Just about everyone has trouble spots that they wish they could target and tone. Thankfully, seeing improvements in these areas doesn’t have to require hours and hours at a gym. And while you can’t specifically tailor exactly where you lose body fat per say (a.k.a spot reduce), you can choose workouts and exercises that are targeted to build more lean muscle in certain places.
We’ve got moves to hit all your trouble zones, including the back of the arms and the tummy, as well as glutes and thighs.
Add these 10-minute mini workouts to your routine to really help target these specific areas. Perform these exercises three times a week along with your regular workout routine, making sure that you give yourself rest days in between.
1. Back Of The Arms
If you have trouble with back of the arm flab, one of the best things you can do is build a little more muscle in your triceps. The following exercises will help you build triceps strength and get more toned-looking arms.
Spider Man Push-Ups
To perform Spider-Man pushups, get into a push-up position and lower until your elbows make a 90 degree angle, keeping your elbows close against your ribs. At the bottom, bring your right knee forward and touch it to your elbow. On your next repetition, repeat with your left knee.
Dumbbell Tricep Extensions
Hold a heavy dumbbell above your head with both hands, then bend your elbows to lower the weight behind your head. Exhale as you raise it again.
Perform three sets of 12 repetitions of these exercises.
If you have a little extra fat around your midsection, know that this is a pretty common affliction. But still, many of us desire to have a tight, taut, flatter midsection. If this sounds like you, try out these exercises.
First, hold a plank for as long as you can in a single set, working up to about 2 minutes. Hold yourself completely still, keeping your core tight and making sure your body makes a straight line from your shoulders to your heels.
This is one of the best core exercises for your lower obliques. Lay on your back with knees up and your hands supporting your head and neck. In one smooth movement, raise your shoulders off the ground while straightening out your your legs to a 45-degree angle. Keep your arms straight behind your head, so your body from a V shape. Be sure to keep your lower abs engaged as you keep your balance. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Do 10 to 15 reps for 3 sets.
Finally, perform stomach vacuums. Stomach vacuums are an old staple of the bodybuilding community which concentrate on working the deep abdominals and helping to reduce the size of your waist. To do a stomach vacuum, stand and exhale all of the air from your lungs. While you expand your chest outward, contract your stomach, trying to pull it in as if you were going to touch your belly button to your backbone. Now hold it. You should feel an almost instant burn. Perform 3 sets of 20 seconds. Watch a video tutorial here.
3. Butt And Thighs
Many of us wish that our butts and thighs were more toned. Try this 10-minute lower-body workout to see results fast.
Squats are an amazing exercise. They are great at targeting both the butt and the thighs. Do bodyweight squats if you’re new to exercise. If you want more of a challenge, try adding weight. Alternately, try doing jump squats, in which you’ll use your muscles to jump explosively (make sure you come down as lightly as you can to protect your joints). As you perform the squats, keep your core tight and your back flat, and protect your knees by making sure you move in correct alignment. Complete 3 sets of 10.
For the bridges, lie on your back and place your heels close to your buttocks. Using your glutes, press up and hold for 30 seconds. Perform three sets. If this is too easy, try doing single-leg bridges.
Single Leg Circle
For the single leg circle, lie on your back with your arms by your side. Lift one leg until it points straight up. Hold your hips still and on the floor while you draw circles in the air with your foot, toes pointed. Make 5 clockwise circles and 5 counterclockwise circles per repetition. Perform 5 times on each leg.
4. Blast Fat
Problem areas mostly come from two sources: excess fat in the target area and a lack of underlying muscle.
The previous exercises have mostly focused on building muscle in the target areas. Building muscle can help you look fitter and firmer, even without losing weight. However, weight loss can also be an important part of improving your fitness and transforming your trouble spots. Unlike building muscle, though, it is impossible to spot target fat.
Instead, focus on getting cardio exercise a few times a week. To burn a lot of calories in a short period of time, try doing Tabata intervals, in which you work at an extremely intense leves for 20 seconds, followed by rest for 10 seconds. This can include jumping jacks, box jumps, sprints, burpees or any other full-body cardio exercise.
Perform 8 intervals of this for a high-intensity, calorie-burning workout in just 4 minutes (plus a warm-up and cool down).