Slim Down by Standing Still
Photo: Courtesy of Jill Miller
Full Body Boomerang: Get into position by standing straight and tall, with your core tight and glutes firm. Cross your right foot over your left foot without twisting your pelvis. Pin your right hand and arm to your right side, then sweep the left arm out to the side and overhead while you lean to the right. Now, maintain tension in your body while breathing deeply into the left side of your torso for at least 10 breaths. Then switch sides.
Photo: Courtesy of Watch It Now/Pop Physique
Standing Arabesque: While holding the back of a chair, place your feet in first position: heels together, toes apart in a narrow V. Bend your knees, squeeze your glutes together and tuck your tailbone forward. Extend your right leg back low—about 45 degrees—and reach your right arm forward at shoulder height. Now lift the right leg one inch—but keep it so tight and controlled that the move is nearly imperceptible, advises Williams. (In fact, you can barely tell that the DVD instructors are moving even when the camera zooms in close.) Do this 16 times. Now squeeze your right leg to the left (again, only an inch at the most). Do this 16 times. Finish by combining the two together, squeezing in, then up, 8 times.
Glute Squeeze: Firmly contract your glutes and thighs while standing upright and still. Hold for 10 seconds (remember to breathe!), then relax. Repeat 10 times.
Ab Brace: While standing motionless, tighten your abdominal muscles as if you were anticipating a punch to the stomach. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Do ten of these. They'll smoothe out the appearance of a potbelly while toning and strengthening the abs, Bryant says.
Shining the Heart Open: For this exercise, stand tall with your heels together and your toes apart in Pilates "tripod stance." Squeeze your inner thighs, quads and glutes. With your hands hanging by your sides, turn your palms to face out so that the pinkie finger is glued to the outer edge of your thigh. This opens the chest and shoulders while strengthening the triceps and upper back, Kries says. Hold for one minute or three deep breaths. Repeat 3 times.
Photo: Courtesy of Power Plate
Power Plate Squat: Stand on the vibrating plate with your feet hip distance apart and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. You want to make the muscles burn, Caton says, so hold still for a minute and a half (we felt it after just 30 seconds). Stand up, step off the plate and shake out your legs. Do this 3 times.
Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Kries
Harnessing Heaven: Stand with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart and your toes pointing out. Working from the soles of your feet upward, engage the quads, outer thighs, glutes and abs. Now lift your arms overhead, but keep them wider than your shoulders, with elbows slightly bent—as if they're encircling a giant ball. Lift your eyes and look up between your hands. As you continue to reach and extend the lower body, also feel like you're pulling down through your arms (your belly button should be your center of energy). Hold for 3 to 5 minutes. Bring the arms down slowly and relax. Repeat 2 more times.
Photo: Courtesy of Exhale and Fred DeVito
Standing Plank: Stand with your body angled toward a wall and your feet behind your hips. Lean forward, place your forearms on the wall—about shoulder-width apart—and walk your feet back as far as you can without lifting your heels. Press the forearms into the wall for 30 to 60 seconds. Do this 3 times.
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