You don't need to be a boxer to get toned arms and shoulders. Rich and Helene Guzman, co-owners of L.A. R.O.X. and trainers to Hilary Swank, shared with us this strength routine to get a strong, sculpted upper body like Hilary's.
Hilary Swank gained 19 pounds of muscle for her role in Million Dollar Baby. You won't get that result after this workout, but you just may look strong enough to throw a mean punch.
Do this strength routine two to three times a week. Add our interval-intensive cardio routine (see "Your No-Fail Cardio Plan") twice a week, either on the same or alternating days. If you have time, add some additional moderate-pace cardio, such as running, walking, swimming, cycling, or elliptical training, 30 to 45 minutes twice a week.
What You Need: A resistance band or tubing, a step bench or stairs, and a chair or stability ball (Find it all at fwonline.com.)
The exercise: Band series
A. Chest flye: Tie a resistance band or tubing around a sturdy object at about chest height. Stand facing away from the anchor point, holding one end of band in each hand with feet staggered and arms out to sides, palms facing forward. Slowly bring ends of band together in front of chest, rotating palms down. Slowly return to start, keeping elbows slightly bent; repeat. Do as many reps as you can without losing form.
B. Triceps extension: Untie the band and place one end under right foot, holding other end in right hand. Raise right arm next to head, keeping elbow bent and close to ear. Slowly extend arm, then lower to start and repeat. Do as many reps as you can; switch sides.
C. Biceps curl: Stand on center of band, feet shoulder-width apart. Hold one end of band in each hand, palms facing up and elbows close to sides. Keeping elbows pressed into rib cage, slowly curl hands toward shoulders, keeping wrists straight. Lower and repeat; do as many reps as you can.
Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, January 2009.