Last week we shared local personal trainers’ favorite arm exercises, from pushups to pullups. This week, trainer Laurent Amzallag has put some of his favorite arm-toning exercises—tricep dips and bicep curls included—into one super-quick strength session. Tack it onto your next workout and feel the burn.
A workout recently published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but we busy Washingtonians may appreciate that it takes just seven minutes, requires barely any equipment, and works the entire body. Now there really are no excuses.
Using high-intensity circuit training, the workout is designed for ultimate fat-burning while performing 12 exercises for 30 seconds each. The fitness trainers who created the workout note that it’s not the best way to gain “absolute” strength, power, or endurance—but if you’re crunched for time, it will serve you well.
Blame it on Michelle Obama: The most popular plastic surgery of 2012 was the arm lift. Last year 15,000 US women went under the knife to remove loose skin from the backs of their arms. That’s a 4,478 percent increase in the rate of that surgery in the past decade.
For the rest of us who would rather get killer arms the natural—and less painful—way, local personal trainers are here to help. We rounded up six of their go-to arm-toning exercises for you to try next time you’re at the gym.
A favorite among a majority of the fitness pros we polled, bench dips work the triceps and are ideal because they can be performed almost anywhere, says trainer Elizabeth Brooks.
How to do it: Place your hands behind you on the edge of a steady chair or bench and keep knees bent. Bend elbows to 90 degrees (dip). Extend the elbows to starting position and repeat. (For more of a challenge, straighten your legs.)
We love the outdoors. Problem is, nice weather hasn’t exactly been consistent recently. Fortunately, this week is looking up, so we rounded up some great outdoor workouts you can finally try.
Need more convincing? Research shows that those who spend more time outdoors report higher commitment to exercise and lower levels of depression.
A Beginner’s Rowing Workout
Time: 32 minutes
Muscles worked: Core and legs
The water may still be freezing but it’ll feel great after this rowing workout whipped up by the folks at Capital Rowing Club.
Personal trainer Errick McAdams knows Meridian Hill Park well. And he should—whenever the weather cooperates you’ll likely find him training clients there, whether it’s on the steps, by the fountains, or underneath the canopy of trees. Now that spring is officially in the air, next time you head to the 12-acre park, get your heart rate going with this strength- and cardio-boosting outdoor workout.
The Meridian Hill Park Workout
Round 1 (warmup)
Run up and down the stairs x 10
After the 10th rep, head up to the top level of the park.
It’s seriously warm out, which means the running and biking trails are getting pretty crowded. So why not take advantage of the Potomac River and hit the water for a workout?
Coach Bob Brady of the Capital Rowing Club whipped up a great rowing workout for beginners to try this spring, either on the machine or on the water. If you’re new to rowing, as with any workout, it’s important to take it easy. “People use muscles they’ve never used before or they forgot to use,” says Brady. “It’s not uncommon for people to hop onto a rowing machine and feel like they’re not getting the workout they expected.”
Before the workout, warm up for about 10 minutes. Your core and legs will be doing the brunt of the workout, so take note of that as you warm up and stretch.
When’s the last time you picked up a jump rope? If you can’t even remember, you’re missing out on one of the best calorie-burning workouts available. Jumping rope burns approximately 14 calories per minute while increasing endurance, improving agility, and strengthening your hand-eye coordination.
Plus you can jump rope anywhere—at the gym, on vacation, or in the comfort of your own home. We rounded up three great jump-rope workouts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Beginner’s Jump Rope Workout From the Ultimate Jump Rope Workouts
There’s no two ways about it: Running hills sucks. But while it makes you huff and puff like no other, it’s a quick way to improve your race performance, say local running coaches Julie Sapper and Lisa Reichmann of Run Farther and Faster.
Hill sprints “help strengthen your legs and improve your speed,” they explain. Plus running sprints uphill actually put less impact on your joints than running on flat surfaces.
We’re in the heart of spring race season, so it’s likely that your training regimen calls for some midweek speed work. Next time, try this hills sprint workout whipped up by Sapper and Reichmann.
A couple of weeks ago we featured this elliptical workout to get your heart racing. We’re back this week with another workout for the elliptical by personal trainer Elizabeth Brooks. “I love this workout because it’s super intense for when you don’t have a lot of time, and it’s great for hamstring and glute training,” she says.
1) Select one of the hill programs that are pre-programmed into the elliptical machine. The program will randomize the incline on the elliptical, and you will manipulate the resistance and RPMs (revolutions per minute).
2) Determine how much time you have to spend on your cardio workout that day and input that time frame.*
3) When you are ready to start, try the following resistance pattern and keep your RPMs between 130 and 140 RPM.
Hill 1: Level 8 resistance
Hill 2: Level 9
Hill 3: Level 8
Hill 4: Level 9
Hill 5: Level 10
Hill 6: Level 8
Hill 7: Level 9
Hill 8: Level 10
Hill 9: Level 11
4) Take a water break every 10 minutes, drinking at least 6 ounces of water each time.
*If you have 30 minutes, each of your hills will be about 2 minutes long and you will maintain a speed of 130 RPMs for that entire hill. Brooks says you can start at a lower level and build the same pattern.
Here’s something scary to think about: Bathing suit season is just a bit more than two months away. We turned to local personal trainer Ana Browne to get our abs into tip-top shape by demonstrating four one-of-a-kind core exercises to incorporate into our workouts. And you can trust they’ll work—Browne competes in national bikini-body competitions.
Windshield Wipers x 3 sets of 1 minute
Lie down on a yoga mat holding two dumbbells over your chest. Raise and extend legs so your body forms an L-shape. Slowly shift your legs from left to right, mimicking windshield wipers. Perform for 1 minute.
Beginner: Perform without dumbbells and place hands off to side with palms down.
Intermediate: Hold two medium-weight dumbbells for 1 minute.
Advanced: Aim for feet to touch the floor when tapping side to side for 2 minutes.