Exercise can be just as polarizing as diet, with one camp claiming steady-state cardio is best for weight loss, while others swear by intense intervals of, say, weight lifting. Thankfully our girl Jillian Michaels is here to clear things up for Crossfitters and power walkers alike.
“The best kind of workout is whatever you show up for, really!” Michaels said. “Whatever gets you out of bed in the morning is ultimately going to be the most effective for whatever your goals are.”
Michaels herself aims to work out four times each week, and loves fitness that allows for measurable progress. While she admits to being extremely inflexible, Michaels says she is really into yoga right now as it feels rewarding to master each new position and see her progress visually.
As long as she can fit in at least 20-30 minutes of hard work in those four days each week, whether it’s a quick HIIT session in the middle of the afternoon or an early morning date with the gym, she can feel good about her fitness. And we know she’s not sitting at home watching TV the rest of the day—Michaels stays active as a mom, entrepreneur, speaker and activist, so she’s getting all those steps (or more) in. And simply staying active throughout the day burns more calories than you’d think!
Our favorite trainer does have some advice, however. If you’re looking for fast results to lose weight or build muscle tone, Michaels advises regularly switching up your workout in terms of reps, weight, intensity and even the type of exercise you’re doing to reap the full benefits. For example, if you’re a runner, try cross-training twice a week with a spin class or at-home circuit workout, and you’re likely to see some major running gains even though you’re doing it less.
Michaels is a big fan of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, specifically for quick results. And she loves functional bodyweight moves like push-ups and squats that work several different muscle groups at a time. Plus, she says you should aim to get that heart rate up to 80-85% capacity and high-intensity intervals are sure to get you there!
If you’re struggling to find the right workout for you or are just looking to mix up your weekly regimen, check out Michaels’ health app—My Fitness by Jillian Michaels—for access to dozens of different workouts designed by Michaels herself. Whether you want to increase your flexibility and lower your stress with yoga or sweat it out with kickboxing, this app gives you the perfect workout at your fingertips. You’ll be reaching your goals in no time!
Tank-top season is on the horizon, and it’s time to get your arms ready for the big reveal. This workout will help strengthen and tone you from your shoulders down to your wrists, while upping your muscular endurance. What’s more, we’ve also snuck in a little bit of core and cardio work, just for fun. Now, let’s get armed and dangerous!
Bicep Curls + Isometric Hold
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing forward. Without moving upper arms, bend elbows and, slowly and with control, curl weights toward shoulders. Pause and then slowly lower back down to start. On the last rep, pause when weights reach 90 degrees and hold for 10 seconds.
Triceps Pulses + Hold
Stand with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in. Bend knees slightly and hinge at waist to lower torso slightly. Reach arms straight back until they are slightly higher than your torso; squeeze shoulder blades. From this position, pulse arms back. (Each pulse is one rep.) On the last rep, hold arms back for 10 seconds.
Dumbbell Overhead Press
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, with arms bent slightly and hands slightly wider than shoulders, palms facing body. Press weights straight up, twisting weights so palms face forward at the top. Reverse motion to return back to start.
Get into a straight-arm plank with hands resting on dumbbells, palms facing in. Pushing left dumbbell into the floor, pull your right elbow up until it passes your torso. Lower and repeat on the opposite side. That's one rep. Too hard? Drop to knees.
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in. Simultaneously, bend elbows and curl the weight toward shoulders. Pause and then slowly lower back down to start.
Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Place palms next to thighs, fingers gripping edge. Keeping arms straight, scoot forward until hips and butt are off the bench or chair. Bend elbows and lower hips until upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push back to start. Make it harder: Extend legs straight out.
Single-Arm Press in Lunge
Start in a lunge with your right leg in front of your left and a dumbbell in your right hand just outside of shoulder, with your right arm bent slightly and hand slightly wider than your shoulder, palm facing body. Keeping abs tight, press weight overhead until arm is straight. Slowly lower back down to the start. Do one full set, then repeat on opposite side.
From a straight-arm plank, lower right elbow to the ground, followed by left, coming into a forearm plank. Place right hand on ground directly beneath right shoulder, and straighten right elbow, then left hand under left shoulder and straighten left elbow, pushing back up into a straight-arm plank. That’s one rep. Continue reps, alternating which arm goes first each time.
Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in. Keeping elbows glued to your sides, raise the right dumbbell toward the left shoulder. Return to start and then raise the left dumbbell toward the right shoulder. That's one rep.
Dumbbell Triceps Overhead Extension
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart and arms overhead, holding a dumbbell between hands. With shoulders down and back, core engaged, and elbows pointing forward, bend elbows and allow the dumbbell to lower down behind head. Extend arms up to bring weight back overhead.
Sit-Up to Overhead Press
Lie face-up, holding dumbbell between both hands, arms extended out in front of chest. Bend knees and place feet firmly on the ground. Sit up, raising torso toward knees as you lift the weight up and press it overhead. Slowly reverse motion to return to start.
Plank Shoulder Taps
Get into a straight-arm plank with hands under shoulders. Keeping hips square, lift your right hand and tap your left shoulder. Return to start and repeat with the opposite side. That’s one rep.
Stand with legs shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, left foot facing forward and right foot slightly turned out, with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold your right hand by your chin and left hand in front of your face. Punch with your left hand, twisting hand so that your knuckles are up, and palm is down. Bring arm back in to start and then pivot on the right foot as you punch with your right hand, twisting it so that knuckles are up, and palm is down. Bring arm back in. That’s one rep.
Stand with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Bend knees, hinge at waist and lean torso forward slightly. Bend elbows, bringing dumbbells to sides so that your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Press dumbbells back to straighten arm as you squeeze triceps. Reverse motion back to start.
Front Raises to Lateral Raises
Stand with feet hip-width apart, a slight bend in knees and a dumbbell in each hand at sides. With control, lift dumbbells straight out in front of you until they reach shoulder height. Slowly lower back to start and then, with control, lift arms out to sides until they reach shoulder height. Slowly lower back to start; that’s one rep. On the last rep, hold out in front and then out to sides both for a count of 10.
Plank to Side Snatch
Get into a straight-arm plank with hands under shoulders, each hand gripping a dumbbell, with= feet wider than shoulders. Engage core and, in a single movement while keeping arms straight, twist at the waist and allow toes to pivot, lifting left hand out and up overhead. Lower arm back down to return to plank. Do one full set, then repeat on opposite side.
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in. Keeping core tight, swing your right arm up and left arm back, bending elbows. Then swing left arm up and right arm back. That’s one rep. Alternate rhythmically back and forth; arms should mimic running form.
Lie faceup with knees bent, feet on floor and arms extended straight up in line with shoulders, a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Slowly bend forearms back from the elbow, lowering dumbbells to ears. Return to start by raising dumbbells back up, making sure to keep lower back pressed into the floor.
Get into a straight-arm plank with hands under shoulders, feet hip-width apart, and core tight. Bend elbows to lower body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, then push yourself back up.
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand in front of thighs, palms facing thighs. With control, bend arms to raise the dumbbells straight up, leading with your elbows, until dumbbells reach shoulder height. Pause briefly at the top and then slowly lower back to start.
Stand with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand in front of thighs, palms facing forward. Without moving upper arms, slowly and with control, curl dumbbells toward shoulders. At the top of the curl, rotate wrists inward until palms face forward. Maintaining this position, lower dumbbells back down slowly and with control. Rotate wrists and dumbbells back to the starting position. That's one rep.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, a slight bend in knees, and a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Hinge at waist and lower torso slightly, allowing arms to hang down. Keeping a flat back, squeeze shoulder blades and bend elbows, pulling the dumbbells to the sides of your ribs. Slowly lower arms back to the start.
Dumbbell Criss Cross
Stand with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand, arms bent at 90 degrees. Keeping elbows close to your body, bring weighs in to midline of body and cross your right dumbbell over the left. Return to start and repeat, this time crossing the left dumbbell over the right. Return to start; that’s one rep.
Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press
Lie faceup on a bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand a few inches over chest so that dumbbells are nearly touching, palms facing in. Press one dumbbell up until your arm is fully extended. Pause, and then slowly lower dumbbell back to start. Repeat on opposite side. That’s one rep.
Military Press Jack
Stand with a dumbbell between hands, with forearms vertical and hands in front of chest,palms facing in. Jump feet out while pressing dumbbell straight up overhead. Bring dumbbell back down in front of chest as you jump feet back together, performing the move in one seamless motion. That’s one rep.
Weighted Arm Circles
Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand at sides. Raise arms up, extending them out to sides, palms facing down Keeping core tight, make small circles forward with arms. Each circle is a rep; halfway through each set, reverse the motion to make small circles backward.
Front Press Jack
Stand tall with a dumbbell between hands, with forearms vertical and hands in front of chest, palms facing in. Jump feet out while pressing dumbbell straight out in front of chest. Bring dumbbell back in toward chest as you jump feet back together, performing the move in one seamless motion. That’s one rep.
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This article originally appeared on Life by Daily Burn.
Let’s be honest, eliminating a little arm jiggle when we wave or high five would be nice. But an even better goal: Scoring stronger triceps. That’s why we’re arming you with this workout from Daily Burn 365, designed to tone the back of your arms.
Aesthetics aside, strong triceps make any pushing movement easier, because they’re the prime movers in elbow extension. So next time a door feels a bit too heavy to open or you have trouble hauling your grocery cart around, turn to these three triceps exercises. Strong and sculpted arms await.
3 Triceps Exercises for an Awesome Arm Workout
Feel the burn in the back of your arms with each of these Daily Burn 365 exercises. Perform the moves in order for 45 seconds each, resting for 45 seconds (or less!) between rounds. Do as many rounds as you can squeeze into your session. Using dumbbells for each move will up the resistance, but sticking to bodyweight only works, too. Either way, your upper body will benefit.
1. Punch Sequence
How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart, and a slight bend in your knees. Hold your hands in fists in front of your face, elbows bent (a). Punch your right hand straight out in front of you, extending your elbow fully and twisting your palm to face downward. Then, like a rubber band, quickly bring it back to your face (b). Do the same forward punch motion with your left hand (c). Repeat one more punch with each hand (d). Then bring your right elbow up, palm facing downward and perform a hook or semicircle punch in front of you. Use your hips and core for more power (e). Perform a hook with your left hand (f). Continue alternating between four punches (two each hand), then two hooks (one each hand).
2. Triceps Push-Up Row Kick Back
How to: Start in a high plank position, straight line from shoulders to ankles and wrists under your shoulders (a). Lower your chest as close to the ground as you can go, keeping your elbows tucked by your sides (b). Push yourself back up (c). Pull your right elbow up, bringing your hand up to your chest to perform a row (d). Then straighten your arm behind you, pausing briefly in the extension (e). Bend your elbow again and lower your hand back down to the ground (f). Perform another push-up, then do the row and kick back with your left arm (g). Continue alternating, with push-ups between each side.
3. Triceps Lift and Hold
How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart. Bend forward at the hips, maintaining a flat back with shoulders rolled down away from your ears (a). Bring your arms up and behind you, thumbs facing down and palms facing each other (b). Squeeze your arms toward each other like you’re trying to give yourself a high five and hold it there for 45 seconds (c).
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