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December 2016

Get Fit Fast: The Summer Prep Workout

By Michael George

Nearly everyone struggles to make time for the gym when warm weather and outdoor adventure beckon. But you can’t sacrifice muscle tone at the height of bathing suit season!

Add Up the Benefits of a Real Workout
Traditional gym exercises target one muscle group at a time—bench presses for pecs, squats for quads—perfect if you have an hour to work out. But, if your schedule is tighter than your abs, you can double your workout benefits in half the time.

This hot workout trains the upper and lower body simultaneously, building strength and cardiovascular endurance for better coordination, balance, and concentration, as you pay attention to form. The high intensity raises your heart rate enough to burn fat and tone and sculpt the entire body. At home using light weights, you’ll be finished in less time than it takes to get to the gym. 

The 7 Best Exercises to Do at Home
Do at least 15–20 repetitions of each exercise. Start with light weights and maintain form and back alignment. Perform exercises in a slow, controlled rhythm. The progression of each (1–7) allows muscles to recuperate, so do not rest extensively in between. Check with your physician if you have knee problems; some of these exercises may not be recommended.

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1. Squat with Bicep Curl
Bicep exercises that also work glutes, hips, quads, hamstrings, calves. Stand with your legs apart, slightly wider than shoulder width, toes pointed slightly outward. Hold a pair of dumbbells with your arms extended, palms facing upward. Curl your arms upward, while lowering your torso, keeping your back straight. As you come back up to start position, lower the weights slowly and contract your glutes at the top of the movement. Repeat for 2 sets of 15–25 reps, moving up and down slowly with control.

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2. Lunge Hold with Double Triceps Kickback
Triceps workouts plus deltoids, glutes, hips, quads, hamstrings. Standing, step out into a staggered lunge with one foot forward knee bent at 90 degrees and your front foot flat on the floor. Your back leg is bent at the knee, and your heel should be raised off the floor. Body weight should be balanced evenly over both feet. Position both arms beside your torso and flexed into your body, with your elbows lifted high. Hold the lunge position while extending both arms backward from the elbow hinge, keeping your elbows tight against your rib cage. Switch sides and repeat. Maintain control and balance. Repeat for 2 sets of 15–20 reps.

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3. Squat with Upright Row
Works trapezi, glutes, hamstrings, quads. Stand with your feet apart, a little wider than shoulder width, feet slightly turned outward. Hold dumbbells in front of your thighs and simultaneously bend your knees and elbows. Bring your arms up in front of your chest to under your chin, while lowering your torso as far as you can without lifting your heels off the floor. Do not squat beyond the point at which your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your body weight balanced over your heels, back slightly arched, and your spine extended. Repeat for 2 sets of 15–20 reps.

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4. Calf Raise with Front Lateral Raise
A fitness routine for calves, delts, quads, glutes. Stand with your feet apart, a little wider than shoulder width, feet slightly turned outward. Lower yourself as far as you can comfortably into a martial arts Horse Stance (the Horse Stance is similar to riding a horse–position legs wider than shoulder width apart, bend knees, keep back straight), squeezing your glutes together the entire time. Hold dumbbells in front of your thighs with your palms facing your body, and simultaneously rise up onto your toes, using a full range of motion, while lifting the dumbbells up to eye level with your arms slightly bent. Repeat for 2 sets of 15–20 reps.

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5. Alternating Lunge with Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Strength training for your hamstrings, quads, glutes, hips, delts. From a standing position, hold dumbbells above your head in a T position (the shoulder press down position). As you step forward into a deep lunge, lift the dumbbells straight up so that the ends meet above the center of your head. Step back into a standing position as you lower the dumbbells back into the T position. Repeat for 2 sets of 15–20 reps and alternate each leg. Make sure to keep your back straight (do not lean forward) and take your knee down as far as you can comfortably without touching your knee to the ground. Do this exercise slowly; it works coordination and balance.

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6. Side Leg Raise with Side Lateral Raise
A muscle-building workout for hamstrings, quads, glutes, hips, rear delts. From a standing position (ankle weights are optional), hold onto a chair or wall with one hand for balance and hold a dumbbell in the other hand. Raise your leg out to the side (pushing out with the heel), while raising the arm on the same side out to the side up to eye level. Do 1 set of 20– 25 reps. Switch sides and repeat. This exercise really focuses on the thighs and shoulders and works on your balance.

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7. Glute Kickback with Triceps Kickback
Core exercise for glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips, lower back, triceps. Stand and hold onto a chair or wall for balance. Raise one leg, bringing your knee into your chest as you position your arm on the same side for a triceps kickback. Lean forward slightly to protect your lower back, and kick the leg back to full extension while simultaneously kicking back the triceps to full extension. For greater resistance, use 5–8 lb. ankle weights. Do 1 set of 20–25 reps. Switch sides and repeat. This exercise really focuses on the glutes and triceps and works on your balance.

PageDaily’s Workout Picks
By Johana Langi

Buy Athleta for Gap Chakra Tank, $34.99, at athleta.com

Buy C9 by Champion Semi Fitted Pants, $19.99, at target.com

Buy Under Armour Women’s Grippy II No Show Socks, $11.99, at underarmour.com

Buy Nike Free Run+ Men’s Running Shoe, $85, at zappos.com

Buy Danskin 5-Pound Pair Adjustable Ankle Weights, $22.44, at amazon.com

Buy Valeo HW5 5-Pound Neoprene Hand Weights, $16.56, at amazon.com

Buy Natural Fitness Powerhouse Mat, $24.99, at target.com

“Kick” start your fitness routine and read Michael George’s Kickboxing Your Way to a Buff Body. Then treat yourself to a figure-flattering bikini and shop A Bathing Suit for Every Body Type by guest editor Shoshanna Gruss. Want more tips on how to get fit quick? Tweet @PageDaily or start a discussion on the PageDaily Facebook wall!

Michael George, Health & Fitness Contributing Editor

Michael George is one of Hollywood’s most sought after fitness experts and celebrity trainers. He is the author of Body Express Makeover in which his balanced fitness regime integrates the body, mind, and spirit connection for optimal energy and health. Read more

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