Whether you're breaking a sweat regularly or totally slacking, it's time for a change. To look hotter than ever this summer, you have to shock your body to get it into sizzling shape. (Get motivated with these downloadable posters!)
It takes about three weeks for a fit woman to adapt to a new routine, says metabolic training expert B.J. Gaddour, CEO of StreamFIT.com. That means as you do a workout over and over again, it eventually gets easier and your body doesn't have to work as hard. In this case, effortless isn't a good thing: When your body isn't challenged, you burn fewer calories and your metabolism and results flatline--exactly what you don't want to happen when your goal is scoring a slimmer, sexier physique.
Video: 5 Moves for a Bikini Ready Body
To burn more fat and build more lean muscle, you have to throw your body a curveball. Enter our one-of-a-kind beach-body plan, created by Gaddour. These innovative moves are likely new to you--and your muscles. They'll work your entire body in a fast-paced series that will stoke your metabolism and jack up your heart rate. According to researchers, training this way can torch about 500 calories an hour, plus an extra 300 calories in the 24 hours after your workout. What's more, the plan is super-simple. All you need are two pairs of dumbbells (one light and one heavy; try five to 10 pounds for the lighter ones, 10 to 20 pounds for the heavier set, and adjust if needed), and each routine takes a little more than 30 minutes.
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Get with the Plan
You'll complete three workouts a week on nonconsecutive days, alternating between workout A and workout B. For each workout, perform the 10 moves on these pages as a circuit. When you've finished all of them, rest for a minute, then repeat the entire circuit two or three more times.
Workout A: Use the heavier weights. For each exercise, perform as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds between exercises.
Workout B: Use the lighter weights. For each exercise, perform as many reps as you can in 50 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds between exercises.
Fitness Rules You Should Ignore
Quick tip: To make this exercise easier place the dumbbell on the floor (rather than holding it) and touch it with your hands when you squat down.
The change-up between the two workouts is the key to the program's success. In workout A, you'll knock out around eight to 15 reps per move, which builds muscle and optimizes fat-burning hormones. But if you stuck with that approach, you'd exhaust your muscles and need more downtime to recover. In workout B, the longer work intervals rely on your type-I endurance muscle fibers to do most of the work, which gives your type-II fibers (the kind used for intense exercise) a break. Another perk of the tag-team approach: By alternating routines, your body won't master the moves as quickly, so this plan will help you stay beach-body fit long after bikini season is over.
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Grasp one end of a heavy dumbbell with both hands, arms hanging straight in front of you, and stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly (a). Step your left foot out to the left, bending your knees and pushing your hips back to lower yourself into a squat until the other end of the dumbbell hits the floor (b). Explosively push off your left leg and bring your feet together, then repeat with your right leg. Continue alternating.
Hold a dumbbell in your right hand just above your shoulder; place your right foot two feet in front of your left, knees slightly bent (a). Drive through your right heel and press the weight overhead, pivoting your feet to the left to turn 180 degrees (b). Reverse the move to return to start. That's one rep. Switch sides halfway through the set.
Quick tip: Make it harder and recruit more muscles in your thighs by bending your knees deeper at the start.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold one end of a dumbbell in both hands in front of your chest, elbows bent. Bend your knees and push your hips back until your thighs are parallel to the ground (a). As you stand, pivot both feet 90 degrees to the right (b). Rotate back to center and quickly complete another rep, rotating to the left. Continue alternating.
Quick tip: You can sit back onto a chair or bench and pause briefly at the bottom of each squat. This guarantees that you recruit your glutes.
Hold a pair of dumbbells and stand with your left foot two feet in front of your right. Hinge forward at the hips to lower your torso toward the floor, dumbbells hanging under your shoulders (a). Pull the right dumbbell toward your chest (b); then lower your right arm while rowing the left weight toward your chest. Continue alternating.
Quick tip: Alternating places a greater demand on your core and lower back to stabilize and fight rotationa forces. To make the move easier, raise and lower both weights together.
Hold a dumbbell horizontally in front of your chest. Step forward with your right foot and circle the weight clockwise around your head. Take a step with the left foot, moving the weight counterclockwise. Continue alternating.
Quick tip: Make this harder by doing walking lunges instead of taking regular steps
Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides and stand with your feet hip-width apart. push your hips back and bring the weights slightly behind you (a), then quickly thrust your hips forward and squeeze your glutes as you swing the dumbbells above your head (b). Return to start and continue in fluid motions.
Quick tip: Your knees should never go beyond your ankles, and they should bend only slightly (as you push your hips back). The movement and power should come from your hips and glutes.
Get into a pushup position, your hands resting on dumbbells and feet slightly more than hip-width apart (a). Push your hips back until they're near your ankles, keeping your body low and back flat (b). Quickly push through your toes back to the starting position. That's one rep.
Quick tip: If your form starts to falter, hold the top of the pushup position.
Hold the ends of a dumbbell in front of you at shoulder height, arms extended (a). Step your left foot back, bending both knees and lowering the dumbbell to the outside of your right hip (b). push through your right heel to return to start. Repeat, stepping your right foot back and moving the dumbbell to your left hip. Continue alternating.
Quick tip: Keep your belly button forward, which makes your core work extra hard.
Grab one end of a dumbbell in both hands and hold it overhead, standing tall with your feet hip-width apart (a). Step your right foot back, rotating 90 degrees to the right, and lower the dumbbell behind your head as you bend your knees (b). push through your right heel to return to start. Repeat, stepping back with your left foot and pivoting to the left. Continue alternating.
Quick tip: Don't lower into a squat, but bend your knees slightly.
Get into a pushup position with your hands resting on dumbbells and feet slightly more than hip-width apart (a). Row the left weight to the side of your chest while rotating to the left into a side plank (b). Reverse to return to start. Switch sides halfway through.
Quick tip: With each row, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
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