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Get Your Best Beach Body 2009: The Workout Plan

An ab-cinching, all-over toning routine that makes inches disappear. Combine this fat-melting workout with our flat-belly diet plan and watch yourself shrink a size (or two!) in only four weeks.

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How It Works

In this super-sculpting workout, you'll get more firming in your bare feet than from a row of weight machines, thanks to the mix of movements from mini pulses to full-range squat-to-standing exercises. "Results happen much faster when you continually surprise your muscles, challenging them to recruit more fibers," says Fred DeVito, cofounder of Exhale Spas, who adapted this workout exclusively for FITNESS. Plus, each move works your abs double-time, making you constantly engage your core for stability. (No wonder our testers lost one to three inches from their waistlines!)

Part 1: Our Best-Ever Swimsuit Shapers
Do the toning exercises shown on the following slides three times a week. What you'll need: A volleyball (or soccer ball, basketball, or kickball).

See a video of these moves!

Part 2: Blast Big Calories with 4 Cardio Workouts
Get going three times a week (either running, walking, or on the elliptical) using one of the interval cardio workouts found on the last few slides.

Get the Complete Plan!
Sign up for the full Get Your Best Beach Body plan and get weekly meal plans, flat-belly recipes, workout playlists, and more! You can even invite your friends to do the plan with you!

Sign Up Now!

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Single Leg Pulse

Targets: Shoulders, abs, butt, and legs

  • Holding ball with arms extended forward at chest level, stand on left leg and raise right leg in front of you. (Beginners can hold ball near chest, elbows out; experienced exercisers can raise right leg as high as possible.)
  • Bend left leg slightly, lowering body just a couple of inches, then straighten leg. Pulse up and down 20 times.
  • Switch legs and repeat.

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Plie Pendulum

Targets: Shoulders, obliques, butt, and legs

  • Stand with legs wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, holding ball overhead, elbows slightly bent.
  • Maintaining arm position, hinge at waist to slowly bend toward left, sinking into a plie squat.
  • Return to standing, then repeat to right to complete 1 repetition.
  • Do 10 reps.

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Twister

Targets: Shoulders, back, abs, obliques, and butt

  • Start on all fours, left palm on ball, right on ground.
  • Raise right arm (elbow near ear) and extend left leg until both are parallel to ground.
  • Bring right elbow and left knee in toward each other, crossing left knee over toward right side and right elbow over toward left side.
  • Do 12 reps.
  • Switch sides; repeat.

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Seated Leg Extender

Targets: Abs and inner thighs

  • Sit on ground, knees bent, feet flat, squeezing ball between inner thighs or knees. Beginners, place palms on ground by hips, leaning back.
  • Keeping knees still, engage abs and raise feet, fully extending legs diagonally. (Experienced exercisers, sit leaning forward, placing palms on ground in line between knees and shins, then crunch ribs toward thighs as you lift feet.)
  • Lower feet; repeat. (To make it easier, alternate lifting one foot at a time.)
  • Do 20 reps.

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Around the World

Targets: Shoulders, abs, obliques, hips, butt, and legs

  • Stand with legs wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out slightly, holding ball with arms straight out at chest level.
  • Lift right heel, pivot all the way to left (as if passing ball behind you), and sink into a lunge, left knee over left ankle, right knee bent 90 degrees.
  • Rotate back to start; pick up left heel and pivot right to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 10 reps.

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Pretzel Position

Targets: Chest, biceps, abs, hips, and butt

  • Sit with left knee bent in front of left hip on ground, right knee bent and slightly behind you, and press into ball with palms at chest level, elbows out. (Beginners, place ball on ground, palms on top.)
  • Lift bent right leg a few inches, keeping ankle higher than knee, then press knee back 1 inch.
  • Do 20 reps.
  • Switch sides; repeat.

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Uneven Push-Up

Targets: Chest, triceps, and abs.

  • Get into full push-up position, left palm on ground with arm extended, right palm on top of ball with bent right elbow above wrist, legs extended behind you so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. (Beginners can do a modified push-up position with knees on ground.)
  • Lower toward ground, bringing chest below top of ball, then press up to return to start.
  • Do 10 reps.
  • Switch sides, placing ball under left palm; repeat.

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Rotating Pass

Targets: Chest, biceps, abs, obliques, and hips

  • Sit upright on ground, knees bent, feet flat, holding ball close to chest with elbows out. To start, roll torso back until waist is on ground.
  • Crunch up and extend left leg as you twist to the left; extend arms so ball is out to left near thigh. Return to start.
  • Switch sides, repeat to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 20 reps.

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Cardio Workout 1: Rev Up Results

You're about to torch fat like never before, thanks to this plan. "Muscles are engines, and the stronger they are, the more calories they burn during cardio," says DeVito. Get going three times a week (walk, run, elliptical) using any of these sessions.

Zap flab in 25 minutes!
5 minutes: Warm up at an easy pace you could sing at (on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is lounging and 10 is sprinting, this is a Rate of Perceived Exertion of 3 or 4), working up to a moderate I-can-talk pace (RPE 5).
2 minutes: Take it up a notch (RPE 6).
1 minute: RPE 5
2 minutes: Take it up to RPE 7, where speech gets choppy.
1 minute: RPE 5
3 minutes: Go at a fast pace (RPE 8). Next, reverse order, returning to RPE 5 for 1 minute and so on.

Calories burned: 107 (walk) to 278 (run)*

*Calorie burns are based on a 140-pound woman.

Get the playlist that goes with this workout!
Get a special playlist designed to sync up perfectly with the intervals in this cardio routine from Deekron, the FITNESS DJ. Go to www.motiontraxx.com and register (for free) to download this workout playlist and check out all of Deekron's FITNESS Magazine mixes!

Download the playlist here

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Cardio Workout 2: Slim with Intervals

Try 35 minutes of longer bursts.
5 minutes: Warm up at an easy RPE 4 pace.
2 minutes: Go at a moderate RPE 5 pace.
3 minutes: Pick it up to a brisk RPE 7 pace.
2 minutes: Back to RPE 5.
4 minutes: Speed up to RPE 7.
2 minutes: RPE 5
5 minutes: RPE 7
2 minutes: RPE 5
6 minutes: RPE 7
4 minutes: Cool down at an easy RPE 4.

Calories burned: 153 (walk) to 373 (run)

Get the playlist that goes with this workout!
Get a special playlist designed to sync up perfectly with the intervals in this cardio routine from Deekron, the FITNESS DJ. Go to www.motiontraxx.com and register (for free) to download this workout playlist and check out all of Deekron's FITNESS Magazine mixes!

Download the playlist here

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Cardio Workout 3: Mix and Melt

Play off pounds in 40 minutes.
5 minutes: Warm up at an easy pace, reaching RPE 5.
30 minutes: Complete eight 1-minute faster-paced sprints (RPE 8 or 9) over 30 minutes, returning to RPE 6 between the bursts.
5 minutes: RPE 3

Calories burned: 177 (walk) to 441 (run)

Get the playlist that goes with this workout!
Get a special playlist designed to sync up perfectly with the intervals in this cardio routine from Deekron, the FITNESS DJ. Go to www.motiontraxx.com and register (for free) to download this workout playlist and check out all of Deekron's FITNESS Magazine mixes!

Download the playlist here

What do you think of this story? Leave a Comment.

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Cardio Workout 4: Take Your Pick

If there's a cardio class or DVD you love, stick with it. Spinning, cardio dance, and kickboxing all burn more than 300 calories in a typical 45-minute session.

Need Ideas?
Check out some of our favorite workout DVDs.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2009.

FITNESS Editors' Top 10 Workout DVDs

Dance Off the Weight: Dance Workout DVDs We Love

Try One of Our FITNESS Video Workouts Right Here!

See All Our DVD Reviews

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FITNESS, June 2009
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