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The Drop a Jeans Size Workout

The muffin top stops here! Find your dream denim and fit into it fast with our targeted toning exercises and fat-melting cardio plans. This plan is designed to slim you all over but especially targets your abs, butt and thighs.

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Jay Sullivan
Jay Sullivan
Jay Sullivan
Jay Sullivan
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How It Works

"Your muscles are made up of thousands of fibers," says trainer Brad Schoenfeld, author of the soon-to-be-released Women's Home Workout Bible, who developed the program exclusively for FITNESS. "A regular squat might call into play 70 percent of the fibers in your derriere, then a side lunge might tone 10 percent more. Do the 10 moves in this sculpting routine and you'll work 100 percent of those fibers."

Part 1: Toning
Do two sets of these toning exercises twice a week -- take a day off in between workouts.

What You'll Need: A set of 3- to 8-pound dumbbells and a stability ball (or a bench)

Part 2: Cardio
Do our simple, trimming cardio sessions (found in the last few slides of this workout) three times a week to downsize your denim in 28 days.

Get More with the Complete Plan!
With the full Drop a Jeans Size plan you'll get your weekly meal plans, extra-credit workouts, customized playlists, and more sent right to your e-mail inbox. You can also track your progress, log your workouts and meals, and connect with others on this plan. You can even invite your friends to do the plan with you!

Sign up for the complete Drop a Jeans Size plan now!

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Sumo Power

Targets: Triceps, butt, and inner thighs

  • Stand with feet more than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, a dumbbell in each hand. (MAKE IT EASIER: Place feet hip-width apart for better balance.)
  • To get into start position, bend elbows 90 degrees and bring them beside ears so that dumbbells are behind head, palms facing each other.
  • Maintaining arm position, lower into a wide squat.

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  • Return to standing, then extend right arm toward ceiling. Lower dumbbell to start position. Repeat squat, this time extending left arm toward ceiling as you return to standing to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 10 reps.

Tip: By doing a triceps extension overhead, you'll really zero in on the fibers that lie in the key arm-flab area. To up the intensity, extend both arms at once rather than alternating.

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Dip-and-Drag Curl

Targets: Biceps, abs, butt, and legs

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides, palms facing forward, stand with back to stability ball, feet hip-width apart.
  • Bend both elbows and draw them behind your back so that ends of dumbbells brush either side of hips or come as close to them as possible without straining. Bend right knee and place right shin on top of ball behind you. (MAKE IT EASIER: Rest right shin on a bench or keep both feet on floor for a traditional squat.)
  • Sink into a single-leg squat.

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  • Straighten left leg to return to standing as you curl weights to armpits, skimming torso with ends of dumbbells on the way up.
  • Do 12 reps. Switch legs and repeat.

Tip: Make sure elbows point straight behind you and not out to the sides.

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Good Morning

Targets: Back, abs, and butt

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend elbows to bring weights in front of shoulders, palms facing each other.
  • Keeping legs straight and maintaining arm position throughout, press butt backward to fold slightly at hips; keep dumbbells as parallel to floor as possible.
  • Return to standing. Do 10 reps.

Tip: Rather than fold over, push your butt back as far as you can. Really squeeze glutes to return to standing.

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Side Lunge with Teacup Raise

Targets: Shoulders, hips, butt, inner thighs, and legs

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides, stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Lunge to right side with right leg, toes pointing right, keeping left leg straight as you raise left arm directly out to side, palm facing floor, pinkie knuckle slightly higher than that of forefinger. (MAKE IT EASIER: Complete arm raise from standing start position, then perform side lunge with arms by sides.)
  • Step back to start, lowering arm.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch sides, repeat.

Tip: By raising the pinkie knuckle slightly, you really work the medial deltoid -- that often-missed V-shape muscle at the top of your upper arm. For extra toning, lift both arms out to sides each rep.

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Lower-Half Lift

Targets: Back, abs, and butt

  • Lie facedown on stability ball (belly on center of ball) with arms extended in full push-up position, palms on floor directly below shoulders, and legs extended behind you, feet hip-width apart, toes on floor. (MAKE IT EASIER: Lie facedown on a bench, grasping edges with hands, so that hips rest just at the edge.)
  • Squeeze glutes to raise legs together as high as you can. Lower.
  • Do 12 reps.

Tip: To tone different muscle fibers in your derriere, place legs wider apart as you lift, or alternate lifting legs together, then apart.

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Rolling Pin

Targets: Butt and hamstrings

  • Lie faceup on floor, arms by sides, palms down, with right heel resting on stability ball and left knee bent in toward chest, shin parallel to floor.
  • Dig right heel into stability ball and bend right knee to 90 degrees to lift hips off floor and roll ball toward you. (MAKE IT EASIER: Keep both heels on ball to roll it toward you, or rest heels on a bench and press hips up.)
  • Slowly lower as you extend right leg to start position.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch sides, repeat.

Tip: The more slowly you roll the ball with your leg, the more this move will tighten that just-below-the behind jiggle.

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Rainbow Flye

Targets: Shoulders, chest, arms, and abs

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie faceup on stability ball with upper back resting on ball, knees bent 90 degrees, and feet flat, so torso is parallel to floor.
  • To get into start position, extend arms out to sides at shoulder level, elbows slightly bent, with palms facing up. (MAKE IT EASIER: Lie back with head and torso on a bench to perform move.)
  • Raise arms toward ceiling, rotating wrists as you lift so ends of dumbbells meet in center directly above chest with palms facing forward. Lower arm to start position.
  • Do 12 reps.

Tip: Think of hugging a beach ball throughout the movement -- your arms should remain slightly rounded.

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Reverse Flye

Targets: Upper back and abs

  • Lie facedown on stability ball, holding a dumbbell in each hand with elbows slightly bent and palms facing in, and extend legs behind you hip-width apart to balance on toes.
  • Maintaining slight bend in elbows, raise dumbbells out to sides up to shoulder level, palms facing floor, then lower to start. (MAKE IT EASIER: Sit on a bench and fold torso over thighs so that back is nearly parallel to floor, then lift dumbbells from shin height out to shoulder level.)
  • Do 12 reps.

Tip: To decrease the core challenge, place your feet farther apart on the floor. To make it harder, bring your feet together.

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Kickstand

Targets: Abs, obliques, hips, and outer thighs

  • Lie on floor on right side with knees bent 90 degrees behind you, legs stacked, propped up on right elbow, left hand on hip.
  • Tighten abs to lift right hip off floor as you raise left knee toward ceiling, then extend left leg, foot flexed, as if kicking. (MAKE IT EASIER: Keep right hip on floor to perform leg lift and kick.) Bend left knee again and lower to start.
  • Do 8 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Tip: To get the most hip firming, keep your torso from tipping forward so that your outer thigh is directly opposing gravity.

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De-calf-inator

Target: Calves

  • Sit on stability ball, holding a dumbbell in each hand atop each thigh, palms facing down.
  • Raise heels off floor as high as possible, hold for 1 count, then lower to start.
  • Do 12 reps.

Tip: Align your toes perfectly forward for best results. And do this move last: Calves are supporting muscles; don't tire them before doing standing moves.

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Cardio Workout 1: 20-Minute Circuit

Calorie Crunchers
Yeah, yeah -- you've heard it before: You have to hustle to cut the flab. Here's incentive to love, not loathe, those speed bursts: "Studies show you can net nine times the fat loss by doing intervals rather than keeping a steady pace," Schoenfeld says. Do three of these workouts a week -- stick with one or mix it up -- to get lean.

20-Minute Circuit
This series of one-minute PE classics packs almost the calorie burn of Spinning -- ideal for living-room exercisers.

  • March in place for 3 minutes (360 steps)
  • 60 Jumping Jacks
  • March 1 minute (120 steps)
  • 60 Jumping Jacks
  • March 1 minute
  • 30 Squat-Thrusts*
  • March 1 minute
  • 30 Squat-Thrusts
  • March 1 minute
  • 30 Squat-Thrusts
  • March 1 minute
  • 30 Squat-Thrusts
  • March 1 minute
  • 60 Jumping Jacks
  • March 1 minute
  • 60 Jumping Jacks
  • March in place 2 minutes to cool down

CALORIES BURNED: 145 (Calorie burns are based on a 140-pound woman)

*From standing, crouch down, place palms on floor, jump legs back into full push-up position, then jump legs back to crouch pose and stand up. Repeat.

Get a FREE podcast complete with audio instructions & move-it music for this cardio session

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Cardio Workout 2: Run/Walk for 30 Minutes

Run/Walk for 30 Minutes
It's simple: Walk or jog, then hit the gas for a minute. Hate to clock it? Sing six choruses of "99 Bottles of Beer," then return to your walk or jog.

  • Walk 3 minutes (warm-up)
  • Jog 1 minute
  • Walk 2 minutes
  • Jog 1 minute
  • Walk 1 minute
  • Jog 1 minute
  • Walk 1 minute
  • Run 1 minute, alternating run/walk or run/jog (depending on your level) intervals for 12 minutes -- that's six sprints total.
  • Jog 1 minute
  • Walk 1 minute
  • Jog 1 minute
  • Walk 1 minute
  • Jog 1 minute
  • Walk 3 minutes

CALORIES BURNED: 188 (walk/run), 215 (jog/run)

Get a FREE podcast complete with audio instructions & move-it music for this cardio session

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Cardio Workout 3: 30-Minute Cardio Machine Melter

30-Minute Cardio Machine Melter
Put this cheat sheet on the dashboard of the stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, or stairclimber and steal peeks at the timer as you go.

Minutes Intensity*
3

3 (easy pace)

4

5 (half effort)

1

7 (brisk cruising pace)

3

5

1

8 (push-it pace)

2

5

1

9(sprint)

2

5

1 9
3 5
1 9
4 5
1 9
3 3

CALORIES BURNED: 209 (elliptical), 249 (treadmill), 269 (stationary bike), 282 (stairclimber)
*Rate of perceived exertion on scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is reclining and 10 is racing at top speed.

Get a FREE podcast complete with audio instructions & move-it music for this cardio session

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Cardio Workout: Bonus Burner!

For an extra-credit session, move your feet to the beat of this 32-minute playlist from Deekron, aka the Fitness DJ, who produces Motion Traxx music podcasts and mixes for instructors. Lose to the music!

CALORIES BURNED: 142 (walking), 360 (running)

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2009.

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

8089126248
Zee503 wrote:

I love doing different workouts. So today I did all eleven 'Jean Size Workouts' today while at the gym. It was very simple because I praticte plenty of leg, arm, and oblique exercises without dumbbells or machine weights into my workouts. Although not to scare anyone but the 'rolling pin' was a toughy!!!:)

3/16/2012 01:06:59 PM Report Abuse

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Fitness Magazine, September 2009
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