The 4 Best Cardio Circuit Moves for Apple-Shaped Bodies
As part of our body shape workout series, we're revealing the best fitness plans that will tone and slim your particular figure. Next up, apples!
Celebrity Doubles: Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Hudson
Features: Athletic build, with broader shoulders
Trouble spots: Mid-section
Your plan: Core work will help shape up your middle, but it's the cardio that will really slim you down. "I recommend intervals for fat loss, because they are more effective than steady-state cardio for fat-burning, especially for belly fat," says Jessi Kneeland, personal trainer, coach, and founder of Remodel Fitness. You can still add moves to add definition, though: Try these eight no-crunch core exercises.
Try: A cardio circuit.
For newbies: Do eight reps each of squats, pushups, reverse lunges, and burpees. Repeat five times without resting.
For gym pros: Perform 10 reps of each move of the circuit below. Rest for a minute, then repeat for a total of five sets.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Start by doing a regular squat, then engage core and jump up, shooting arms up above head for more momentum. As you land, gently sink back into squat position. That's one rep. "You'll want to do these as explosively as possible for maximum effect, but you want to make sure that you're sitting back into a proper squat position, so you dodge too much pressure on your knees," Kneeland suggests.
CROSS-BODY MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
Start at the top of the pushup position, with your body forming a straight line from head to heels. With your core engaged, pick up your right foot and slowly bring your right knee toward your left shoulder. Return to start. Alternate legs on the next rep.
DUMBBELL ROMANIAN LIFT
Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip and hold them at arm's length in front of your thighs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and push your hips back with slightly bent knees and a straight spine, until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Pause, then snap the hips forward to come back up to the start position, and squeeze the glutes at the top. "With this exercise you want to make sure that your back is straight, and you are squeezing your butt and moving with your hips to avoid injury," says Kneeland.
BENT OVER ROW
Standing with your feet hip-width apart and knees bent, hold a pair of dumbbells so your palms are facing each other, and bend forward from the hips, keeping back straight. Pull your shoulder blades together and draw the elbows up toward the body, squeezing them hard into the body at the top to really engage the muscles in the back. Return to start. That's one rep.