What’s the quickest way to shed weight, build lean muscle, and reveal a toned and sexy physique? The answer is simple: strength training with high-intensity intervals.
As a woman, I was hesitant to start lifting weights. In my mind, lifting heavy weight equated to a “bulky” and “thick” body, but I learned quickly that this could not be farther from the truth. Strength training will actually keep you lean and sculpted, more than just steady cardio activities. The reason? Weight lifting burns calories hours after the workout (where as steady cardio doesn’t).
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a perfect addition to strength training because it keeps your heart rate up and melts fat and not muscle.
This workout combines these two types of training methods to give you a rock solid core, lean legs, and defined arms. Do this routine three times a week, and do each exercise three times through. If you have limited time, you will still get a huge benefit by doing each exercise once.
Once this routine becomes easy, increase the amount of weight used in each exercise.
1. Single Leg Deadlift
This is the best exercise for a high, rounded seat. The movement targets the glutes and hamstrings, giving perfect definition and lift to your butt.
Start by grabbing a set of dumbbells with an overhanded grip.
Hold them at arm's length in front of your thighs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
Then, come onto one leg. Without changing the bend in your knee, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor (keep the weight as close to your body as possible).
Pause, and then return to standing. Your back should stay naturally arched during the entire movement.
Perform eight repetitions on each side.
2. Squat Jumps
These powerful jumps burn calories in a short period. The entire body is engaged during this exercise, which helps to get lean all over.
Start by standing with feet hip-width apart.
Bend your knees, shift your hips back and lower yourself so that your thighs are close to parallel with the floor, in a deep knee bend.
Make sure your knees are directly over your ankles. Bring both arms back slightly as you bend deeply.
Then, explosively, jump off of the ground, bringing your arms forward and up as you do.
Land softly in a deep bend, legs hip-width apart. Make sure to keep your chest lifted and swing your arms forward and up as you jump.
Perform 10 repetitions.
3. Squat To Press
Squats are excellent for slim thighs, a tight butt, and sculpted hamstrings. By adding the press, the core and shoulders are engaged the entire time as well.
Grab a set of dumbbells (10 to 20 pounds).
Stand with feet hip-width apart.
Bend your elbows and bring the weights to shoulder height. Lower down into a squat by shifting hips back, like you’re sitting in a chair.
Come back to standing and press weights directly overhead.
Continue movement at a quick pace for 10 repetitions.
4. Plank With Dumbbell Row
Planks are the best exercise for your deepest abdominal muscles, which flatten out the stomach. The row builds strength and definition
in upper back, shoulders, biceps and triceps. This position will engage the small stabilizer muscles, which improve posture.
Grab a set of dumbbells (10-20 pounds). Come into plank position with feet a little bit wider than hip width apart and dumbbells under shoulders. Brace your core as you lift one dumbbell off the ground by bending at the shoulder. Keeping your arm along your side, bring the dumbbell to just beneath your chest.
Bring the weight back to the ground and switch sides. Continue alternating at a quick pace. Make sure to keep hips as still as possible and legs engaged the entire time.
Perform eight reps each side.
Sprints are an excellent way to melt extra pounds and build lean muscle. This powerful exercise is a very efficient way to improve athletic performance and keep the entire body lean and strong.
Start in a lunge position with your back at a 45-degree angle, your weight shifted forward. Drive through your big toe to take bounding steps forward.
After about 10 yards, rest for 30 seconds before starting your next sprint. Quickly shift your hips forward to repeat the forward movement again.
Perform five sprints.
For optimal results, do this routine three times a week, and do each exercise three times through.