Best Health

THE EXERCISES

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STAIR STEP-UPS WORKS: BUTT, CALVES, THIGHS

A. Stand facing the bottom step of a staircase or a step at the gym.

B. Put your right foot on the step, straighten­ing your right leg and raising yourself onto the step. As you do, bend your left knee up, raising your left leg directly in front of you.

C. Briefly balance on your right leg (your left foot is in the air). Slowly lower your left foot to the floor, squatting slightly, without moving your right foot.

TECHNIQUE TIP Resist leaning forward; align shoulders over hips.

CHEST PRESS WORKS: CHEST, BACK OF UPPER ARMS

A. Hold dumbbells and lie face up on the floor or an exercise bench, with arms at chest level and elbows at 90-degrees.

B. Bend your legs and place your feet on the floor, about hip width apart. Raise your arms toward the ceiling, palms facing forward.

C. Bend your elbows and lower dumbbells until your upper arms are parallel to the floor (elbows bent at 90 degrees, but not dropping below your shoulders if you’re on a bench).

D. Return to starting position.

TECHNIQUE TIP When straighten­ing your arms, align dumbbells over shoulders and chest, not your face.

BACK EXTENSIONS WORKS: LOWER BACK

A. Lie face down, with your feet shoulder width apart and shoelaces on the floor. Place your fists at your temples.

B. Slowly raise your shoulders and chest off the floor and hold for one second.

C. Lower to starting position and repeat.

TECHNIQUE TIP Make sure to lift with your torso rather than bob your head.

SIDE PLANK WORKS: THE AB MUSCLES THAT WRAP AROUND YOUR WAIST

A. Lie on your left side, with your left hip and forearm on the floor, and your left elbow in line with your left shoulder. Rest your right hand on your top thigh.

B. Scissor your right leg over your left leg, so that your left foot is about an inch in front of your right foot on the floor.

C. Lift your right hip, balancing on your forearm and the sides of your feet to hold your body in a diagonal line.

D. Hold for 15 seconds, working your way up to 45 seconds. Repeat.

TECHNIQUE TIP Keep your shoulders in line so that your chest faces forward, not toward the floor.

WALL SQUAT WITH BICEPS CURLS WORKS: THIGHS, BUTT, BICEPS

A. Stand with your back against a wall and a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms should be at your sides, with your palms facing forward.

B. Slowly sit into a squat position, allowing your back to slide down the wall. At the same time, curl dumbbells toward your shoulders.

C. Return to starting position as you lower your arms. TECHNIQUE TIP Keep your feet far enough away from the wall so your knees don’t extend past your toes when you squat.

OVERHEAD PRESS WORKS: SHOULDERS

A. Stand with your feet hip width apart, holding dumbbells at shoulder height, with your elbows pointing toward the floor.

B. Lift dumbbells overhead until your hands are straight, keeping your arms aligned with your shoulders.

C. Lower your arms, bringing weights back to starting position.

TECHNIQUE TIP Avoid arching your back or locking your knees.

TRICEPS KICKBACKS WORKS: BACK OF UPPER ARMS

A. Hold dumbbells and sit on a fitness ball. Lean forward from your waist without rounding your back.

B. Bend your arms so elbows are at 90-degrees. (Keep your elbows close to your sides.) C. Straighten your arms so that your forearms and dumbbells move behind you. Return to starting position.

TECHNIQUE TIP Keep your elbows behind you and your chest parallel to your thighs.

ONE-ARM BACK FLYS WORKS: BACK OF SHOULDERS, UPPER BACK

A. Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, palm in, stand with your feet hip width apart.

B. Step forward with your left foot. Bend your left leg slightly and place your left hand on left thigh, leaning forward from your waist about 45 degrees without rounding your back.

C. Squeeze your shoulder blades together slightly and raise your right hand to the side and back, stopping when the dumbbell is as high as your shoulder. Keep your palm toward the floor.

D. Lower your arm and repeat. Complete one set before switching your arm and leg.

TECHNIQUE TIP Keep elbow slightly bent; hold your spine straight.

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