Don’t have a ton of time to spend in the gym? Don’t worry, I got you! Here are my five go-to moves that help blast fat and trim inches in record time!
1. To Sculpt Legs: Sumo Squats
This exercise is really specific for toning and sculpting beautiful dancers’ legs. It targets hard-to-reach inner thighs.
To do: Stand with your feet spread wide past your shoulders and turn your toes out. Bend your knees and lower straight down, extending your arms out in front of you, then press back up. Repeat for 30 seconds.
2. To Tighten the Tush: Hip Thrusts
These thrusts are a great hip and booty toner.. The reason? Pressing your hips forward and up from a kneeling position utilizes the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius (two muscles that make up your rear, along with the gluteus minimus), and hamstrings to firm and shape the backside. What’s more, pressing your arms back as you rise calls on your abdominals to quickly flatten the belly.
To do: On a soft surface, get onto your knees and position your legs shoulder-width apart. Sit back onto your heels, then squeeze your tush and your abs to press your hips up and forward as you simultaneously extend hands to the back. Repeat for 30 seconds.
3. To Banish “Bat Wings”: Kneeling Tricep Extensions
This exercise tightens the triceps, or the muscles that run down the backs of the the upper arms and shoulders, to firm “wave wiggles”. Extending the weights backward while balanced on your knees also further engages the butt and core for all-over sculpting.
To do: Get onto your knees on a soft surface, keeping them together. Lift 5-lb weights up toward your armpits and tilt your shoulders forward slightly. Extend the weights straight back, then bring them forward once more. Repeat for 30 seconds.
4. To Nix a Muffin Top: Modified Side Plank
A twist on a standard side plank, this move will help you sculpt an enviable hourglass silhouette. Putting your bottom knee down in a side plank allows you to support your body more while still working your muscles. It utilizes your obliques to cinch in the waist.
To do: On the floor, lift yourself onto your right side with your legs straight and stacked beneath you as you place your right hand on the ground underneath your shoulder. Bend your right knee so your foot is pointing behind you. Keeping your right knee on the floor, push your hips up off the ground and extend your left arm overhead. Hold for 15 seconds, then switch sides.
5. To Melt a Pooch: Supergirl Crunches
Extending the body from fingertips to toes works the entire core. That includes the rectus abdominis, aka the large muscles on the front of the midsection that sculpt six-pack definition, and the transverse abdominis, or the muscles that crisscross the abdomen to pull in stubborn belly flab.
To do: Come onto all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders. Extend your right arm forward and your left leg back so that they are parallel to the ground. Pull them in so your right elbow meets your left knee under your belly, then extend it back out. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
This story originally appeared in First For Women print magazine.