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The Summer Slim-Down Workout

Lose the belly fat and tone from head to toe with this workout plan that targets your upper arms, abs, butt, and thighs.

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Summer Slim Down Workout
Denise Crew
Denise Crew
Denise Crew
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Tighten and Tone

Hone all your bikini zones -- upper arms, abs, butt, and thighs -- and then some with this high-octane workout. The key is to alternate each of these shapers with 30 seconds of cardio, says trainer Holly Rilinger, who created this Summer Slim-Down plan for FITNESS and who draws big crowds to her outdoor training camp and Spinning classes at Flywheel Sports in New York City. "Your heart rate stays elevated the whole time, so you're burning plenty of calories as you build lean muscle," Rilinger says. Beginners can march in place between sets; exercise pros can do high knees or jumping jacks. Complete the circuit twice and aim for two to three sessions each week.

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Watch the workout video

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Lower-Body Blast

Targets shoulders, arms, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at sides.
  • Lunge backward with right leg, bending both knees 90 degrees.
  • Skipping in place, lift right knee to hip height and come up on ball of left foot; simultaneously swing left arm over head. Return to backward lunge.
  • Do 12 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

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Hip Trimmer

Targets shoulders, chest, arms, abs, butt, and legs

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands clasped in front of chest, elbows out to sides.
  • Lunge left leg out to left side, bending left knee about 90 degrees while keeping right leg straight; left knee stays in line with left toes.
  • Push off left heel to return to center, then lower into a squat.
  • Return to start and repeat on opposite side to complete 1 rep. Do 12 reps.

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Dip and Crunch

Targets shoulders, triceps, abs, and obliques

  • Sit on floor with knees slightly bent, heels on floor and hands by hips, fingers facing forward. MAKE IT HARDER: Sit on edge of a chair with palms on seat beside hips and scoot butt forward off seat.
  • Bend elbows 90 degrees behind you, or as far as you can go without resting on floor.
  • Straighten arms while lifting right knee toward chest. Lower heel to floor and repeat dip-and-crunch combination.
  • Do 12 reps, alternating sides.

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Belly and Booty Firmer

Targets abs, obliques, butt, and hamstrings

  • Lie faceup on floor, knees bent with heels on floor and arms at sides. Extend left leg toward ceiling, foot flexed. MAKE IT EASIER: Keep both feet on floor.
  • Lift hips, squeezing glutes. Hold for 1 count, then lower.
  • Keeping left leg raised throughout, crunch up, reaching hands toward left foot. Return to start.
  • Do 12 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

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Plank Tap

Targets shoulders, abs, obliques, hips, and legs

  • Lie on left side, hips and legs stacked and left elbow aligned under left shoulder, with forearm on floor.
  • Extend right arm toward ceiling and lift hips, forming straight line from head to heels. MAKE IT EASIER: Keep right hand on hip.
  • Tap left side of hip to floor for 1 count, then lift back up to side plank.
  • Do 12 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

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Russian Twist

Targets chest, abs, and obliques

  • Sit on floor with knees slightly bent, arms extended in front of you with hands together.
  • Lift legs until shins are parallel to floor, feet together, and lean torso back about 45 degrees. MAKE IT EASIER: Keep feet on floor.
  • Holding legs here, twist torso to left together with arms. Return to center and twist to right to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 12 reps.

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Thread the Needle

Targets shoulders, chest, abs, and obliques

  • Get on floor in full push-up position, arms extended with hands aligned under shoulders and legs extended behind you.
  • Bring left knee across body toward right elbow. Return to start, then lift right hand out to right side to tap floor. MAKE IT HARDER: Do quickly, like mountain climbers.
  • Switch sides, bringing right knee to left elbow and tapping left hand out to left side, to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 12 reps.

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Head-to-Toe Toner

Targets chest, biceps, abs, butt, and hamstrings

  • Stand with feet together, arms at sides, knees slightly bent.
  • Hinging forward from waist, bring arms toward floor under shoulders while lifting left leg straight behind you, body forming a straight line from head to left heel.
  • As you return to standing, lift left knee to hip height and bend elbows directly behind you, bringing hands by ribs. Lower arms and right leg to return to start.
  • Do 12 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

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Melt + Trim Cardio

The secret to supersizing the slimming power of this plan? Don't skimp on your usual cardio; whether you walk, kickbox, or do Spinning, stick to it three times a week. Even better, Rilinger says, is to skyrocket your calorie-burn every minute by occasionally turning up your intensity, and she shows you how with a couple of ingenious drills she gives her clients. Or use your tunes to pump up the pace: The move-tivating playlist here alternates songs with steady rhythms and ones with fast beats that nudge your speed.

Cardio Option 1: Just Beat It!

Download this 31-minute high-low intensity playlist, created by Deekron, a DJ and the producer of MotionTraxx.com, to groove and lose.

Warm up
"Feel Inside," Mary J. Blige, featuring Nas (5:07)
Steady
"You da One," Rihanna (3:20)
Speed up
"Good Feeling," Flo Rida (4:06)
Steady
"Out of My Head," Lupe Fiasco, featuring Trey Songz (3:24)
Speed up
"Part of Me," Katy Perry (3:35)
Steady
"Feel So Close" (Radio Edit), Calvin Harris (3:27)
Speed up
"Runaway Baby," Bruno Mars (2:27)
Cool down
"Show Me Everything," Tindersticks (5:29)

Download this playlist on iTunes

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Cardio Option 2

Fat-Frying Pyramid

You can do this routine outside or on a cardio machine, going from a walk to a jog to a run, picking up speed every minute. (40 minutes total)

Untitled Document

Time Speed Intensity (Scale of 1-10)
00:00-
10:00
Warm up 5
10:00-
11:00
5 mph, or similar pace on elliptical 5-6
11:00-
12:00
5.5 mph 6
12:00-
13:00
6 mph 6-7
13:00-
14:00
6.5 mph 7-8
14:00-
15:00
7 mph 8
15:00-
16:00
7.5 mph 9
16:00-
17:00
7 mph 8
17:00-
18:00
6.5 mph 7-8
18:00-
19:00
6 mph 6-7
19:00-
20:00
5.5 mph 6
20:00-
30:00
Repeat sequence, starting at 5 mph  
30:00-
40:00
Cool down  

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Cardio Option 3

Gym-Machine Lean Routine

0:00-10:00: Warm up 10 minutes on a 0 incline.

10:00-30:00: Go at a moderate pace and increase the incline by 0.5 every minute until you hit a 10.0 incline. (You can walk or jog or do the elliptical, but keep the speed constant.)

30:00-40:00: Cool down for 10 minutes on a 0 incline.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2012.

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jlpaul wrote:

This plan is amazing! its fun, you can do it in your living room, what more could you ask for, round it off by trying to hold a plank for 1:30 seconds , so far Im at 1:12. Another thing I like is none of the movvvvvvvvvvvvvsre silly looking just in case I decide to take this to the gym, like the spiderman crawl is cool but I'd be embarrased in public. LOL

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5/16/2012 02:01:59 PM Report Abuse
leeree2 wrote:

I'm way excited to try this Summer Slim-Down. However, I agree w/ krm19651. The whole Summer Slim-Down Tighten + Tone circuit should be in a complete video which goes through all the reps so we can just follow along!

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krm19651 wrote:

This site is really for those who only have a little pooch tummy and maybe 5 pounds to tackle. What about the rest of us?!!! As a stay at home mom, I find it very inconvenient to "click" each exercise, bending my neck to see if I am doing them right, and completing some kind of "routine". Have one good "Summer Slim Down" workout video offered where I only have to hit play or start ONCE. This is just discouraging.

5/8/2012 10:52:07 AM Report Abuse
KiraLandis wrote:

I did the whole workout (cardio option 1) and it was ok. The cardio option 1 went by super fast with the good music, the toning portion wasn't as hard as I thought it would be but I'm sure that will change when i'm not looking at my phone every minute to figure out the move. I'll do this workout again, especially the cardio, but i'm not feeling how the toning is going to flatten my stomach at all

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