5 Daily Habits That Boost Your Metabolism

Churning away inside your body—right this minute—is your very own personal fat burner, working tirelessly to help you burn calories and shed fat. It’s called your metabolism, and it’s the sum of everything your body does.

Each time you eat, enzymes in your body’s cells break down the food and turn it into energy that keeps your heart beating, your mind thinking, and your legs churning during a grueling workout. A fast metabolism means more calories burned. The more you burn, the easier it is to drop pounds. And get this—you can make increase you metabolism so it works harder, a lot harder, 24 hours a day.

Here are 5 simple daily habits that you can adopt to speed up your metabolism considerably.

1. Sleep

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According to a 2010 review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology, sleep deprivation has a profound effect on metabolic function. The less sleep you get, the more likely it is to see hiccups and slowing in your regular metabolic rate.

If you’re tired, a lot of times, you make poor choices. Our body needs time to repair itself; it needs rest. Don’t think that making sure you get enough sleep on the weekends helps, if anything, that just plays havoc on your system.

Try laying out a schedule and giving yourself a bedtime a la your toddler years. You don’t have to tell mom now, but seems like she was really on to something with that whole lights out at 9 p.m. thing.

2. Build Muscles

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Muscle has a huge impact on the amount of calories you burn, according to an article plublished in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Plain and simple: Muscles use a lot more calories than fat during the day (even while you’re resting).

The more muscular you are, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. Hit the gym, get to your downward dogs, paddle board — anything that builds up muscle — get out there and enjoy it, especially as you age.

Building up muscle can also help support bone health. Both muscles and bones become stronger when muscles work against bones during bouts of exercise. The benefit? Better overall health and strength when it comes to doing everyday tasks ranging from lifting a box up the stairs to walking to the train.

3. Not skip meals

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We’ve all been there: Sometimes we get so busy that we forget to eat breakfast or lunch, and before we know it it’s 4 p.m. and we haven’t eaten a thing (and no, coffee doesn’t count as a meal). The problem? Skipping meals can actually shock the metabolism and give you less-than-satisfactory results.

The longer a woman goes between meals, especially if she’s skipping them, the body kind of goes into a ‘I don’t know when my next meal is coming, I’m gonna hold onto whatever I have’ phase’. Then, your metabolism slows down. That’s why it’s super important not to skip any meals.

If you skip meals, you’re also likely to have much lower energy, which can affect you physically, emotionally, and mentally, which makes building muscles a lot less possible.

4. Load up on spicy foods

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Eating spicy food can speed up your metabolism — chili peppers, in particular. The peppers have a compound called capsaicin which gives them their powerful kick. A study published in the New York Times indicated that the capsaicin creates a large bump in heat generation, helping send your energy producers into high gear immediately after a meal.

5. Drink more water

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Plain and simple, if you’re dehydrated, metabolism slows down. Especially in the summer when you’re more prone to dehydration, make sure you’re getting in a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day. Not a fan of plain old water? Add cucumber, lemon, or pineapple for a flavor boost that’ll leave you hankering for more.

 

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4 Moves To Slim Your Hips And Thighs

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Many women tell me that every stray calorie seems to migrate to their hips and thighs. This is not a figment of their imaginations. And many women are looking for ways to get slim hips and thighs.

Before menopause, many women’s bodies store excess fat predominantly in this area, creating what’s come to be known as the “pear-shaped” body. For thousands of years, fat storage in these areas greatly helped cave-dwelling women survive during times of drought and famine. And women who could easily store fat in their hips and thighs tended to be able to give birth and feed a baby during a drought—during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the body needs as many as 1,000 extra calories a day—thus passing on their thigh-fat-storing genetics to future generations.

This is one reason why thigh fat is so difficult to get rid of. Genes left over from your cave-dwelling ancestors cause hormones and enzymes in your body to direct every extra calorie into waiting fat cells in your hips and thighs. For example, your levels of the female sex hormone estrogen may be a tad higher than other women whose bodies don’t store excess fat in these areas (or as much of it).

But don’t despair, there are ways to coax these fat cells in your thighs to release their contents, and to coax your muscle cells into burning it up! Here are the 4 right moves that blast fat from your hips and thighs -they may seem simple but girl, they are effective. And the best part, you can do these moves in your bedroom – I’m sure you have a chair and pillow there.

Move #1: Seated Pillow Squeeze (works the inner thighs)

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Sit on a sturdy chair (one without wheels). Rest your feet on the floor with your knees bent at 90-degree angles. Place a pillow between your thighs. Exhale as you squeeze the pillow between your thighs, as if you were trying to squeeze the stuffing out of the pillow. Hold for 1 minute as you breathe normally. Release and proceed to Move 2.

Move #2: Seated Hand Push (works outer thighs and hips)

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Sit on a sturdy chair. Rest your feet on the floor with your knees bent at 90-degree angles. Place your palms on the outsides of your knees. While keeping your palms and arms stationary, push your knees outward against your palms, as if you were trying to push your palms away. At the same time, press inward with your hands, preventing your thighs from pushing them outward. Hold this isometric contraction for 1 minute, breathing normally. Release and proceed to Move 3.

Move #3: Seated Leg Raise (works front of the thighs)

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Sit on a sturdy chair. Rest your feet on the floor with your knees bent at 90-degree angles. Rest your hands on the chair at your sides. Exhale as you lift and extend your right leg. Hold for 30 seconds as you breathe normally. Then inhale as you lower your right leg and exhale as you repeat with your left leg. Hold for 30 seconds while breathing normally. Release and proceed to Move 4.

Move #4: Seated Bridge (works the backs of the thigh and rear end)

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Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair. Rest your feet on the floor with your knees bent at 90-degree angles. Rest your palms on the chair at your sides. Exhale as you lift your hips, allowing your palms and feet to support your body weight. Continue to lift your hips until your body resembles the shape of a bridge. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds while breathing normally. Release and return to Move 1. Repeat Moves 1-4 once more, and you’re done.

 

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4 Exercises To A Perfect Posture

Slouching doesn’t just make your belly look pudgy; it also causes neck and back pain, decreases oxygen flow to your muscles, and reduces flexibility, all of
which increases your risk of injury.

This 4-exercise workout combats chest tightness (which exacerbates bad posture) and strengthens the muscles that pull back the shoulder blades. The result
after a few weeks of training is a sculpted upper body that balances out fuller hips, making you appear slimmer. Let’s get moving.

How this workout works:

Two or three times a week, do 1 set of each of the first three moves in order, resting for up to 60 seconds between sets. Repeat twice. Finish with the T
stretch.

You’ll need:

A pair of 2- to 5-pound dumbbells, a stability ball, a 6- to 10-pound Body Bar, a resistance tube, and a foam roller.

1. Y-Raise

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WORKS: Shoulders and Upper Back

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie facedown with belly centered on a stability ball, legs extended behind you, feet wider than shoulders. Extend arms
toward the ground to make a “Y,” palms facing each other [A].

Raise weights overhead [B], lower; repeat. Do 12 to 15 reps.

2. Right-angle Press

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WORKS: Upper Back

Hold a Body Bar at chest height in front of you, elbows bent 90 degrees and palms facing ground, and stand with feet shoulder-width apart [A].

Keep upper arms parallel to ground and rotate shoulders back, bringing bar behind your head [B]. Lower bar to starting position and repeat. Do 12 to 15 reps.

3. High Row

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WORKS: Shoulders and Upper Back

Anchor the center of a resistance tube at chest height in front of a stability ball. Sit on the ball and hold both handles shoulder-width apart at chest
height in front of you, palms facing the ground (tube should be taut) [A].

Bend elbows, drawing hands toward shoulders [B]. Return to starting position and repeat. Do 15 to 20 reps.

4. T-Stretch

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WORKS: Stretches your chest

Sit in front of one end of a foam roller with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lie back so head, shoulders, and upper back are on the roller; then
create a “T” by extending arms out to sides, palms facing up. Hold for 1 minute

 

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4 Abs Moves For Women Who Hate Crunches

This 10-minute routine will work the key muscles that can improve your strength and endurance. Do 12 reps of each move, one after the next, with no rest. Repeat for another set. Work up to 3 sets, 3 times a week and you’re golden.

1. Rotating Side Plank

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Start in a push-up position. Balance on your right hand and extend your left arm toward the ceiling. Place your left foot on top of your right, resting on the edges of your feet. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds. Roll back to center, then balance on your left arm so that you’re in side plank facing the opposite direction. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds; roll back to center. That’s one rep.

2. Cobra Lift

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Lie facedown, legs extended, arms out and back about 45 degrees, palms down. Contract your glutes, squeeze your shoulder blades together, press your legs into the floor, and lift as much of your torso up as far as you can (this may be just your chest), rotating your arms so your thumbs point to the ceiling. Keep your neck straight. Pause. Return to start position.

3. Dead Bug

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Lie on your back, arms extended toward the ceiling, legs perpendicular to the floor. Bend your knees 90 degrees. Brace your core so that your back is flat. Slowly lower your left arm and right leg simultaneously, your arm reaching toward your head and leg straight, until your lower back starts to lift. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.

4. Single Leg Bridge

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Lie on your back, arms out to your sides, palms down, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor close to your butt. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Raise and extend your left leg, keeping your hips level. Lower back to start, with your butt on the floor. Repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.

 

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25 Weight Loss Facts You Don’t Know About

In the world of weight-loss it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction. Here are 25 weight-loss facts from the experts:

1. FLAVOUR
Research shows that eating satisfaction is derived from the flavour intensity and visual impact of a meal, not necessarily the amount served. Kick your food up a notch with spices, which add flavour without the calories. Cornell University research.

2. DAIRY
“Cutting back on the amount of dairy you eat can signal your body to make more fat cells. When you don’t have enough calcium in your body it tries to hold onto what’s there. This triggers the release of a compound called Calcitriol, which increase the production of fat cells”. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

3. LIFESTYLE
Those who see exercise as part of their lifestyle, rather than a way to change their appearance are more successful at keeping the weight off. A study in Nutrition & Metabolism.

3 Ways To Eliminate Stubborn Female Body Fat

4. FLEXIBILITY
Ignore strict guidelines. People with a flexible approach to eating had a better track record of maintaining weight loss. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

5. ‘I DON’T’
Saying, ‘I don’t’ rather than ‘I can’t’ will give you ownership. Saying, ‘I can’t’ suggests something is beyond your control. If you feel more empowered more likely to stick to it. The American Dietetic Association.

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6. EXERCISE
Brazilian scientists have observed that exercise heightens the activity of the neurones that control feelings of fullness; ensuring you eat slowly and steadily.

Science PROVES it is possible to get skinny in JUST 6 Minutes a day

7. EGGS ARE EXCELLENT
Start you day with an egg to lose weight. It will provide you with prolonged energy release, so you’ll be less likely to opt for a sugary snack mid-morning. 72.5% of an egg is pure protein despite the 1.5g of fat. The American Heart Association.

8. ALCOHOL
Swiss researchers gave 8 participants the equivalent in alcohol of five beers; they found alcohol slowed down the participant’s ability to burn fat by 36%. Double whammy, your body starts making fat called acetyl as a waste product of alcohol.

9. CHEW SLOWLY
The act of chewing stimulates satiety hormones better than swallowing liquid does.

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10. WATER
Use water to burn fat! Simply holding a bottle of water when running can help you shift a few extra pounds. A study found that by holding a bottle of cold water maintained a low core temperature, increasing endurance. Stanford University.

11. BREAKFAST
‘Not eating breakfast can reduce your metabolic rate by 10%’ according do dietician, and director of sports nutrition, Leslie Bonci.

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12. MORNING WORK-OUT
Weight-loss is impossible to sustain without exercise. Studies have shown athletes who work out in the morning stoke their metabolism higher and longer and burn more calories throughout the day than those who workout at the end of the day.

Drop up to 20 lbs off your belly in only 3 weeks using this weird trick.

13. HYDRATION
17% more reps people could do in sets when they were well hydrated. University of Connecticut.

14. CARBS
‘Slow-burning complex carbs are essential for good health. They keep you feeling fuller for longer. Opt for brown rice, as it is also rich in fibre. Gay Riley, a registered dietician.

15. OMEGA-3
A shout out to flaxseed – get your omega-3s. It increases a hormone called Leptin which will banish the unnecessary cravings, Herrings also have the highest Omega-3 content. So embrace a little fat.

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16. MUSCLE MEMORY
Muscle memory is a thing, your body never forgets. ‘The more exercise you do the more your memory can bank and the easier it is to make deposits’. Your muscle memory extends beyond your fitness level.

17. VARIETY
Confuse your body. Keep your muscles guessing and they will get leaner and stronger. Tony Horton celeb PT.

18. SWIMMING
Swimming burns calories, boosts your metabolism, and firms every muscle in your body. No other workout does quite the same.

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19. LEMON WATER
Lemon water – lemon peel contains pectin, a soluble fibre that has been shown to help with weight-loss. Add some lemon to your water to help you feel fuller for longer.

20. RED GRAPEFRUIT
One study found that people who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds over 12 weeks. The red variety has more of the cancer-protecting antioxidant lycopene.

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21. DINING OUT
People eat nearly 107 more calories when they eat out rather than eating at home.

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22. SATIETY
Wait a minute or 20 – it takes 15-20 minutes for the food you eat to reach the end of your intestine where some of the satiety hormones are released. So maybe wait longer before you dig into desert?

23. YOGURT + FLAXSEED = POWER-COUPLE
Power-couples: yogurt and ground flaxseed: probiotics need to feed on prebiotics – fibres found in foods like flaxseed. When you eat them together your restore and maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your body.

24. PROTEIN
Put high-quality protein on every plate. Just eating it burns energy. About 25% of the protein calories are burned off in digestion, absorption, and chemical changes.

Lose 20 pounds in 3 weeks? Is it really possible?

25. MUSIC
Crank up your workout: Music that evokes joy can improve blood-vessel dilation by 26%. It helps us exercise longer by diverting our attention.

 

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15 Tips To Make Your Workout Count

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No one wants to spend long hours at the gym, but at the same time we want to get stronger, fitter, leaner, and just plain look good.

If you are like many women who constantly think that they haven’t spent enough time at the gym, it’s possible that you’re not getting the most out of your workout time.

So, instead of finding more time to spend at the gym, employ some of these 15 tips that will help you get to your desired health and fitness level with as little as 30 minutes at the gym. By all means, if there’s a cute guy you’re flirting with, stay longer – but know that you can focus on him since you’d already be finished with your workout. Good luck.

1. High-intensity workouts.
If you’re just starting out with exercise, it’s best to take it slow. If you’re running or cycling, for example, build up your endurance for at least a month before you get into anything more intense. That means going at a rate where you can easily talk without being out of breath. However, once you have that base of endurance, step up the intensity to step up the effectiveness of the workout.

2. Protein.
Many people don’t pay enough attention to getting the protein their muscles need to rebuild. If you don’t, you are going to get very little out of your workout, as both cardio and strength workouts require protein for building muscles. I recommend either whey or soy protein shakes.

See five “odd” veggies that boost female metabolism and kill belly fat.

3 Water.
Be sure to hydrate throughout the day. It takes a couple of hours for your body to absorb the water, so you can’t just drink right before exercise. Make it a habit to drink water regularly throughout the day.

4. Carbs.
Although the low-carb craze might say otherwise, carbs are our body’s main source of fuel. If you do intense workouts, you will need carbs, or you won’t have enough energy. If you do a shake, be sure to include carbs — or a banana is a great source of low fiber/high glycemic carbohydrates that you need for exercise.

5. Shake before and after workout.
It’s best to take a protein/carb shake just before your workout and then just after. Taking it before your workout increases the flow of amino acids to your muscles during training, giving them the building blocks they need. After the workout, the shake stimulates muscle growth. Also take a small protein/carb meal 60-90 minutes after a workout — a meal replacement bar would work fine.

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6. Slow lifting.
Many people contract their muscles slowly and then release more quickly. But if you lift slowly in both directions, you are maximizing each move. Lift and lower to a 5-second count in each direction.

7. Heavier weight.
When you’re starting out, it’s best to start with lower weights so you can focus on good form. But once you’ve gotten your form down, it’s best to lift the heaviest weights you can lift while still keeping good form. Don’t sacrifice form for heavy weights — that is ineffective. But heavy weights, with good form, can give you better results in a shorter amount of time. Heavy weights are not just for those who want to bulk up — that’s a common misconception.

8. One set, to failure.
Instead of doing 2-3 sets, as many people do, maximize your effectiveness by doing just one, with heavy weights, until you can no longer keep the proper form. Lifting to “failure” doesn’t mean that you should lift the last few times with a wobbly or inefficient form.

Drop up to 20 lbs off your belly in only 3 weeks using this weird trick.

9. Compound exercises.
Instead of isolating your muscles with exercises such as the bicep curl, you can maximize the time you spend in a workout by doing exercises that work out multiple muscle groups at once. With just a few exercises, you could get a full-body workout. Another benefit is that your muscles are working together as they do in the real world, rather than alone. Some great compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, good mornings, lunges, pushups, bench presses, military presses, rows, pullups, dips, and more.

10. Balance lifting.
Instead of having exercises where you’re sitting down or holding on to something or otherwise stabilized, it’s more effective to do them standing up, or on one leg, or on a Swiss exercise ball. These types of exercises force you to balance yourself while lifting, which brings your core muscles into play. This gives you a stronger overall body and allows you to lift more over time.

11. Pick a cardio exercise you enjoy.
It’s no fun to exercise if you hate it. And you won’t keep it up for very long. Pick something that’s fun — running, walking, swimming, biking, hiking, rowing, stairmaster, etc. After the initial phase when you’re getting used to exercise, you’ll start to have a blast and look forward to it.

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12. Mix it up.
Don’t stick to the same workout routine for too long, or your body will adjust to the stress level and you won’t be getting an effective workout. For strength training, change your routine every few weeks. For cardio, it’s best to cross train rather than, say, to run every time.

13. Good form.
For strength training especially, and swimming, form is very important, but it’s also important for other types of exercise. If you’re strength training, start with lighter weights so you can work on your form. It’s good to have an experienced spotter or trainer who knows good form to help you for the first month or so. Never sacrifice form for heavier weight. For swimming, you’ll need to get a coach to teach you form.

14. Hills.
If you run or bike or walk for cardio, you’ll want to incorporate hills (after the first month or two of doing it at an easy pace on flat ground). These will make you stronger and make your limited workout time even more effective. Take them easy at first, but once you’re used to hills, you can get a good pace going. Either use a hilly route or do repeats on one hill.

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15. Circuits.
One mistake that people make is to do multiple sets of the same exercise without rest between the sets. This doesn’t allow your muscles to recover and it’s a waste of your workout. But instead of doing a set, resting, and then doing your second set, it’s more effective to move on to multiple exercises in a circuit, so that you don’t rest between exercises but do rest each muscle group. This will give you a good cardio workout while you do your strength training.

The ideal workout plan
If you take all of these tips into account, the ideal plan would be to alternate 2-3 days of high-intensity strength training with 2-3 days of high-intensity cardio. You could get by with 4 days of exercise if you do them at high intensity.

The high-intensity strength training would be 30-40 minutes of circuit training, with no rest or little rest between exercises within a circuit, and a short rest between circuits if you do more than one. The circuit should work out your entire body, using compound exercises such as the squat, deadlift, pullups, good mornings, etc., and either standing or using a Swiss ball so that you are working out your core. You should use heavier weights, one set for each exercise, doing them slowly (5 second up, 5 seconds down), and to exhaustion, making sure to have good form on each exercise.

You would have a protein/carb shake before and after the workout, and a small meal of protein/carbs within 60-90 minutes of the workout. Water is also important for both types of workouts.

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The high-intensity cardio would be something you enjoy doing. You would do interval training, at a rate where you couldn’t talk, with short rests in between intervals. On some workouts, you would incorporate hills.

Remember, these high-intensity workouts are not for people just starting out. You should build up an endurance base before doing the high-intensity cardio, and start the weights with lighter weights, stressing good form.

 

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8 Moves To Tone Your Thunder Thighs

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Thighs can be such a problem area to some women. Sometimes, it seems that no matter what you do, this typical area cannot be toned or tightened. However, that is not the case.

As women, our hormones allow us to become more predisposed to storing fat around our midsection, hips, buttocks, and THIGHS! With a clean diet low in processed foods and the right exercises, you can help overcome the appearance of “thunder thighs.”

There is no way to spot reduce. I know what you are thinking. Yes, that is true. However, there are specific exercises out there to tone your entire thighs-including the inside!

Do the following exercises in a circuit. Complete all 8 exercises with a maximum of 30 seconds of rest in between – do 3 circuits 3 times a week for maximum results. Good luck.

1. Sumo Squats

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  • Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, holding a medicine ball in front of your chest.
  • Squat down as low as you can, keeping your heels on the ground and your back straight.
  • Press back up to standing. That’s one rep.
  • Do 15 reps

Drop up to 20 lbs off your belly in only 3 weeks using this weird trick.

2. Fire Hydrants

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  • Place your body on an all-fours position. Elbows should be slightly bent.
  • Back should be parallel to the ground, not arched or swayed downward.
  • Keeping the kneeling position raise left leg out to the side, parallel to the ground. Maintain for a second and slowly return to the initial position.
  • Repeat movement with same leg until set is finished. Repeat the exercise using the right leg.
  • Do 10 reps for each leg.

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3. Inner Thigh Lift

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  • Lie on your left side, flat against the floor.Rest your head on your left upper arm.
  • Bend your right (top) leg at the knee and cross over in front of left leg. Rest your right arm on your right hip.
  • Keep your left leg straight. Using inner thigh muscle (adductor), lift left leg 6 inches off floor. Keep left toe in flexed position (not a pointed position). Exhale (breathe out) as you lift your leg.
  • Using resistance with the inner thigh muscle (not gravity), slowly lower your leg. Inhale (breathe in) as you lower your leg.
  • Repeat entire sequence on your right side, step 1-9 (working right adductor muscle).
  • Do 15 reps.

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4. Skater Lunge

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  • Perform a reverse lunge with your back leg slightly at an angle.
  • Leap to the side and bring the opposite leg behind you, only tapping your toe to the ground.
  • Immediately jump back the other direction and continue alternating until you feel the burn.
  • Form check: Keep your knees bent and stay as low as possible to really work your quads.
  • Do 20 reps.

45 yr old woman watches her MUFFIN TOP vanish doing this

5. Plie Squats

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  • Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with toes turned out, holding lighter dumbbells vertically in front of thighs.
  • Keeping abs tight and torso tall, bend knees 90 degrees; keep knees aligned between second and third toes and weight in heels.
  • Press back to start; squeeze your glutes.
  • Do 15 reps.

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6. Step-ups

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  • Stand with dumbbells grasped to sides facing side of bench.
  • Place foot of first leg on bench. Stand on bench by extending hip and knee of first leg and place foot of second leg on bench.
  • Step down with second leg by flexing hip and knee of first leg.
  • Return to original standing position by placing foot of first leg to floor.
  • Repeat first step with opposite leg alternating first steps between legs.
  • Do 30 reps on each side.

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7. Side Lunges

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  • Stand with your feet and knees together.
  • Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lunge toward the floor.
  • Make sure your right knee does not extend past your toes and keep your left leg relatively straight.
  • Push off through your right foot to return to the start to complete one.
  • Repeat with other leg.
  • Do 25 reps on each side.

Drop up to 20 lbs off your belly in only 3 weeks using this weird trick.

8. Curtsy Squats

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  • Start in a standing position with legs hip distance apart.
  • Bring your right leg behind you into a curtsy position, getting as low down to the ground as you can.
  • Then stand back up.
  • Do the same thing again with the left leg.
  • Do 30 reps for each side.

 

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