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Better Body Plan Part 2: Drop 10 Pounds in 4 Weeks
Looking for a body jump start? Dive in here. Done with Month 1 of this plan and back for more belt cinching? Ditto. Sign up at makehealthyhappen.com to follow along step-by-rep with the Lose It! app. You'll find our fresh, 1,500-calorie diet as well as all the exercises from both installments of our two-month Better Body Plan and see your calorie-burn totals when you log them in. Plus, grand prizes await! You could win a spa-mazing trip for two to the Club Med Cancún Yucatán resort in Mexico (a $3,000 approximate value) or a sleek NordicTrack Elite 9700 Pro treadmill (a $2,500 value) with all the bells and whistles.
You'll be hooked on the insta-trim effect you feel with this workout. "There are more reps and less rest than in Month 1, but newcomers can swing it, too," says Amanda Butler, the expert trainer for BFX Studio in New York City who's guiding you through your two-month transformation. You'll need a set of three- to five-pound hand weights and gliding discs ($15, power-systems.com) or hand towels to do the minicircuits that follow. Fit this routine in three days a week (though not back-to-back) with your cardio to reveal your goal body by the end of the month.
Mini Circuit 1
Do two to three circuits of the next four moves, then finish with this Tabata drill:
- Do 20 seconds of dumbbell jacks (stand holding dumbbells in front of shoulders, elbows bent and palms facing each other; jump feet apart as you press weights overhead, then return to start and repeat); rest 10 seconds.
- Do 20 seconds of punches with dumbbells in hand; rest 10 seconds.
- Repeat the jacks-punches series once more.
Targets shoulders, chest, triceps, abs
- Start on ground in plank position, arms straight and body balancing on palms and toes.
- Keeping arms close to sides, bend elbows to lower chest toward ground.
- Press up and repeat. Do 12 to 15 reps.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Do modified push-ups on knees.
Targets shoulders, butt, inner thighs
- Stand with feet wide, toes turned out slightly, holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms extended out to sides, palms facing forward.
- Lower into a plié squat, bending knees 90 degrees, then stand up, raising arms (in an arc motion) overhead.
- Return to squat, lowering arms, and repeat. Do 12 to 15 reps.
- Start in side plank position: Lie on ground on your left side, bent left elbow on ground propping up torso and hips, feet slightly staggered, left in front of right, and resting atop gliding discs or hand towels; raise right arm directly up.
- Keeping hips lifted, slide left foot forward and right foot back simultaneously.
- Return feet to starting staggered position and repeat. Do 15 to 20 reps; switch sides (lying on right side to perform side plank, right foot staggered in front of left) and repeat.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Simply hold each side plank for 30 seconds.
Targets butt, legs
- Stand with feet hip-width apart behind a chair or a table, hands resting lightly on seat back or tabletop.
- Lunge back with right leg, bending both knees 90 degrees.
- Press through left foot to stand up, raising right leg behind you.
- Return to lunge and repeat. Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Mini Circuit 2
Do two to three circuits of these four moves, then finish with the same Tabata drill as before: 20 seconds of dumbbell jacks; rest 10 seconds. Do 20 seconds of punches with dumbbells in hand; rest 10 seconds. Repeat the jacks-punches series once more.
Targets back, shoulders, abs, butt, hamstrings
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Hinge forward from hips as you raise right leg behind you so body is parallel to ground from head to right heel, arms extending down with palms facing each other.
- Maintaining position, raise arms directly out to sides and then lower. Repeat.
- Do 12 to 15 reps; switch sides and repeat.
Targets butt, hamstrings
- Lie faceup on ground with arms by sides, knees bent and heels resting on gliding discs or hand towels.
- Lift hips, body forming a straight line from shoulders to knees.
- Keeping hips as high as possible, slowly extend legs, sliding heels forward on ground.
- Slide heels back in, bending knees 90 degrees. Do 15 to 20 reps.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Slide or step just one leg forward at a time.
- Lie faceup on ground with arms by sides, knees bent and feet flat.
- Crunch up, lifting feet off ground and lightly hugging knees to chest.
- Keeping head lifted, extend legs diagonally up and reach arms above head.
- Scissor legs twice, lifting right leg as you lower left, then switching leg positions.
- Hug knees to chest in tuck position and repeat series.
- Do 15 to 20 reps.
Targets hips, butt, inner thighs, outer thighs
- Stand with feet wide, toes turned out slightly, arms out to sides. (For balance, stand with left side next to a chair and rest left hand on seat back.)
- Lower into a plié squat, then stand up on left leg, raising bent right knee and tracing a large circle with it: Bring knee across body, then out to right side and down to return to plié squat. (Sweep right arm in same circular motion: across body, then overhead and out.)
- Do 12 to 15 reps; switch sides and repeat.
No need to toss your cardio workout to see results—just tweak it. "Keep doing what you like, but alternately step up the intensity long enough to challenge yourself and slow down long enough to catch your breath," trainer Amanda Butler says. That simple high-low switch-up can increase the fat blast of a steady session that hasn't been delivering. A Spinning or Zumba class can fit the bill; simply aim to sweat it out a little longer than you did last month, 25 minutes or more three times a week. Or try Butler's compact cardio routines, mapped out here. Ready? Then burn, baby, burn.
For rowers: Using moderate resistance, row for 3 minutes at a high intensity, followed by 2 minutes at an easy pace. Complete the combo 5 times.
For stair climbers: Go slow with a challenging resistance for 3 minutes, then lower the resistance and speed up for 2 minutes. Complete the combo 5 times.
For treadmillers: Jog for 3 minutes at a 0 incline, then increase the incline to 6 percent for 2 minutes (run at a pace of 6 to 9 miles per hour). Return to a 0 incline for 1 minute (at a pace of 4 to 5 mph) and repeat combo 7 times. Cool down for 1 minute.
For runners: Jog or run at a moderate pace for 3 minutes, then sprint for 1 minute. Complete the combo 6 times for a total of 24 minutes, then walk it off for 1 minute to cool down.