There's a ton of noise out there on what really whips the body in shape fast. In my experience, there are workouts and then there are fat blasting workouts. I can break down the best toning tricks in three exercises. I know, how efficient right? Ain't nobody got time for hours on the treadmill. If you only have time to do something quick, do these 3 things:
Sprints or High Intensity Cardio
The HIIT thing has really taken off recently but it's not necessarily a new approach. It's always been a really quick way to shape up and burn fat. If you're pressed for time a few quick sprints (extra points if you can find a hill) will rev the metabolism and get your heart rate up fast. It can be suicides, it can be beach sprints (my fave) or it can even be walking ridiculously fast (think between 3.5-4 on treadmill) and then slowing down for 30 seconds and repeat. Whatever the case this has proven to be the most impactful for me rather than running a slow pace for 45 minutes.
These are tough but damn they are so good. I take them out of my routine and then I always come back to them time and again. I always think that yoga will do enough to tone my legs but my body needs the combo. Holding my hands raised while walking engages my core so I feel a toning in your arms, around my waist and in the legs. I prefer walking lunges to stationary because I like the extra momentum to really sink into the exercise and push myself a little further each time and set a distance goal. I guess I respond to limits better than counting. Whatever works!
Squats, Squatspo, Booty Drop
Whatever you want to call them, just do them. I have bad knees from an old ACL injury so I like to hold onto something when I squat. It takes the pressure off my knees and allows me to focus on the spot I'm trying to tone. This combined with sprints and lunges is really a trifecta killer combo. It's important to sit back and not let your knees come over your feet. If you have something to hold onto like a pole or a barre then try playing around with smaller movements to really get into those tiny muscles. I also lift my heels as well to really engage those gluten and force them to work.
Suicides across the gym floor/grass/beach x 4
Walking lunges- 20 each way x 3
Squats- 5 full squats with 5 small pulses at the end when in sitting squat position. x 3
Easy, right? ;-) It's really effective if you can combine this quick workout with other moments in the day for cardio like walking to work or taking the stairs. If not, then work this in when you're pressed for time and build up the other days a little longer. Muscles love variety! They love to be confused and tricked into doing something that feels "new".
Photos: Marianna Massey
Tights: adidas x Stella McCartney
Bra: Out inc