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Fit in 5: At-Home Exercises for Toning up Before Summer From Pro Trainer Jillian Michaels

All you need is a pair of weights.


With warmer weather on the horizon, getting fit in preparation for summer’s outdoor activities — think hiking, swimming, and donning a bathing suit for the first time in months — is top of mind. This, of course, means working out. If you prefer working out in the comfort of your home to the gym, celebrity trainer and TV personality Jillian Michaels has you covered.

The five exercises demonstrated below (by Michaels herself), will help tone trouble spots from head to toe. Complete two rounds of these circuit training exercises to help you firm up and have fun while doing it. If you practice this routine consistently, you just might find that you’re feeling more confident about your figure by the time summer arrives.

For Firm Thighs and a Strong Back: Deep Lunge With Row

Trainer Jillian Michaels doing deep lunge with row
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Maintaining stability in this deep lunge activates the quads and inner thigh muscles to help banish pesky thigh chafing, says Michaels, while the rows can melt fat from the upper back.

To Do: Stand with your feet together, holding 5-pound weights. Take a big step forward with your right foot and bend your knee to 90 degrees, keeping your left leg straight and your left heel up. Pull the weights up and back, then lower down. Continue for 1 minute. Switch legs for the second round.

For a Tight Tush and Toned Torso: Squat Press

Trainer Jillian Michaels doing squat press
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These are two of the most effective exercises for allover sculpting. Squats engage the gluteus maximus and hamstrings to lift the tush, says Michaels, while the overhead press calls on the deltoids, rhomboids, and lats to tone your upper half.

To Do: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold 5-pound weights up in front of your face. Lower into a squat. As you press up, rotate your palms outward and press the weights overhead, then lower down and rotate your hands back in. Continue for 1 minute.

For Lean Legs and a Perky Chest: Front Lunge Curl

Trainer Jillian Michaels doing front lunge curl
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Stepping into a lunge works every muscle below the waist, says Michaels, including the calorie-burning quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Incorporate a classic hammer curl to sculpt the upper body, and this exercise can help to melt fat from head to toe.

To Do: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding 5-pound weights at your sides. Take a medium step forward with your left foot and bend both knees to form right angles. As you bend your knees, curl the weights up to your shoulders. Push off your left foot to return to standing, then repeat on the right. Continue for 1 minute.

For Slim Hips and Sleek Shoulders: Side Lunge Front Raise

Trainer Jillian Michaels doing side lunge front raise
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Say goodbye to excess fat on the hips with side lunges, which engage the hard-to-reach abductors. Michaels adds a front raise to tone the anterior deltoids and sculpt sexy shoulders.

To Do: Stand with your feet together. Hold 3-pound weights with your palms facing you. Take a large step to the side with your left foot and bend your knee to 90 degrees, keeping your right leg straight. Raise the weights to shoulder height. Return to start and repeat to the right. Continue for 1 minute.

For a Flat Belly and Sexy Arms: Warrior 3 Tricep Extension

Trainer Jillian Michaels doing warrior 3 tricep extension
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This balance position calls on the transverse and rectus abdominis and the obliques, the muscles that work to sculpt an enviable silhouette. What’s more, says Michaels, extending weights to the back engages the triceps to help firm them up.

To Do: Stand with your feet together, holding 3-pound weights in front of your thighs. Shift your weight to your right foot and bend your knee slightly. Lift your left foot to the back as far up as you can (keeping your toe pointed down), letting your chest float down. Pull the weights up. Extend them to the back, then pull them back in. Continue for 1 minute. Switch legs for the second round.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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