are working hard but without the resistance of a weight.

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7 Reasons To HIIT It Up

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If you’re already a fan of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or have heard the buzz surrounding it, you know that it’s a super fast, very effective way to work out.

Basically, HIIT involves short, intense bursts of exercise with less intense moves or complete rest in between. Essentially, it’s crazy-efficient—which means you could be spending less time in the gym each week while still cashing in on all the fat-burning, metabolism-boosting, and heart-pounding benefits.

If you’re still not convinced that HIIT is worth a try, read on for even more of its advantages.

1. It Strengthens A Major Muscle

That would be your heart. When you turn up the intensity on your workout, as high-intensity interval training does, you’re making your heart work harder, says Jordan Bell, M.D., an exercise physician and author of Exercise And Food, Where Your Abs Are Made. And since this muscle (like most) becomes stronger after putting it through tough training, this workout is very beneficial for your heart health.

Plus, a study by the American Council on Exercise found that Tabata workouts (high-intensity interval training that consists of eight intervals performed in four minutes) effectively boost cardiovascular strength.

2. It’s The Fitness Equivalent of Buy One Get One Free

You might not think that it’s possible to squeeze a solid strength-training session and a calorie-torching cardio workout into a quick routine, but you would be wrong. With HIIT, you’re pushing yourself as hard as you can go to accomplish as many reps as possible.

That butt busting earns you cardiovascular benefits. By incorporating strength-training exercises into your intervals (as well as cardio moves), you also reap muscle-strengthening benefits.

3. You Can Tailor Your Training to Your Fitness Level

You don’t have to follow 30 seconds of an intense move using seriously heavy dumbbells with just 30 seconds of rest—that level would be something a highly trained exerciser would shoot for. If you’re not quite ready for that challenge, there are ways to tweak your work-to-rest ratio, as well as the moves you’re doing.

4. It Doesn’t Require a Gym

Eve Overland, Carrie Underwood’s tour trainer has said that she loves to bust out interval-training moves to help the country singer get in quick exercise sessions when she’s on the road (and therefore doesn’t have a fully stocked gym).

5. It Keeps Your Blood Sugar In Check

A new study published in the journal Diabetologia suggests that this kind of training can help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes better than continuous exercise.

6. It Cranks Up Your Metabolism

When you do a “sustainable” exercise, like going on a long run, your body uses less oxygen than when you push yourself to the max, as you do during HIIT. And when you work out to the point where it’s difficult to breathe (because your body is using more oxygen), your metabolism starts working at a higher level, which helps you burn more calories during your workout and after you exercise.

7. It Burns More Fat in Less Time

When your workout goes back and forth between high- and low-intensity activities, it improves your anaerobic and aerobic fitness, which helps you burn more fat in less time than longer endurance training.

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7 Habits To Get Yourself Fit For Life

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Being fit and healthy doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to working out for hours a day and eating nothing but chicken and steamed broccoli for every meal. In fact, there are several more effective (and less painful!) habits you can adopt today that will not only help you get in shape in the short-term, but will help you stay that way for the long run as well.

These seven habits are easy to implement into your everyday lifestyle, and will help get you healthy and fit for life:

  1. Stop making excuses

I know, you’re too busy to go to the gym. It takes too much time to pack a healthy lunch and too hard to find something healthy to eat out. You would work out at home, but you don’t know how.

All of these excuses are valid in their own way, and yes, we’ve all been there. But if you really want to get — and stay — fit and healthy, you have to learn to give up your excuses and start making your health and fitness a top priority today.

  1. Walk more.

Even if you go to the gym six days a week, the real key to lifelong fitness is to simply be more active and walk more in your day-to-day life. Try making a conscious effort to walk whenever and wherever you can: to the grocery store, to get your afternoon coffee or go on a post-dinner stroll with your family. Try and aim for at least 10,000 steps a day.

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  1. Don’t always deprive yourself

Although it may seem counterintuitive, striving to always be “perfect” with your nutrition is actually not a good long-term strategy to get or stay in shape. Depriving yourself of dessert and all the foods you love will only result in a binge of those very same foods when your willpower is at a moment of weakness.

Instead, try following the 80/20 strategy: eat healthy around 80% of the time, then let yourself have some treats here and there. Just make sure they’re really good ones!

  1. Find activities that get you moving.

Instead of always going to the movies or sitting around for long meals, try finding some activities you and friends or loved ones enjoy doing together. Go for a bike ride, take a scenic hike, set up a game of bocce ball for the whole family to enjoy — the list is endless! Not only will you get moving, you’re bound to have more fun as well.

  1. Shorten your workouts.

When you have to plan an hour or more for a workout, of course it’s not always possible to go to the gym. But when you pack your entire workout into an efficient, 10-20 minute HIIT workout that works your entire body and leaves you soaked in sweat, you’ll no longer have the same excuse to skip your workout as often as you normally would. Just remember to work hard!

  1. Make sleep a priority

Many of us underestimate the importance of a good night’s rest, but it’s crucial for long-term health that you give your body a proper amount of sleep each night. And if thinking long-term isn’t enough of an incentive, remember this: too little sleep can also impair weight loss efforts due to raised cortisol levels. Try and get around seven to eight hours a night on a regular basis.

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  1. Find ways to actually enjoy your veggies.

I get it, not everyone loves the taste of vegetables. Although I now crave veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts and kale on a daily basis, there were definitely times in my life when I ate nothing but mac and cheese for days (college, anyone?).

But vegetables are packed with important nutrients that keep your body healthy, and their fiber content also helps fill you up. So if you don’t love a plain salad, find ways to make your veggies interesting: roast them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, toss them in a flavorful stir fry or blend them into a juice so you don’t even know they’re there. If you don’t despise them, you’re much more likely to eat vegetables on a regular basis.

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