|be stylish | March/April 2014
Smart and stylish: Summer shape-up
by Adrianna Bohrer
Spring fever is in full swing right about now. Do you find yourself daydreaming about lazy summer days, feeling the carefree breeze in your hair and the heat of the sunshine on your skin?
Summer is just around the corner, and there's nothing more in style this season than getting healthy and fit. It's been said that health is a relationship between you and your body, and there's no better time than the present to start giving your body the attention it deserves.
Start with this five-exercise routine that targets all major muscle groups. Kick-starting your metabolism by working multiple muscles at once, this workout will burn tons of calories and leave you glowing from the inside out. Stick with it and you will feel that healthy summer glow in a whole new way this year.
Do this entire routine 2-3 times for a complete workout.
*Make sure to consult with your physician before beginning any new exercise program.
What you need: water, mat, and two 5-15 lb. dumbbells
* Targets inner thighs, quads, glutes, core
Start with feet a little wider than hip width apart, arms hanging down holding the end of a 5-15 l.b dumbbell or hold both dumbbells crossed together, as pictured, to up the weight. Squat down letting the dumbbell swing between your legs, keeping chest open. Then power through your hips, standing up contracting glutes and abs as the dumbbell swings forward. Let the dumbbell swing back down as you return to the squatting position.
Note: this is a swinging motion, power through your legs not your arms to propel the weight forward
Form tip: Keep core tight, chest up and open.
Tricep Push-up with Kickback
* Targets chest, triceps, glutes, core
Fold mat over to add cushion for knees. Place knees on mat, feet crossed and hovering above the ground. Place hands directly under shoulders. Keeping body in a straight line from your shoulder to your knees, lower your body within two inches of the ground, pressing elbows tight against body. Push back up to start simultaneously kicking straight leg back, engaging the glute. Repeat, switching between right and left leg each rep.
Note: If the tricep push-up is too advanced, you can do regular push-ups with elbows angled 45 degrees away from body
Crossback Lunge with Knee-up
* Targets outer thighs, quads, glutes, abs
Start with feet hip width apart, cradling a 5-15 l.b dumbbell or both dumbbells crossed together, as pictured, right in front of chest. Keeping your weight driving down through your right heel, cross your left leg diagonally behind you lunging down in a curtsey position. Stand up pushing through your right heel bringing your left knee up engaging your abs. Switch legs performing a lunge and knee up with right leg this time.
Note: It should be one fluid motion from the bottom on the lunge to knee up.
Form tip: Keep your weight driving down through the front heel to really target that glute muscle.
Deadlift with Alternating Row
* Targets hamstrings, glutes, upper back, core
Start with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent, holding 5-15 lb. dumbbells. Hinge forward at the hips rolling the dumbbells down your legs to mid-shin, keeping chest open and back naturally flat. Row right arm back keeping elbow close to your side. Lower right arm and perform a row with left arm. Return to start.
Note: Maintain soft knees -- locking knees puts inordinate strain on your lower back.
Form tip: During the row, focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together.
* Targets legs, shoulders, core, cardio
Start with feet hip width apart and squat down slightly. Stay in this squatted position and jump feet out squatting a little deeper simultaneously bringing arms up above your head in a jumping jack form. Jump feet back to start as quickly as possible.
Note: This is a quick burst of cardio, so do 25 reps as fast as you can.
Form tip: Keep your butt down, and stay on the balls of your feet the whole time.
Adrianna Bohrer is a freelance writer, personal trainer, and fashion enthusiast. She enjoys living a paleo lifestyle and keeping up with latest fashion trends.