7 Exercises to Change Your Body—and Your Life
How to do them: Standing with your feet hip-distance apart, tighten up your core as if you were bracing for a punch to the gut. Then shift your weight into your heels and press your hips back, keeping your abdominal muscles tight. Bend your knees and slowly lower into a squat. Your knees should be in line with your second toe. Go as low as you feel comfortable going, and hold for a count of two. Straighten your legs to rise. Standing and lowering into the squat should take the same amount of time.
You're doing them wrong if... Your lower back feels strained. You should feel the burn in your thighs and butt.
How to do them: Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your bent knees behind your hips. Your arms should be straight. Bend your elbows, lowering your chest toward the floor. Make sure to keep your elbows fairly close to the sides of your body and keep your torso in a straight line from your knees to your head. Hold for a count of two and then return to your starting position by pushing up through the heels and outer portions of your palms.
You're doing them wrong if... You're not feeling the burn in your shoulders, arms, and chest. If it feels too easy, tuck your elbows in, check your hand placement, and make sure your knees are far back enough to make the move challenging.
How to do them: Sit on the edge of a chair, keeping your back straight and your feet directly below your knees. Take a dumbbell in each hand and hold them down by your sides. Your palms should be facing forward and your wrists should be in line with your forearms. Pull your shoulders down and back. Keeping your elbows in and your arms close to your sides, draw both weights up to your shoulders and hold for a count of two. Lower the weights and return your arms to your sides.
You're doing them wrong if... If your wrists feel pinched or strained. The main areas you should be feeling are your biceps and forearms.
Next: Shoulder presses, dumbbell rows, and more...