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Lifting heavy weights won't make you bulky -- but it will help you tone up.
Using a four-day exercise plan is a simple way to make sure you are targeting every part of your body sufficiently. Using a combination of weights, interval training and traditional cardio will give you the best results for fat loss and improving tone. It will also increase your strength, endurance and overall fitness.
Day 1: No More Bingo Wings
The first of the four days will focus on your arms and shoulders. To tone up these muscles, your workout will be four rounds of the following exercises: bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, lateral raises, single arm rows, shoulder presses and tricep pushdowns. Select weights that will allow you to complete at least eight but not more than 12 repetitions of each exercise per set. Once you have completed this weight circuit, do a short interval session using your preferred method of cardio (be it running, cycling, skipping or rowing.) Work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this eight to 10 times. This cardio sequence after your resistance training will increase the total calorie burn for the session.
Day 2: Bump That Butt
This workout targets the glutes, lower back and upper thighs. Toning up these areas is a high priority for many women, and this workout will get you on your way. Do three sets of deadlifts, back squats, lunges and hip thrusters. Load your barbell with weights that will allow you to complete at least eight repetitions, but not more than 12 at a time. Lower body exercises, particularly deadlifts and squats, are very demanding on your central nervous system and muscles, so make sure you're well-rested before this workout. Once you've completed the weight routine, walk at a moderate pace (either outdoors or on a treadmill) for 20 to 30 minutes to cool down.
Day 3: Baby Got Back
The third workout for the week will target your upper back and chest, ensuring you look great in backless dresses and bikinis. Do four sets of the following exercises: bench press, bent over row, overhead press, forward raise, pull-ups (or assisted pull-ups if necessary), and push-ups. Select weights that will allow you to do eight reps but not more than 12 per exercise per set. Once you've completed the weight session for the day, do another interval session -- 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, eight times through.
Day 4: Get Perfect Pins
This final workout for the week will focus on toning and strengthening your legs. Do three sets of the following exercises: back squats, walking lunges, calf raises, leg presses, leg curls, and step-ups. Select weights that will allow you to complete eight to 12 repetitions for each exercise. Once this is done, walk (or cycle) at a moderate pace for 20 to 30 minutes. If you want to stay active on the days between each of these workouts, a 30 to 60 minute walk outdoors is a good option that will also assist with your workout recovery.