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Turn On Power: Workouts to Power Up Your Muscles
You do your time on the treadmill, hoist some weights, and maybe even throw in yoga for good measure. But your regimen probably lacks one key element: power. Besides torching extra stored fat and quickly sculpting your muscles, power moves give you a mental edge -- in and out of the gym. So we tapped six of the top trainers in the biz for their surefire tips for squeezing that extra octane from your muscles and workouts. They will change the way you train forever.
Joe Dowdell's Head-to-Toe Routine
No matter what your level, you can add power moves into your routine with this quick total-body circuit from Joe Dowdell, co-owner of Peak Performance. You'll just need a weighted ball (heavy enough to make 10 reps of the moves challenging) and a sturdy step -- and, for more advanced exercisers, a solid gym wall. Or try his anyone-can-do-it interval workout. Walk, bike, run, skate -- choose whatever cardio you like!
Medicine ball chest pass
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a weighted ball in both hands in front of chest, elbows bent.
- Throw ball forward onto floor. Pick it up and repeat. MAKE IT HARDER: If you're an experienced exerciser and you have a sturdy, solid wall at the gym meant for such purposes, stand facing the wall and throw the ball at the wall; catch it, take time to reset your position and repeat.
- Do 10 reps.
Medicine ball rotation throw
- Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart and hold a weighted ball in both hands at your left side, elbows bent.
- Pivot and push off of right foot as you throw ball across your body to the right.
- Go pick up ball and repeat. MAKE IT HARDER: More experienced exercisers can stand perpendicular to a wall (a few feet away with right side closest to it), feet shoulder-width apart, and hold ball with both hands by your left side; pivot and push off of right foot as you throw ball across your body to the left against the wall. Catch it, take time to reset your position and repeat.
- Do 8 to 10 reps. Switch directions and repeat.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart in front of a 6- to 12-inch aerobic step, sturdy bench, or platform.
- Lower into a squat then jump up onto step, making sure your landing is solid. MAKE IT HARDER: For more experienced exercisers, do not use a step, jumping up from squat position then landing with feet on floor.
- Do 8 to 10 reps.
Quick Cardio Burner
- After a 5-minute warm-up (choose any type of cardio), sprint for 30 seconds then rest (at an easy to moderate pace) for 90 seconds.
- Repeat four more times and work up to 10. (If you find you're covering less distance in that 30-second span as you progress through your reps, rest longer. If it feels too easy, increase your incline or sprint for 45 to 60 seconds.)
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