Get Moving: Tone Up Tuesday

Article posted in: Fitness
Tone Up Tuesday

How do you work out? Do you walk, run, or use an elliptical machine? Awesome: Those are terrific cardio exercises. But what about strength training? If you’re not using weight machines, free weights, resistance bands or doing exercises that use your body weight to create resistance, you owe it to your body to start. And why not try our easy-to-follow Tone Up Tuesday workout?

The average 30-year-old loses about a quarter of his or her muscle strength by age 70, according to Harvard Health. Once you reach your 50s, strength training is imperative to maintaining daily activities needed for independent living.

Plus, while cardio burns more calories per session than weight training, weight training helps you burn more calories every day. That’s because weight training is more effective at building muscle and muscle burns more calories at rest than other tissues, including fat, according to a December 2010 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study.

If you’re trying to lose weight, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends completing at least 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise per week. This Tone Up Tuesday workout will take about 30 minutes start-to-finish and mixes cardio with strength training—that magic combination that helped subjects in a 2012 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology lose the most weight and fat.

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Check out all six Tone Up Tuesday moves below:

1. High Knees

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, abs engaged. Start marching, bringing your knees up high in the air. Pick up the pace so you’re hopping on each foot and “march” for 45 seconds. Pumping the arms increases your heart rate and also helps you maintain your balance.

2. Side Lunges

Plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Step out to the right with your right leg (approximately two or three feet) and bend your right knee, ensuring it stays behind the toes. Keep your left leg planted and straight. Position your weight in your heels as you return to standing and then step out with your left leg. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

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3. Bicep Curls

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the palms facing the sides of the hips. Engage your abs then slowly curl your hands up towards your shoulders, allowing the hands to rotate to face the front of your shoulder. Keep your elbows close to your ribcage. Slowly return your hands to your sides. Complete eight to 10 reps.

4. Upright Rows

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells in hand. Engage your abs. Place your palms in front of your thighs. Bend your elbows and pull your hands straight up (as though you’re pulling on pants). Squeeze your shoulder blades together when the weight reaches your bust line. Slowly bring your hands back down. Complete eight to 10 reps.

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5. Squat Jumps

Plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your weight in your heels. Bend your knees and squat (pushing your hips back as though you were sitting on a chair) down and up twice. On the third squat, use your butt and core muscles to explosively jump up in the air, returning to a stand. As you land, quickly drop back down into the initial squat position. Repeat 10 times.

6. Side Plank Dips

Lay onto your right side and push yourself up onto your elbow. Stack your feet. Engage your abs. Slowly lower your right hip, tap it on the floor, and then use your abs to pull your hips back up. Try and keep your body as straight as possible. Switch to your left side. Complete 10 reps on each side.

Complete three sets of all moves with a two-minute rest between each set.