The Miracle Muffin Top Workout
Montenegro put together this hard-core high-intensity workout based on the latest research, her work with clients and her own experience (that's her in the photos; those abs don't lie).
The Circuit*You will need 2 small towels and 2 dumbbells (3–5 pounds).
*Perform the exercises in the following order, one after another, without pausing in between.
*When you've completed all 6 exercises, rest for 90 seconds.
*Do the entire circuit 1–3 times.
1. With dumbbells at your side, bend into a squat, pushing your hips backward as if you were sitting in a chair. Keep your back straight and your abs engaged.
2. As you raise your hips to come to standing, press the dumbbells over your head, rotating the torso toward the right, using the side of your abdominals. This should be one fluid movement.
3. Lower the dumbbells and bend into a squat again. Repeat the shoulder press to the left side.
4. Alternate sides for 12 total reps.
1. Start in a high plank position with your palms on the ground underneath your shoulders, arms straight, core engaged, with a small towel under the toes of each foot. (If you have an exercise ball, you can use that instead of the towels.)
2. Use your abdominals to bring both knees in toward your chest. You should be in a crouch position with your knees between your elbows.
3. Hold for 1 count. Push from your abdominals to slide the towels under your feet back to starting plank position.
4. Do 12 reps.
1. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height.
2. Start in a lunge position, with your right knee bent 90 degrees in front of you (be careful not to let the knee bend over your toes) and the left knee slightly bent behind you. Imagine a string pulling up from the top of your head, keeping the neck and back long.
3. As you straighten both legs to come to standing, engage the abs and press the dumbbells up over your head.
4. Bend the knees to come back to the lunge and lower the weights to shoulder level.
5. Do 6 reps, then switch legs. (To make this move harder, Montenegro suggests walking forward while doing the lunges.)
1. Start in a high plank position (arms straight, core engaged) with a small towel under each hand. Try not to hunch your shoulders up to your ears.
2. With your hands on the towels and keeping both arms straight, slide your right arm forward as far as you can without moving the hips or torso.
3. Bring the right arm back to starting position.
4. Repeat with the left arm.
5. Alternate arms for 12 total reps.
1. Stand with your feet together. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand and let it hang at your side.
2. Keeping the core pulled tight, lean forward, lifting your right leg (same side of the body that's holding the weight) and lower the dumbbell toward the ground.
3. Bring the dumbbell down as low as you can while concentrating on keeping your back straight, core engaged, chest up and neck aligned with the spine. Keep the arm holding the dumbbell close to your body to avoid unnecessary pressure on the back.
4. Hold for 1 count.
5. Tighten your core even more, lower the right leg, and return to standing tall.
6. Do 6 reps, then hold the dumbbell in your left hand and repeat with your left leg, for a total of 12 reps
1. Start in a high plank position with your palms on the ground underneath your shoulders, arms straight, core engaged, with a small towel under the toes of each foot.
2. Use your abdominals to bring your left knee in toward your right elbow. This should be a fluid, controlled movement. You should feel the twist in your lower abs, not as much in your back or hips. Keep your shoulders squared.
3. Return to starting position, with both feet behind you.
4. Repeat by bringing the right knee to the left elbow.
5. Alternate sides for 12 total reps.
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