(feel it in your: shoulders, lower back, butt and back of thighs)
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, band under both feet, one end gripped in each hand.
Step 2: Keeping your abs tight to support your back, bend your knees slightly and stick your butt back as you hinge from your hips, bending forward until your back is nearly parallel with the floor.
Step 3: Choke up on the band (gather the excess in your hands or wind it around your hands) so it’s taut, then squeeze your glutes (butt) to lift your torso back to standing.
Step 4: Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears, then lower them and repeat for 8 to 12 reps to complete a set.
Faster Toning Tip: Focus on your posture with this move. Imagine there’s a broomstick strapped to your back, keeping it stable throughout the move. Keep your chest lifted and your shoulder blades pulled back, and make sure not to round your back.
Make It Easier: Release some of the band so it’s not as taut at the beginning of the move and only hinge forward as far as you can while maintaining good posture.
(feel it in your: chest and arms)
Step 1: Lie on a bench if you have one (a coffee table can also work), or on the floor if you don’t, knees bent with feet flat on the floor. Position the band under your upper back with one end in either hand near your underarms, elbows bent.
Step 2: Stretch the band up toward the ceiling until your arms are straight but not locked.
Step 3: Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps to complete a set.
Faster Toning Tip: Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.
Make It Easier: Use a lighter band or slide your hands toward the ends of the band.
(feel it in your: arms, butt, hips, thighs and legs)
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, the center of the band under your left foot. Hold one end of the band in each hand, arms at sides, palms facing in.
Step 2: Take a big step backward with your right leg, bending both knees to lower into a lunge with your left knee directly over your ankle.
Step 3: Bend your elbows, curling your hands toward your shoulders, palms facing in.
Step 4: Step forward to stand. Slowly lower your arms. Do 8 to 12 reps per side to complete a set.
Faster Toning Tip: Timing is key to getting the most out of this move. Make sure you keep your hands curled up toward your shoulders until you’ve returned to standing in order to maximize thigh and butt toning.
Make It Easier: Keep your feet planted in a split stance rather than stepping into and out of the lunge. Simply bend your knees to lower, curl your arms up, then straighten your knees without stepping forward to stand.
Published April 10, 2012.
From Tone Every Inch: The Fastest Way to Sculpt Your Belly, Butt and Thighs by Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie with the editors of Prevention magazine. Copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Inc.