Leave Your ‘Problem Areas’ Behind

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problem areasAre you dealing with some problem areas on your body? First, make sure your diet is on track. Second, get moving. Studies show you need to do at least an hour of exercise a day most days of the week to stave off disease alone. But, if you really want to attack problem areas like “bat wings,” a “muffin top,” “thunder thighs,” and more, then this workout is for you!

This program only requires a few accessories and you don’t have to enter the walls of any gym! Being outside while exercising can provide a “breath of fresh air” to any workout. You just need to find a nice park or beach and get after it. Or, if weather doesn’t permit, then your living room, garage, or spare bedroom will suffice. It’s really all about the attitude you bring to the workout.

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The “compound” exercises featured in this workout involve “multi-joint” movement patterns that will require more muscle to accomplish the desired result, thus burning more calories. However the “isolation” exercises will focus the effort on those hard-to-hit areas such as the triceps and lower abs. By combining these six simple yet effective exercises, you will be sure to walk away leaving all of your problem areas behind.

NOTE: The following exercises can be done by beginner to advanced. Adjust sets and reps according to your current fitness level. For example, beginners may do between 12-15 reps with a manageable weight for 1-2 sets. Intermediate and advanced would obviously seek to be very challenged by choosing a more intense set/rep scheme. You can perform these exercises together as we have them shown here or you can easily add them into any other program you may be using.

squat push pressSquat Push Press
Take a hip-width stance, bar across upper chest and keep your eyes focused on the horizon. Slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and then return to starting position. However, while you are standing, slowly press the bar overhead. When squatting back down, lower bar back to upper chest and repeat.

problem areasPikes On Swiss Ball
Place your Swiss ball on a safe surface, put your feet on the ball and hands on the ground similar to a pushup position. Now, lift your butt towards the sky and pull in from the lower abs to focus the movement. Return to start position and repeat.

Overhead Tricep Extensions
Using an elastic band, take a slightly narrower than hip-width stance while standing securely on the band. Keeping your elbows pinned to your head, slowly extend up from the lower arm and squeeze your tricep muscles at the top of the movement. Slowly return to start position and repeat.

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Outer Thighs
Attach an elastic band around the knees or just above. Maintain a partial squatted position and slowly step back and forth pressing out from the knees to focus effort on your outer thighs.

Plie Squats
Take a fairly wide stance with feet pointed out to about 60 degrees. Holding a weighted ball between your legs and maintaining a straight back, slowly lower yourself to parallel or lower. At the top of the movement be sure to emphasize squeezing your glutes to maximize your efforts.

Good Mornings
Place the bar on your upper back, take a hip-width stance and maintain a slight bend in the knees. Slowly lower your upper body towards the floor maintaining a flat back. Come to about parallel or lower and return. While lifting back to start position, be sure to emphasize squeezing the glutes.

By Anita Bartram