We asked Michelle Lovitt to create and demonstrate a firm-abs plan, and she over-delivered. Based on principles she perfected with her Hollywood clients, this workout uses full-body toning and quick cardio bursts to generate a precise intensity: challenging enough to burn belly fat, but not so difficult it sends your stress response into overdrive. To maximize results, pick up a copy of our new DVD, Ultimate Flat Belly: Amazing Abs, Gorgeous Body.
To sculpt an amazing core, complete the circuit twice. Perform each exercise for one minute, and do the cardio burst for 30 seconds. Rest for two minutes between circuits. Aim to do the routine up to three times a week. All you'll need are light hand weights (five pounds), a resistance band, and a timer.
Targets: legs, core, shoulders, and back
Stand with your feet together and arms extended overhead, holding one weight horizontally in both hands. Keeping your arms straight, lower the weight in front of your body, and raise your right leg parallel to floor. Reverse movement, then repeat with the left leg. Continue alternating sides with each rep.
Make it easier: Bend your leg, and raise your knee to hip height.
COURTESY OF PREVENTIONReverse Lunge with Twist & Pull
Targets: butt, thighs, core, shoulders, and upper back
Stand with your arms extended forward at chest height, holding one end of the band in each hand. Step your left foot back, and lower into a lunge. Twist your torso over your right leg, and pull your hands farther apart, stretching the band. Return to start, then repeat on the opposite side. Alternate sides with each rep.
Make it easier: Grab the band near its ends for less resistance.
Cardio Burst: Plank Jack to Climber
Targets: core, chest, and shoulders
Assume the pushup position, arms straight and feet together. Keeping your core tight, hop your feet out wider than the mat, then hop back to the starting position. Next, draw your right knee toward your chest. Pause, then return to the starting position, and repeat with the left knee. Return to the starting position to finish one rep.
Targets: butt, thighs, core, shoulders, and arms
Stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, one weight in each hand. Bend your elbows, and raise the weights to shoulder height, palms facing forward. Hinge at the hips to lower into a squat. Straighten your legs to stand, and twist your torso to right, coming onto ball of your left foot and extending your left arm to shoulder height (shown). Lower into another squat, and repeat punch on the opposite side. Alternate sides with each rep.
Make it easier: Ditch the weights; imagine punching through thick, dense air to create resistance.
Targets: butt, thighs, core, and upper back
Anchor one end of the band under the inside of your left foot, with the opposite end in your right hand. Step your right foot back, and bend your left leg until the thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. Lower your right hand next to your left shin, then pull your right elbow toward your right shoulder. Slowly lower your right hand beside your left shin. Continue for 30 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side for another 30 seconds.
Make it easier: Grab band near ends for less resistance.