“One of the biggest fitness mistakes women make is just doing cardio,” says Los Angeles trainer Ramona Braganza, who works with Jessica Alba, Halle Berry and Kate Beckinsale. “That leads to being ‘skinny fat’: looking thin but lacking definition.” Doing strength workouts like Pilates and moves like squats and lunges twice a week help create sexy, lean muscles and give you a slight metabolism boost.
2. …But You Don’t Need to Lift Weights to Tone Up
No equipment? No problem. You can get the same toning results using your own body weight as resistance, says trainer Jackie Warner, star of Bravo’s Work Out. Speaking of which:
3. You Can Do Real Push-ups
Unless you’re injured, it’s time to give up the girly ones with your knees on the floor, says Warner. “Real push-ups are truly the perfect upper body and core workout. They tone your chest, back, shoulders, arms and abs all at once,” she says. To do: Place your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders and stretch your legs out behind you. Pulling abs in and keeping your body in a line from head to heel, slowly lower yourself, then push back up. Even if you can’t manage more than three at a time, you’ll benefit.
4. Intervals Equal Fast Results
Alternating one or two minutes of cardio—whether that’s biking, running, whatever—at your usual pace with one or two minutes at a quicker pace burns fat faster than a regular workout. For an even bigger boost, Braganza recommends interval workouts that combine strength and cardio: Do 10 minutes cardio, then three or four strength moves such as lunges or biceps curls. Repeat two more times and you’ll get a full-body workout in less than an hour.
5. Energy Drinks Are for Hard-core Training, Not Your Average Workout
“I had one client who would go through multiple bottles of Vitamin Water during her hour-long workout,” says Teddy Bass, trainer to Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Christina Applegate. “Finally I said, ‘Um, honey, you may have burned 400 calories with me, but you just drank 500.’” Unless you’re working out for more than an hour, stick with plain old water.
6. Variety Keeps Weight Off
“Your body is very smart; it’ll adjust to any workout routine in six weeks, so you’ve got to switch things up,” says Warner. You don’t have to get a whole new routine to keep getting results—even making tiny tweaks like changing the order of your strength exercises will help.
Have you tried the latest fitness class with the kettlebell? It is lots of fun and can add a new twist to your fitness routine. Check out these training tips from SHAPE to help you get fit wit the kettlebell.
Do you want some new items to add to your diet to help get you leaner, stronger and healthier? Well, check out this list of "Superfoods" from Fitness Magazine. For all the details including recipes, click on SUPERFOODS. Happy eating!