FITNESS MAGAZINE, February 2003, page 94
By Stefani Jackenthal | photographs by Adam Olszewski
One of the most satisfying parts of any weight-loss plan is watching the number on the tape measure getting smaller. To help speed up the process, Paul Frediani, a top personal trainer at Equinox Fitness Club in New York City, has designed a five-circuit workout that will take inches off your upper and lower body. "The key to slimming down fast is combining cardio with high-intensity toning," he explains. This plan has both-and all you need is a jump rope, an exercise ball and dumbbells.
"Jumping rope is a fantastic calorie burner, and performing weight moves on the ball makes them more demanding," says Frediani. Each circuit includes a stretch, which some studies have shown will increase strength gains from weight training. To keep burning fat, do this routine two or three times a week along with the same number of 30-minute to one-hour cardio sessions.
Stick with the plan for four to six weeks and you can expect to lose at least an inch from your hips, thighs, waist and arms. Keep that tape measure handy!
Do the entire five-circuit workout in order; repeat it if you have time. It
should take beginners approximately 20 minutes and advanced exercisers closer to 30 minutes to complete (you're jumping rope longer). Do not rest between moves or circuits unless you absolutely must. Allow 48 hours between workouts so muscles can adequately recover.
>>Check the chart below to determine how long to jump rope and how many reps to do, depending on your fitness level. Stretch off the ball if it's more comfortable.
1. SKIP: Traditional Jump and land with both feet at the same time (50 to 60 revolutions per minute).
2. SCULPT: Single-Leg Lunge (targets glutes, hips, quads) (See photo above.) Stand in front of ball, then shift weight onto your right leg and place top of left foot on the ball behind you. With hands on hips, bend right leg as you extend left leg back. Hold briefly, squeezing your butt and thighs, then stand up slowly. Complete all reps on one side, then switch legs.
3. STRETCH: Pigeon Stretch (Not shown) Lie facedown with hips on
ball and place both hands on the ground in front of you. Pressing toes of left foot into ground, bend your right knee, placing it on top of ball. Lean over right knee, keeping hands on ground. Repeat with opposite leg.
4. SCULPT: Torso Rotation (targets obliques) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the ball at chest height (not shown). Slowly twist your torso to the left, then to the right (that's 1 rep). Contract your obliques as you turn.
Side Scissor, a and b
1. SKIP: Cross-Legged Skip (Not shown) Crisscross feet on the landing--jump left foot in front of right, then
both feet together, then right in front of left (50 to 60 revolutions per minute).
2. SCULPT Side Scissor (targets inner and outer thighs) a. Place your right hip on top of the exercise ball and plant your right hand on the ground in front of the ball for balance (do this near a wall if you need to). Place left hand on left hip. Keeping legs straight and side of left foot pressed firmly into ground, pulse right leg toward sky. b. Next, stack left leg on top of right, then lift leg toward sky. Repeat entire sequence on left hip.
3. STRETCH: Cross-Legged Squat (Not shown) Stand next to a wall, placing one hand on it for balance. Place left ankle on right knee, and squat down. Gently press left knee toward ground. Repeat on other side.
4. SCULPT: Crunch (targets abs) Sit on ball and gently walk feet forward until your lower back is completely supported. Place fingertips behind head and lift shoulder blades off the ball. Hold for 1 count, then lower, lightly touching ball before you lift again.
1. SKIP: Rockette Kick (Not shown) Drop the jump rope and place hands on hips. With legs straight, kick like a chorus girl, alternating sides (40 to 50 kicks per minute).
Leg Lift, a and b
2. SCULPT: Leg Curl (targets hamstrings, glutes) Lie on your back with both heels on the ball. Keeping hands on the ground, lift hips toward the sky so your body makes a straight line from feet to shoulders (not shown). Use your heels to roll ball in toward your butt. Press ball back out and lower hips to ground. To intensify, cross arms over chest or try it one leg at a time.
3. STRETCH: Hamstringer (Not shown) Sit on ball with knees bent. Roll back onto heels as you straighten legs and reach over to touch toes.
4. SCULPT: Leg Lift (targets abs, inner thighs) a. Lie on your back with hands under hips. Wrap legs around ball, squeezing it with your knees and heels, and pull knees toward chest. b. Hold briefly, then extend legs out until they're a foot or two from the ground. Return to start.
1. SKIP: Foot Swap (Not shown) Grab the rope again and alternate jumping feet forward and back on landing--right forward and left back, then left forward and right back (50 to 60 revolutions per minute).
2. SCULPT Push-up (targets chest, shoulders, abs) Lie on ball and walk forward on hands so only thighs remain on ball. Keeping abs tight and back straight, lower your chest toward the ground until elbows are bent about 90 degrees, then press back up. The farther you roll the ball from your hips, the more intense the move.
3. STRETCH: Chest Opener (Not shown) Kneel facing ball with hands on either side of it. Slowly roll the ball forward as you lean over and let your head hang between your arms. Feel the stretch in your chest and shoulders. Hold for 15 seconds, then slowly roll up.
4. SCULPT: Single-Arm Row (targets upperback, rearshoulders) Place right hand and knee on ball. Hold a 10-pound dumbbell in left hand, arm down, palm in (not shown). Pull dumbbell up to rib cage, then return to start. Complete all reps, then switch sides.
Overhead Triceps Extension, a and b
1. SKIP: Knee-High Skipping
(Not shown) Alternate lifting knees into chest. Use a 2-count jump to help you get the rhythm--lift knee and hop, hop with feet together, then switch legs (50 to 60 revolutions per minute).
2. SCULPT Overhead Triceps Extension (targets triceps) a. Sit on ball with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold one 10- to 12-pound dumbbell with both hands overhead, keeping elbows pinned to your ears. Lower weight behind head until elbows are bent about 90 degrees. b. Press up, holding briefly as you contract your triceps, then repeat.
3. STRETCH: Triceps Reach (Not shown) Sit on top of ball with feet shoulder-width apart. Reach right arm overhead, dropping hand behind head. Grasp right elbow with left hand and pull back slightly. Hold for 15 seconds, then switch arms.
4. SCULPT: Biceps Curl (targets biceps) Kneel behind ball and place your right foot next to it to keep it from rolling. Holding a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in your left hand, rest your left elbow and upper arm on top of the ball for support and curl the weight toward your shoulder. Hold for 1 count, then lower. Complete repetitions with your left hand, then switch sides.