Celeb trainer Holly Perkins knows how to get you slim, sexy, and strong. And she know how to fit a lot of fitness into 10 minutes! Grab a set of dumbbells, press play, and get ready to an efficient and fun full-body workout.
No one wants to waste time at the gym, so to make your strength-training workouts more effective, you've got to keep your muscles guessing. Not only is it important to work your muscles in a different order, you also need to mix up the types of exercises you do. While push-ups and squats are great go-to moves because they target the upper and lower body beautifully, there are other ways to work those areas. Try variations of your favorite moves, or try new moves altogether, and you'll end up toning your muscles in different ways that will make your body stronger, your muscles more sculpted, and will also help prevent the dreaded plateau.
If you've been doing the same strength-training workout forever, here are some new ideas. Choose an entirely different routine to do each time you hit the gym, or pick a new exercise to add to your existing routine.
- Total Body: 10-Minute Total-Body Toner
- Arms: Best Arm Exercises For Women
- Legs: 5 Moves to Tone Your Legs and Butt
- Inner Thighs: 5 Moves to Tone Your Inner Thighs
- Abs: All-Abs Workout
- Tush and Legs: 10-Minute Skinny Jeans Workout
- Shoulders and Upper Back: 10-Minute Arm and Shoulder Workout
- Tush: 10-Minute Tush-Toning Pilates Workout
- Thighs and Butt: Squat Variations
- Abs: Quick, 3-Minute Ab Routine
- Total Body: Full-Body Circuit Workout With Weights
- Upper Body and Core: Playful Plank Variations
- Legs: 5-Minute Leg Workout
- Total Body: Prop-Free 10-Minute HIIT Workout
- Back: 5-Minute Back Workout
- Finish Up: 6 Essential Post-Workout Stretches
The moves in this no-equipment workout have a few things in common: they're basic, functional, and scalable as your level of fitness improves. So while this simple body-weight workout may not seem like much, as you repeat the circuit, you'll learn just how effective it can be. You can time yourself so that as you get better, you can race against your previous times.
Alternating lunges means alternate lunging forward with your right, then left (five times on each side). Check out our tips on how to do a reverse crunch here as well as how to do jumping squats here.
It's hard to make your way through a yoga class without rising up into Warrior 1. This bold pose may be basic, but it's one of the most effective ways to tone your lower body. Want to get more out of it? Try these four techniques to sculpt your butt even more.
- Get low: Just as with squats and lunges, when you're hips aren't low enough, you're not taxing your butt and thigh muscles. Check your alignment to make sure your stance is wide enough to allow your pelvis and front knee to be in one line, with your front thigh parallel to the ground. Press into the outside edge of your front foot to prevent your knee from leaning in, and you'll really feel the outer area of the butt burning.
- Shift back: Your center of gravity is also important here. Lean too far forward and you'll not only be placing unnecessary pressure on your knee joint, but you'll also be working your thigh more than your butt. Be sure to lean your weight toward your back leg. Do this by pressing into the ball of the front foot — you might feel this in the front of your back thigh (hip flexor), but you'll also feel it in your seat.
- Mix it up: Since your body is used to the basic Warrior 1 position, it gets proficient at it. Mix things up with these variations — changing the positions of your arms and torso makes it more challenging for your lower body:
Burning Low Lunge
Open Rotated Warrior 1
Squats — you love 'em, you hate 'em, or you love to hate 'em. In any case, they are a simple, effective, and versatile move to have in your workout arsenal. Squats work your entire lower body: calves, hamstrings, glutes, quads, and lower back. They help prevent injuries caused by imbalance or overuse, and they also help with your balance. Whether you are new to the squat world or are bored with your normal workout, here are seven squat variations to add to your routine.
— Additional reporting by Leta Shy
If you're a fan of exercises that work your body without machines, weights, or equipment, try doing mountain climbers! A POPSUGAR Fitness favorite, this exercise works the lower body and the core and is a great form of cardio. Learn how to do the complete move below.
- Start in a traditional plank — shoulders over hands and weight on just your toes.
- With your core engaged, bring your right knee forward under your chest, with the toes just off the ground. Return to your basic plank. Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward.
- Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
- Continue "running" in your plank for one minute.
Fit tip: For a stint of cardio during weight workouts, use this exercise as an active break in between exercises or reps.
If you think you don't have time for a butt-kicking workout this holiday season, think again. Tabata, a form of high-intensity interval training, can burn up to 13 1/2 calories per minute, meaning just a short workout will leave you sweaty, full of energy, and ready to take on your packed day. Try this under-20-minute Tabata workout from Sports Club/LA trainer Judy Truong; she guarantees it'll leave you feeling "like you've been at the gym all day."
After a few minutes of warmup, start with Tabata One, and do each exercise for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds before you move on to the next move. Rest up to 30 seconds between each eight-move Tabata series, but make sure you keep rest breaks short to keep your heart rate up.
Tabata One: Lower Body
- Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance.
- Sit back and down like you're sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend.
- Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
- Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.
- Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
2. High Knees
- Stand on or off your mat with feet hip-width apart.
- Lift up one knee high until your thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Lower down and repeat with other leg. Do this in quick succession, like you are jogging, for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
3. Static Lunges (Right Lead)
- Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up (pick a point to stare at in front of you so you don't keep looking down). Always engage your core.
- Step forward with your right leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn't touch the floor. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position.
- Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
4. High Knees
Repeat high knees for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
5. Static Lunges (Left Lead)
This time, step forward with your left leg. Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
6. Skier Jumps
- Stand on the left side of your mat with feet together. In a fluid, fast motion, step wide to your right, slightly squatting and bending your upper body at the waist. Balance on your right foot and keep your left foot behind you. Swing your left arm in front of you to help keep your balance.
- In a fast motion, wide step to your left, balancing on your left foot with your right foot behind you and your right arm in front of you.
- Repeat these side-to-side jumps for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
7. Sumo Squats
- Stand with your feet wide, toes pointing out. Hold your hands comfortably in front of your chest to help you stay balanced, and bend your knees, lowering your hips deeply so your thighs are parallel with the floor. Make sure to keep weight back in your heels.
- Now rise back up, straightening the legs completely, squeezing the glutes at the top of the movement to get the most out of the exercise.
- Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
8. Skier Jumps
Repeat for 20 seconds, then rest for up to 30 seconds before moving on to Tabata Two.
When the temperatures drop, squeezing in an adequate warmup is key to preventing injury and having a good run. Although walking briskly for five minutes is a great way to warm up, it's not exactly the most exciting activity. Here are three fun and challenging moves you can do inside, which is nice if it's chilly, before heading out for a jog.
- Start in a traditional push-up starting position — shoulders over hands and weight on just your toes.
- With you core engaged, bring your right foot forward, bending the knee and putting weight on the ball of your foot.
- Quickly switch legs, bringing the left knee forward while moving the right leg back. It feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
- Start by moving consistently for one minute without stopping. Pick up your pace as you get used to the movement.
- Begin sitting on your butt with your hands planted eight inches behind you. Bend your knees, and place your heels about a foot away from your backside. Make sure feet are hip-distance apart.
- Inhale, and lift your hips off the ground so your torso is parallel with the floor and your arms are straight (bridge). Your hands should be directly underneath the shoulders and your ankles underneath the knees. Lower your head behind you to increase the stretch in your chest and neck.
- Hold for a complete breath, and then, keeping your arms straight, exhale to lower your hips and straighten out the legs, keeping your hips hovering above the floor. Engage your abs, and try to keep the spine long as you balance on your heels and hands. After a complete breath, inhale and push yourself back into bridge position.
- Do 15 reps, flowing from one position to the other, pivoting on your hands and heels.
- Standing upright with your feet together, take a controlled step forward with your right leg. Bring your left arm forward for balance.
- Lower hips toward the floor, and bend both knees (almost at 90-degree angles). The back knee should come close but never touch the ground. Your front knee should be directly over the ankle, and the back knee should be pointing down toward the floor.
- As you raise back up, push off with your left foot, and bring it forward to your right foot; switch the positioning of your arms. This completes one rep.
- Next, step forward with your left leg and repeat.
- Do 15 reps.
Toned legs aren't just for show. Aside from helping you feel proud when wearing thigh-hugging pants, strong legs will make your favorite form of exercise feel easier, and building muscle mass also keeps your metabolism going strong. All these moves require no equipment — just you and five minutes. Repeat this five-move circuit two or three times, and you'll feel your inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, and calves burning.