How This Workout Works
It’s one of our most flab-melting routines ever: Eight of the best lab-tested toners mixed together to boost your metabolism, with no sweaty cardio required. You’ll get up to three times more firming per rep as you torch a third more calories each minute — during and after your workout — compared with typical strength training.
The skinny secret? Supersets! Cutting out downtime between sets, as with these alternating pairings of moves that work opposing muscles, “increases your metabolism not only because your heart rate stays higher throughout but also because the body works harder afterward to recover,” says Mark Schuenke, PhD, assistant anatomy professor at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine. Schuenke’s research suggests that the bonus after-burn for a 140-pound woman can be up to 306 calories in the 24 hours post workout. All you’ll need is a set of five- to eight-pound dumbbells and a sturdy chair to net this slimming side benefit.
Superset 1: Back And Chest
1. Bent-Over Row
Targets: Back and biceps
Tones 93 percent of your upper back muscles — more than any other move tested.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides.
Hinge forward 90 degrees from hips so that back is parallel to floor and arms extend down, palms facing each other.
Drive elbows directly behind you to bring dumbbells by ribs. Lower.
Do 10 to 12 reps, then move on to the Decline Bench Press.
2. Dumbbell Bench Press
Targets: Chest, shoulders, butt, and hamstrings
6 percent more chest toning than the flat-on-your-back version.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie face up on floor with knees bent and feet flat; bring arms out to sides at shoulder level, then bend elbows 90 degrees so that forearms are perpendicular to floor (like a goalpost), palms facing forward.
Lift hips off floor so that body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders.
Maintaining bridge position, extend arms to press dumbbells toward ceiling. Lower upper arms to floor.
Do 10 to 12 reps, then return to the Bent-Over Row. Continue alternating sets until you’ve done 3 sets of each exercise.