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The Better Body Plan: 8 Moves to Drop 10 Pounds
You've got a goal. We've got the way to nail it. Drop up to 10 pounds—and five inches—in four weeks with this peel-it-off plan. First, join us at makehealthyhappen.com to follow our plan. All the moves you'll see below are built in so you can take it on the go. Then, plot your Firm It and Burn It workouts each week, and pair 'em with our delicious all-day eats. You'll shrink two sizes this month—our testers lost up to 10 pounds, three inches from their abs and two from their hips!—and finally hit that happy weight you've always dreamed about.
How's this for a one-and-done session. "I chose this mix to give you the biggest metabolic burn post-workout," says your trainer Amanda Butler, a pro at the swank BFX Studio in New York City, from which these moves are sampled. You'll target, well, everything in superset style: Each minicircuit is done two to three times and followed by an EMOM (every minute on the minute) interval. Grab a set of three- to five-pound dumbbells and gliding discs ($15, power-systems.com) or hand towels and do the workout three days a week, alternating it with your cardio for max effect.
Mini Circuit 1
Do the next three moves two to three times, then do the EMOM before moving on to Mini Circuit 2.
Pike Push and Tush Lift
Targets shoulders, chest, arms, and butt
- Start in down dog position on ground, balancing on hands and toes in an inverted V.
- Bend elbows out to sides to lower torso toward ground, then press up to down dog.
- Lift right leg behind you, then sweep it out to side and down to tap toes to ground.
- Quickly reverse motion, lifting right leg out to side, then up and around as if drawing a circle, to complete 1 rep.
- Do 8 to 12 reps. Switch sides and repeat.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Skip the push-up.
Targets triceps, butt, inner thighs, and outer thighs
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, right foot atop a disc, holding one dumbbell with both hands, arms overhead.
- Slide right leg back and cross it behind left leg, lowering into a curtsy lunge as you bend elbows to lower weight behind head. (No disc? Just lunge back into curtsy.)
- Reverse back to start. Do 12 reps. Switch sides and repeat.
Targets abs and hamstrings
- Sit on ground with knees bent and heels atop gliding discs, feet flexed; lean torso back 45 degrees and reach arms forward, palms up.
- Slide left heel forward so that leg is nearly extended; slide it back to start. Repeat with right heel, sliding it out and in.
- Slide both heels forward, then back to complete 1 rep.
- Do 20 to 30 reps.
Targets shoulders, back, chest, arms, abs, butt, and legs
At the start of each minute for the next four minutes, do the three drills below as quickly as you can. (Done in 30 seconds? You get to rest 30 seconds before the next minute starts.) Beginners, go for two minutes, completing the series below only twice.
- 10 tuck jumps (Squat down, then jump up, bringing knees toward chest; land in a squat. Beginners can do a high-knees jog instead.)
- 10 regular or modified (on knees) push-ups
- 10 mountain climbers
Mini Circuit 2
Do this trio of moves two to three times, then do the EMOM.
Sexy Back and Booty
Targets shoulders, back, and butt
- Lie facedown on ground, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms stretched forward, palms down.
- Lift arms, chest and legs off ground. Keeping chest and legs lifted throughout, raise and then lower arms several inches without touching dumbbells to ground.
- Fan arms out into a V shape and repeat lift.
- Finally, bring arms directly out to sides in a T shape and repeat lift to complete 1 rep.
- Do 12 reps.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Don't use weights.
- Start on ground on all fours.
- Lift bent left leg out to side at hip level, foot flexed, then press leg back, extending it directly behind you.
- Bend left knee as you bring it out to side again.
- Do 25 reps. Switch sides and repeat.
- MAKE IT HARDER: Do 10 pulses with leg extended to finish set.
Targets shoulders, back, chest, triceps, abs, and butt
- Start in forearm plank position on ground, balancing on forearms and toes.
- Lift left arm and place left palm on ground directly beneath shoulder, straightening arm; repeat with right arm until you are in full plank position.
- Reverse motion back to forearm plank and repeat, this time pressing up with right arm, then left.
- While in full plank, jump feet out wide, then back together twice to complete 1 rep. Do 8 to 12 reps.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Stay in forearm plank and simply do the jacks.
Targets shoulders, arms, abs, butt, and legs
At the start of each minute for the next four minutes, do the two moves below as quickly as you can. (Done in 40 seconds? You get to rest 20 seconds before the next minute starts.)
- 12 star jumps (Squat down and touch ground, then jump up extending arms and legs out to sides in a star shape; land in squat and repeat.)
- 12 sit-ups
You won't bail or fail on your cardio routine here, because Butler has the trick for getting more calorie-burn, less burnout. "When you're just beginning, 20 minutes is the sweet spot that's not intimidating but can melt plenty of fat," she says. Follow her totally doable steady-to-sweaty approach: Three times a week, hit 20 minutes of any cardio you like, pushing the pace occasionally to fire up your furnace. Try her ideas below or pick your own go-to routine. Whichever you choose, you'll lose!
For Tabata Lovers: In this Tabata-style interval session, jog for 5 minutes to warm up, then sprint (ranging between 6 and 11 miles per hour, depending on your fitness level) for 20 seconds. Walk for 10 seconds to recover, then repeat, completing the sprint-walk combo a total of 8 times. Cool down for 1 minute. Aim to do this twice a day.
For Runners: Jog or run at a moderate pace for 4 minutes, then sprint for 1 minute. Complete the combo 4 times for a total of 20 minutes.
For Stair Climbers: Go slow with a challenging resistance for 4 minutes, then lower the resistance and speed up for 1 minute. Complete the combo 4 times for a total of 20 minutes.
For Rowers: Using a moderate amount of resistance, row for 5 minutes at a high intensity. Rest for 3 minutes to recover. Complete the combo 4 times for 20 total minutes of rowing.