Encouraging Health and Happiness

The Top Moves to Tone Your Trouble Zones

By SHAPE magazine | VitalityWed, Apr 4, 2012 10:22 AM EDT

Tone your trouble zones!

Tone your trouble zones!While you can’t target exactly where you’ll lose body fat (aka spot reduce), you can tailor your workouts to help build more lean muscle in certain spots. We’ve got moves to hit all your problem areas (no equipment required). And since targeted training means you’ll be adding lean muscle to your frame, these exercises can also help you burn more fat! Add a few of these toning moves into your regular routine to see a difference:


Reclining tricep press

Reclining tricep press1. Problem: Arm flab
Solution: Reclining triceps press: Don’t be fooled by the word “reclining”-this move is anything but relaxing! You’ll challenge your triceps muscles to tighten up the backs of your arms, while engaging your core muscles at the same time.

How to do it: Start seated with your knees bent, feet flexed, and heels on the ground. Keeping your abs tight, lean back and lower yourself onto your elbows, keeping your spine straight (your back should remain off the ground) with your hands facing your body, palms flat on the floor.
Push through your hands to extend your elbows and lift your body off the floor, maintaining a straight spine the entire time.

Bend your elbows and lower down until your arms (but not your back) touch the floor again. That’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 15 reps total.

Single-leg squats.

Single-leg squats.2. Problem: A thutt
Solution: Single-leg squat: Tired of your ‘thutt’ (aka butt and thigh melting together)? Sculpt a tight, lifted rear and clear definition between your thighs and buns with this move. It works your thighs, glutes, and core all at once.

How to do it: Start standing on your right leg, with your left knee bent and foot lifted off the floor behind you, both hands behind your head.

Bring your left leg further behind you to help you balance as you do a single-leg squat on your standing leg. Be sure to push your hips back behind you and try not to sway your back.

Without putting your left leg down, stand up out of your squat. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps on the right, then 15 reps on the left, repeating for a total of 3 sets on each leg.

T-rotation balance.

T-rotation balance.3. Problem: Love handles
Solution: T-rotation balance: Strengthen all the little muscles that line your waist while you improve your balance and coordination too.

How to do it: Start standing on your right foot and extend your left leg behind you. Bend your right knee and reach both arms straight out in front of you, palms pressed together. Bend forward at the waist, lifting your left leg up as you lean your chest forward, creating a straight line from your foot through your head (forming a ‘T’ shape with your body ).

Slowly open your right arm, rotating it up to the ceiling, turning your chest to the right, and looking up to your right hand.

Slowly and with control, try to lower your right arm and return to the ‘T’ shape without lowering your left leg. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps on the right, then 15 reps on the left, repeating for a total of 3 sets on each leg.

Plank tuck jumps

Plank tuck jumps4. Problem: Muffin top
Solution: Plank tuck jumps: This move mixes abdominal work and a cardio burst to help burn body fat while you strengthen your core so you can shed that muffin top faster.

How to do it: Start in a plank position with your feet together. Bend both knees and shift your weight into your arms as you jump both feet in to your hands, lifting your hips up to the ceiling. Land in a tucked position on the balls of your feet, knees bent and between your arms, and then quickly jump back out to your full plank position , keeping your abs tight and not letting your hips sag. That’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps as quickly as you can with good form.



Lateral leap and hop

Lateral leap and hop5. Problem: Cankles
Solution: Lateral leap and hop: Create shapely calves and strengthen your ankles with this plyometric combination move.

How to do it: Start standing on your left leg with your right foot lifted all the way off the floor. Bend your left knee and jump to the right as wide as you can, landing on your right foot, bending your right knee.

Once you land, push off your right foot and hop up, landing again with the right foot, left foot stays off the floor (you can use your arms to help you jump in any way that feels natural). That’s one rep. Repeat 10 times in total, alternating sides each time.

Note: Jump with caution, and make sure you are fully warmed up before attempting this move. Gradually increase your range of motion when you feel ready.

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