About This Workout
Workweek crunch got you playing catch-up on your sweat sessions? "Think of exercise as money in the bank," says Sonki Hong, a trainer who leads high-octane boot camps in Los Angeles. "The more deposits you can make, the better, even if they all happen on the weekend." Hong's three mini routines here counteract job blob and give you what your same ol' jog won't: a flatter belly, a total-body tone-up, and a quickie metabolism booster. Tackle one a day — or string them together if you're feeling it — to get your fix. Ka-ching!
Friday Night, Abs Tight!
Hit the floor for a pre-cocktail tummy trimmer: Do each ab move below for one minute, then repeat the routine from the top. Notice how you alternate from sunny-side up to sunny-side down? That makes sure your waist gets a 360-degree cinch, Hong says. (Bonus if you also tack these on to the end of your Sunday circuit.)
- Lie faceup on ground with hands behind head, elbows bent out to sides; lift legs several inches off ground, keeping them raised throughout.
- Keeping chin off chest, crunch up, hold for 1 count, then slowly lower to start. Repeat.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Keep heels on the ground with knees slightly bent.
Targets back and butt
- Lie facedown on ground with arms extended in front of you.
- Simultaneously lift arms and legs a few inches off ground and hold for 5 seconds. Lower slowly to start and repeat.
- MAKE IT HARDER: The closer to the ground your legs come as you cycle, the more difficult the move.
- Sit on ground with legs extended and lean back 45 degrees, placing hands on ground behind you, fingers pointing forward. Lift legs several inches off ground to balance in a wide V position.
- Bring knees toward chest, then extend legs again to return to wide V. Repeat.
Targets shoulders, back, abs, and obliques
- Get into plank position, balancing on ground on forearms and toes.
- Lift left leg several inches and hold for 10 seconds. Switch sides and repeat, keeping hips level.
- Continue, alternating legs.
Targets abs and obliques
- Lie faceup on ground with legs together and place hands underneath lower back for support, palms down. Raise head and shoulders off ground.
- Lift legs a few inches off ground, bring knees to chest, then extend legs up.
- Lower legs toward ground (without touching ground), then draw in knees to chest to complete the cycling motion. Repeat.
Saturday Get-It-Done Sculpters
Hong's moves here engage multiple muscle groups so you won't miss a spot. Carve out 15 to 20 minutes and grab a resistance ring, such as the Spri Xering ($7 and up, spri.com), or a resistance band (tie it to form a small circle). Do each exercise for one minute, aiming to complete the circuit two or three times.
Single-Leg Squat Press
Targets shoulders, back, triceps, butt, and legs
- Stand on left leg, right leg bent behind you, holding resistance ring with both hands in front of chest, elbows bent by sides.
- Keeping right hand in front of chest, palm facing in, to secure one end of resistance ring, extend left arm diagonally up, palm forward.
- Lower left arm to start position as you bend left knee 90 degrees into a single-leg squat. Return to standing; continue for 1 minute. Switch sides; repeat.
Targets back, triceps, abs, hips, butt, and quads
- Stand on resistance ring (as if it were a stirrup) with right foot and hold other end in left hand. Balancing on right leg with left foot suspended behind you, lower into a single-leg squat.
- Hinging forward slightly from hips, drive left elbow back to pull ring toward ribs. Lower left arm; repeat. Continue for 1 minute; switch sides and repeat.
Targets biceps, triceps, hips, butt, and quads
- Stand with feet wide and hold resistance ring vertically in front of torso with both hands, right hand in front of chest with palm up, left hand at waist level with palm down.
- Squat down, curling right hand toward chin and pressing left hand down toward ground. Slowly return to start. Continue for 1 minute; switch sides and repeat.
Targets shoulders, back, chest, biceps, triceps, and obliques
- Stand with feet wide, knees slightly bent, holding resistance ring in both hands in front of chest, palms down, elbows bent by sides.
- Punch forward with right fist as you pull back left fist near left shoulder, driving left elbow behind you. Quickly switch sides, pulling right fist back and punching with left.
- Continue, alternating sides, for 1 minute.
Targets butt, inner thighs, and outer thighs
- Place resistance ring around ankles and stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands behind head, elbows out to sides.
- Lower into a half squat, keeping chest lifted, and sidestep to left for 10 seconds (or 10 steps).
- Sidestep back to right for 10 seconds. Continue, alternating directions, for 1 minute.
Short, Sweaty Sunday
Unlike a jog through the park, this cardio workout "focuses on speed, agility, coordination, balance and muscle toning, not just endurance," trainer Sonki Hong says. Plus, doing intervals fires up your metabolism more than steady cardio does, even post-workout. Go hard for each one-minute move below. "When you're ready to quit, push yourself for an extra five seconds," Hong says. "That's the sweet spot where the work gets done."
0 to 5 Warm-up jog (in place if indoors)
5 to 6 Skater (Lunge diagonally forward with left leg, hop up to standing, then lunge diagonally forward with right leg; continue, alternating sides.)
6 to 7 Run/sprint (fast high knees in place if indoors)
7 to 8 Side Jack (Stand with hands behind head, elbows out; alternately side bend to bring left elbow and left knee together out to side, then right elbow and right knee.)
8 to 9 Run/sprint
9 to 10 Jumping Snap Kick (Jump up, bringing right knee up, then kicking it forward; land softly on left leg. Continue for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.)
10 to 11 Run/sprint
11 to 12 Back Kick (Stand with fists in front of chest; lift straight left leg behind you, then right leg. Continue, alternating legs.)
12 to 13 Run/sprint
13 to 14 Side Hop (Hop from side to side on left forefoot for 30 seconds, then on right for 30.)
14 to 15 Run/sprint
15 to 25 Repeat minutes 5 to 15
25 to 30 Cool down walk/jog
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2013.