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9 New Ways to Tone Up with Dumbbells
Dumbbells are good for way more than just bicep curls and overhead presses. Sure, they help make your arms look amazing, but they can also tone up yourentirebody. So the next time you want to change things up in your workout, try a few of these moves from the Then get ready to call this throwback your new favorite fitness tool.
Adapted fromThe Women's Health Big Book of Absby Adam Bornstein, copyright 2012 Rodale Inc. Available and wherever books are sold.
Place a pair of dumbbells (preferably hex dumbbells) on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Start in a pushup position and grab the dumbbells(A). Perform a pushup while holding the dumbbells(B).As you press back up, rotate your body to the right and pull the dumbbell in your right hand up and above your shoulder. In the top position, your right arm should be straight and your body turned to the side so that you form the letter T(C). Lower your body back to the starting position, perform another pushup, and repeat—this time turning to the left.
Dumbbell Squat Thrust
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides holding a pair of dumbbells(A). Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as deep as you can into a squat(B). Place the dumbbells on the floor(C), then kick your legs back into a pushup position(D). Kick your legs back to the squat position. Stand up and jump. That's 1 rep.
Place a dumbbell on the floor and stand over it with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart(A). Bend at your hips and knees and squat down until you can grab the dumbbell with one hand, without rounding your upper back(B). Keeping the dumbbell close to your body, pull the dumbbell upward and try to throw it at the ceiling without letting it go. As you raise the dumbbell, your forearm should rotate up and back, until your arm is straight and your palm is facing forward(C). Pause and then lower the weight back to the starting position.
Dumbbell Pushup Row
Pair a place of dumbbells about shoulder-width apart on the floor. Grab the dumbbell handles and position yourself in a pushup position(A). Lower your body to the floor and then press back up(B). Once you're back in the starting position, pull the dumbbell in your right hand up toward the side of your chest. Pause, then return the dumbbell back to the floor and repeat with your left hand(C). That's 1 rep. Try to prevent your torso from rotating each time you row the weight.
Grab a dumbbell with an overhand grip and hold it with one hand in front of your waist at arm's length. Set your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart(A). Keeping your lower back slightly arched, bend at your hips and knees, and lower your torso until it forms a 45-degree angle to the floor. Now swing the dumbbell between your legs(B). Keeping your arm straight, thrust your hips forward, straighten your knees, and swing the dumbbell up to chest level as your rise to standing position(C). Reverse the movement and swing the dumbbell back between your legs again. That's 1 rep. Do all reps, then switch arms and repeat.
Front Plank with Weight Transfer
Assume the plank position with a light weight to the outside of your right elbow(A). Pick up the weight with your right hand(B)and pass it to your left hand(C). Place the weight down to your left(D). Move the weight back to the other side. That's 1 rep. Make sure you brace your abs to keep your torso from rotating as you lift the weight.
Dumbbell Reverse Chops
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab a dumbbell and hold it with both hands just outside your left ankle(A). Brace your core, and in one movement pull the dumbbell up past your right shoulder as you simultaneously rotate your torso to the right (B). Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Complete the prescribed number of reps to your right side, then do the same number starting with the dumbbell just outside your right ankle, rotating to your left.
Goblet Squat to Press
Hold a dumbbell vertically next to your chest, with both hands cupping the dumbbell head(A). Push your hips back and lower your body into squat until your upper thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Your elbows should brush the insides of your knees in the bottom position(B). Pause, then press your body back up and press the dumbbell overhead(C). Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
Squat over a pair of dumbbells and grab them with an overhand grip(A). Stand and lift both weights up to chest height(B). Quickly drop underneath the weights and "catch" them on your shoulders, with your elbows high.
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