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Multitask your way to a better bod with these two-in-one exercises.

Photographs by chris shipman

Power Pairs

By Jen Ator /

In successful relationships, partners bring out the best in each other. The same can be said of fitness moves. Certain exercises are more effective when paired up than when done alone. “Doing two moves at the same time—each targeting an opposing or unrelated muscle group—allows you to train harder without exhausting a single group too quickly,” says certified personal trainer Katrina Hodgson, CEO and cofounder of and Tone It Up fitness studio in Los Angeles, who created this workout. “This method of training also boosts total-body tone and helps sidestep muscular imbalances that can lead to injuries.” And the best part: They get you out of the gym in half the time. What’s not to love?

Shrink your gym time and your belly.
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Complete this 20-minute circuit three times a week on nonconsecutive days. All you need is a pair of dumbbells (try five to eight pounds) and a stability ball. Go from one exercise to the next without resting in between. When you’ve completed all eight moves, rest for one to two minutes, then repeat the circuit three more times. (If you’re really in a pinch, just do as many sets as you can.)

Quick tip

Keep your core braced throughout the entire move.

Reverse Lunge with Rotation and Biceps Curl
Targets biceps, core, obliques, quads, hamstrings, and glutes



Hold dumbbells at your sides and stand with your feet hip-width apart (a). Step back with your left foot, and bend both knees to lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. At the same time, rotate your upper body toward your right leg and curl the dumbbells to your chest (b). Reverse the movement by lowering the weights and rotating your chest to face ­ front, then return to standing. That’s one rep. Do 15, then repeat on the opposite side.



Maintain the natural arch in your lower back by keeping your head forward and sticking your butt out as you lower the weights.

Quick tip


Deadlift to High Pull
Targets shoulders, upper back, hamstrings, and glutes

Hold dumbbells in front of you, palms facing your thighs, and stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent (a). Keeping your back slightly arched and your core engaged, hinge forward at the hips and slowly lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor (b). Pause, then squeeze your glutes and push your hips forward to return to standing, pulling the dumbbells up to your chest by bending your elbows out to the sides and raising your forearms (c). Return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 15.


w o m e n ’ s h e a lt h


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The Workout

raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. and quads b Quick tip Your arms are the only part of your body that should move. upper back. Without moving your upper arms. 2 w o m e n ’ s h e a lt h / WomensHealthMag. Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. and core Plank Hold and Single-Arm Row Targets upper back.) a b Side Plank with Rear Fly Targets shoulders. outer thighs. That’s one rep. Engage your core and press the dumbbells up and away from your body until your arms are straight (b). Bend your knees to roll the ball toward your butt. do the exercise as two movements: First pull the ball toward you. Keeping your hips parallel to the floor (you’ll need to engage your core and glutes the entire time).com . core. Slowly raise the weight toward the ceiling. That’s one rep. Extend the dumbbells directly over your head with arms straight and palms facing each other. Extend the weight in front of you at shoulder level (a). then do the press. Pause. then slowly return the weight to the floor and repeat with the left arm. Do 15 to 20. your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Do 15. Do 12 to 15. bend your right elbow to pull the weight up toward the side of your body (b). upper back. This is the starting position (a). a b Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie faceup on the floor with your calves on a stability ball. core. Brace your core and lower your body into a squat (b). as shown. and your feet slightly wider than hipwidth apart (a). while lowering the dumbbells to your chest (b). Push your weight into your heels to keep your hips lifted and glutes engaged throughout the move. keeping your arm straight and pulling your shoulder blades together (b). Quick Tip a V-Sit Incline Press Targets biceps. and hamstrings Make it easier by spreading your feet slightly farther apart. and raise your hips to form a straight line from shoulders to feet (a). upper back. That’s one rep. Workout to go! > Always on the run? Download free workouts for your portable media player at WomensHealthMag. Quick tip Keep your shoulders back and chest forward throughout the entire exercise. b Grab a dumbbell with your right hand and lie on your left side. Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle. lift your right leg out to the side while raising your arms until they’re in line with your shoulders (c).Squat with Leg Abduction and Lateral Raise a Targets shoulders. Reverse the movement to return to start. Repeat with the left leg. a b c Stability-Ball Triceps Extension Targets triceps. As you return to standing. core. (If you lose balance during part B. slowly bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells until your forearms are beyond parallel to the floor (b). and quads b Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides and stand with your feet hip-width apart (a). and glutes a Get into pushup position with your hands gripping a pair of dumbbells. Straighten your elbows to return to start. then prop yourself up on your left forearm and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line. and continue alternating for a total of 16 to 20 reps. Return to start. That’s one rep. Return to start. Hamstring Curl with Chest Press Targets chest. core. Straighten your arms and hold the dumbbells above your chest. glutes. glutes. shoulders. Do 15. keeping your knees bent (a). shoulders. glutes. then switch sides. and hamstrings Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie with your upper back resting on a stability ball. delts. Do 15 to 20. Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders. obliques. then lift your lower legs until they’re parallel to the floor. That’s one rep. triceps. palms facing your knees.