Some physiques don't need to be overhauled; they just need to be polished up a bit. Take you. You like your body, and you should -- you're in pretty good shape. But it'd be nice to tone up, let those muscles "pop" more and get a longer, more defined look. The good news: There is a way, and it's here at your fingertips. This workout will improve your posture, build strength and help you get the toned look you want. And since the program is based on my Foundation Principals, which replace injury-causing, faulty movement patterns with better strength-building ones, your joints will be healthier, too. So are you ready? Let's get started!
How to Complete This Workout
This workout has two circuits -- one with three moves and one with four. Perform two to three rounds of the first circuit, which includes the first three moves of this slideshow (deadlift, lunges and squats). The do three rounds of the second circuit, which includes the final four moves (side plank, bicycle crunch, front plank and back extension. Make sure you warm up and cool down properly before and after this workout.
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Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and keeping your weight centered over your feet. While maintaining a straight back, reach down and grab the barbell. Drive through your feet and pick the bar up so that it hangs at hip height (your arms will still be straight). Lower the bar back down to the ground with control. Do as many reps as you can with good form for 20 seconds.
Start standing with proper posture, and then step forward with the right leg and bend both knees to 90 degrees. Make sure your right knee is positioned behind your ankle, not over your toes. Keep your right foot facing forward and your back foot pressing into the ground. Press back up to standing and repeat on the other side. Alternate for 20 seconds.
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Start with your legs shoulder width apart and feet facing slightly outward. Keep weight back in your heels, working on pushing them into the earth as if you were trying to spread the ground apart. Bring the arms out in front of you as you begin pushing your butt behind you. Keep your back straight and extended as you bend your knees deeper into a squat. Continue to lower yourself until knees are bent about 90 degrees. Your knees should stay in line with or behind your toes, never coming in front of your feet. Press up through your heels and come up to the starting position with your arms by your sides. Repeat in a smooth, flowing motion for 12 to 15 reps.
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4. Side Plank
Go into a side plank position with your feet stacked and your body in a straight line from your head to your toes. Place the elbow directly underneath your shoulder at a 90-degree angle. Keeping hips lifted, brace your entire body and core and hold 30 seconds. Relax, lower, and then repeat on your opposite side.
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5. Bicycle Crunch
Lie on your back with hands by your sides and feet straight out in front of you. Lift both feet off the ground and bend your right knee into your chest. Keep your left leg straight with the left foot six inches off the floor. Interlocking your hands behind your head, push your lower back into the floor and do 20 slow, controlled crunches, alternating which knee you bring into your chest.
6. Front Plank
Get into a front plank position on elbows. Make sure your spine is neutral and shoulder blades are apart. Think of tensing of body from ankle to neck, squeezing your glutes and bracing the core. Hold this tension for 30 to 40 seconds.
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7. Back Extension
Lie on your stomach on a stability ball with your arms behind your head. Look at the floor a few inches ahead of you, but do not extend your neck to do so. Bring your upper body off the ball. Contract your shoulder blades hard throughout the entire exercise, causing your chest to rise and your neck to lengthen. Keep your feet flat on the ground to avoid excess spinal compression. Slowly lower your chest and repeat 15 times.
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What Do YOU Think?
Have you tried this workout yet? Will you? What did you think? What exercises would you add or swap out of this routine? Let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!
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