Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shortcut to a firmer body

This hard-working move saves you time without sacrificing results.

The payoff - Master this exercise - the overhead press and lift - and you'll be rewarded with sexy shoulders, stronger legs, a more toned backside, and better balance. Combining upper - and lower - body moves shaves minutes off your routine but also requires you to really concentrate on form (you'll fall over if you don't). Your legs, hips, and core have to work to synchronize the movements, so you target almost your entire body in the time it takes to complete a single exercise.

How to do it
  • Hold a 6-pound weighted ball in both hands a few inches in front of your chest, and balance on left leg. Tighten abs and draw your shoulders back and down.
  • Lower into a half squat on left leg, keeping torso tall, right knee bent (A).
Straighten left leg as you press ball overhead and extend right leg behind you, toes pointed and several inches off the floor (B). Think about creating a line from your right heel to your hands. Return to a half squat and repeat. Switch legs to complete set. 

For best results
  • Do 3 sets of 12 controlled reps twice a week as part of your regular strength-training program.
  • To make it harder, hold a heavier ball or extend your lifted leg in front of you as you squat on the other leg.
Mistakes to avoid
  • Don't shrug your shoulders toward your ears, which decreases the work for your deltoids.
  • Don't lift your leg too high or extend your arms behind your ears; both can stress your spine.
  • Don't lock or hyperextend your standing leg, which can strain your knee and make it more difficult to balance.


  1. This looks like a good one to try, if I can keep my balance!

  2. 1. Seriously Im in love with your blog, me and my roommie get up to work out every morning and when i found you yesterday i got so many more good ideas! It's not so boring and repetitive anymore :)
    2. Just got your button up :)
    3. OF COURSE I am following!