A 10-Minute Full-Body Workout – See Results in Four Weeks

Tone your body with our strength training exercises
When it comes to setting fitness priorities, toning ex­ercises should be high on your list – and for good reason: Strong, shapely muscles give you a slimmer look by im­proving your posture and tightening your torso. Recent studies show that whole body strength training exercises help stave off stubborn belly fat, control dia­betes and reverse muscle aging.

Get started with this 20-minute toning regimen, exclusive to Best Health. It targets muscles in your arms, chest, abs, back, butt and legs. If you do these exercises twice a week or more, ­taking at least one day off between workouts, you’ll be­gin to see results in as little as four weeks.

Want to be more flexible? Try this one-week stretching program.

2 / 9strength training exercises, stair step-ups
ILLUSTRATIONS: KAGAN MCLEOD
Strength training exercises: Stair step-ups
Works your butt, calves and thighs
12 reps each side

• Stand facing the bottom step of a staircase or a step at the gym.

• Place your right foot on the step, straighten­ing your right leg and raising yourself onto the step. As you do, bend your left knee up, raising your left leg directly in front of you.

• Briefly balance on your right leg (your left foot is in the air) and slowly lower your left foot to the floor, squatting slightly, without moving your right foot.

Best Health tip: Resist leaning forward by aligning your shoulders over your hips.

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3 / 9strength training exercises, chest press
ILLUSTRATIONS: KAGAN MCLEOD
Strength training exercises: Chest press
Works your chest and back of upper arms
12 reps per set

• Hold dumbbells (3 to 10 pounds) and lie face up on the floor or an exercise bench, with arms at chest level and elbows at 90 degrees. Bend your legs and place your feet on the floor, about hip width apart.

• Raise your arms toward the ceil­ing, palms facing forward. Bend your elbows and lower dumbbells un­til your upper arms are parallel to the floor (el­bows bent at 90 degrees, but not dropping below your shoulders if you’re on a bench) and return to starting position.

Best Health tip: When straightening your arms, align dumbbells over shoulders and chest, not with your face.

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4 / 9strength training exercises, back extensions
ILLUSTRATIONS: KAGAN MCLEOD
Strength training exercises: Back Extensions
Works your lower back
8 to 12 reps per set

• Lie face down, with your feet shoulder width apart and shoelaces on the floor.

• Place your fists at your temples and slowly raise your shoulders and chest off the floor, and hold there for one second. Lower to starting position and repeat.

Best Health tip: Make sure to lift with your torso rather than your head.

For better posture, try this workout.

5 / 9strength training exercises, Side Plank
ILLUSTRATIONS: KAGAN MCLEOD
Strength training exercises: Side plank
Works the ab muscles that wrap around your waist
8 to 12 reps per side

• Lie on your left side, with your left hip and forearm on the floor, and your left elbow in line with your left shoulder. Rest your right hand on your top thigh.

• Scissor your right leg over your left leg, so that your left foot is about an inch in front of your right foot on the floor.

• Lift your right hip, balancing on your forearm and the sides of your feet to hold your body in a diagonal line. Hold for 15 seconds, work­ing your way up to 45 seconds and repeat.

Best Health tip: Keep your shoulders in line so that your chest faces forward, not toward the floor.

This ab move will not just give you a slim waist but also boost your sex life, too.

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