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So Long, Sarong! Get a Beach-Ready Body

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Terrified of a two-piece? Don't be. Blast maximum calories while toning your abs, butt, and thighs -- your toughest trouble spots -- in quick-fix 15-minute sessions!

Target Your Abs, Thighs, and Butt

Cover models aside, most of us dread the thought of slipping on a bikini (especially at the beginning of the season). Well, get ready to kiss your swimsuit phobia goodbye. This workout, created by Los Angeles-based trainer Patrick Goudeau, tames your biggest trouble zones through a series of circuits. "Circuits are designed to strengthen muscles while adding a fat-burning cardio element in a very time-efficient manner," says Jan Schroeder, PhD, senior exercise physiologist for IDEA Health and Fitness Association. So even while you're performing the weight moves, your heart rate remains elevated to boost your overall fitness level.

The End Result: A head-turning trifecta of flat abs, firm butt, and sleek thighs in just four weeks.

Personalize Your Workout

Circuits can be intense, since you don't have a lot of time to catch your breath between moves. Modify the workout to suit your level. You'll need a set of dumbbells and a step bench. Do each exercise for one minute, except where indicated. Try just one 15-minute circuit to zap a particularly persnickety body part, or do all three and burn up to 450 calories.

Beginners

  • Use 5- to 8-pound dumbbells where noted.
  • Skip the one-minute cardio burst after the first and last moves, doing just the two-minute interval after the second move.

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Use 8- to 15-pound dumbbells and choose the more challenging options where noted.
  • Do the one-minute cardio burst after the first and last moves; include a two-minute interval after the second exercise.
  • Warm up with a few minutes of low-impact cardio; cool down and stretch when you're done.
  • Do each circuit twice.
  • Do any or all of the circuits two or three times a week, but don't work the same trouble zone on consecutive days.

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12/13/2011 01:33:19 PM Report Abuse

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