7 workout moves that will get you in shape quickly

by Carly Cardellino

Black exercise lady

The muscle needs time to repair, so you don’t want to do these exercises back to back days.

1. The Medial (or outer) Thigh Step Up

What it targets: Your outer thigh.

How to do it: “Using a step, a sturdy box, or stairs in your house, and holding 20 pounds in your hands for resistance, start standing up straight, and then cross your left foot in front of your right, lifting yourself onto the step,” says Heffernan. “Once both feet are on the step, leading with your left foot, slowly come all the way back down to your starting position.”

Leather pants are basically a bitch to get on as it is, but doing this move 12 to 15 times, three times on each side (alternating sides each time), will help them slip on that much easier. Two words: saddlebags begone.

2. The Lateral (or inner) Thigh Step Up

What it targets: Your inner thigh.

How to do it: “Again, using a step, a sturdy box, or stairs in your house, and holding 20 pounds in your hands for resistance, start standing up straight, and lift your right foot onto the step,” explains Heffernan. “Then, in one fluid motion, step up onto it, pause with both feet together, and slowly step back down to the ground with your left foot first.” Repeat this move three times on each side for 12 to 15 reps.

If your inner thighs are your issue, this move will target and tone them like no other.

3. The Goblet Squat 

What it targets: Your entire leg.

How to do it: “Standing with your legs positioned slightly past shoulder-width, make sure your elbows stay pinned to your side and that the kettle bell (15 pounds or more) is against your chest,” explains Heffernan. “Then, slowly squat until your elbows touch your thighs, making sure your knees don’t cave inward, and then slowly stand back up. The key with this is the further you go down, the more your glutes are engaged.”

If over-the-knee boots are your jam this fall, this move is for you. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

4.  Romanian Dead Lifts

What it targets: Your upper thigh and butt.

How to do it: “Start standing with your legs hip-width apart, your knees soft and slightly bent, and with 10 pound dumbells resting on your thighs,” says Heffernan. “Next, keeping the weights tight to your thighs, and with your shoulders back and your back slightly arched, begin bending at the hips (not at the knees) allowing the dumbells to slide down the front of your thighs until you feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings. Through your movement, make sure that your head stays in line with your spine, by picking a spot on the floor and watching it throughout the exercise. Then, push through your heels to bring yourself back to standing position and squeeze your butt between each of your three sets of 12 reps.”

Into jumpsuits this fall? Consider this your go-to move for a perky butt.

5.   Curl to Overhead Press 

What it targets: Your biceps and shoulders.

How to do it: “With your feet hip-width apart, and your knees soft, not locked, keep your arms down and tight to your side while holding 10 pounds weights,” says Heffernan. “Next, curl them up to shoulder height, with your palms facing each other the entire time, and then press the weights directly overhead, locking out your elbows at the top. Remember, as you push your arms up, to be sure to keep them shoulder width because it’s a more natural motion for your shoulder. Then, as you’re bringing the weights down slowly, still keeping your palms facing each other, aim for your elbows to graze the side of your ribs — exactly how they would if you were holding a newspaper under your arm — to add to the resistance.” Repeat this move three times, 15 reps each.

Not giving up on sleeveless tops just yet, or have a ton of cocktail parties or events to attend? This exercise will whip your upper arms into shape in no time.

6. Stability Ball Planks

What it targets: Your torso.

How to do it: “Leaning on a stability ball in a plank position, make sure your body is flat with your hips up,” explains Heffernan. “Looking at your hands, slowly move the ball in three circles to the left and three to the right. Because you never get a solid base with this move, you’re constantly firing different parts of your abdominal muscles to keep your body straight,” he adds. Repeat this move three times for the best results.

That tight dress that you’re stressing about wearing will never look better after doing this exercise religiously.

7. Single Leg Calf Raises

What it targets: Your calves.

How to do it: “Standing with the ball of your foot on the ledge of any step — the front step to your porch or the stairs in your house — let your heel come down until you feel a slight stretch in the calf and then push up off on the ball of your foot until your calf muscle is contracted,” says Heffernan. “When you’re pressing up onto the ball of your foot, briefly squeeze at the top, and then let it down slowly.”

Repeat this move 12 to 15 times on each foot and soon enough your calves will be the star of your midi-dress moment.

Heffernan suggests this circuit if you want to do all of these moves:

1. Goblet Squat

2. Stability Ball

3. Romanian Dead Lifts

4. Outer Thigh Step up

5. Curl to Press

6. Inner Thigh Step Up

7. Calf Raises

“This set up allows you to get the most out of each exercise without resting in between,” he says. “Do this cycle three times each, Monday, Wednesday, Friday (two to three times a week). The muscle needs time to repair, so you don’t want to do these exercises back to back days.” And don’t worry, he assured me that none of these moves will make you “bulk up.”


Read this article in Cosmopolitan


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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