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July 11, 2007

Diet Guide: Burn Fat with Friends

two models in swimsuits

Swimsuit, $810, Hermès; headband, $6.50, American Apparel. Swimsuit, $560, belt, $1575, cuff, $890, Hermès; headband, $6.50, American Apparel.

Photo Credit: Philip Gay

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We've always known that same-sex bonding is good for the soul. Turns out it's good for your silhouette, too! So grab a few girlfriends and try this quick at-home regimen from Equinox Fitness Club's Stacey Lei Krauss. Start with level one, then after six weeks, challenge yourselves with level two.

WHAT YOU NEED: a group of three or more friends, a stopwatch/timer and one six-pound medicine ball per person (find them at any sporting-goods store).

6 minutes total
LEVEL 1: Holding your medicine balls at waist level, march in place.
LEVEL 2: Holding your medicine balls overhead, jog forward five steps, then back five steps; repeat.

6 minutes total
Do each of the following drills for one minute apiece:

1. Ball toss-up:
LEVEL 1: Throw the medicine balls just above your heads; catch; repeat.
LEVEL 2: Squat, then throw the medicine balls as high as you can, pushing through your heels and standing as you throw; return to a squat position to catch; repeat.

2. Push-ups:
LEVEL 1: Do on bent knees.
LEVEL 2: Do on toes.

3. Twist squats:
LEVEL 1: Stand with the medicine balls at hip-level, then twist to the right as you squat and touch the ground with the balls. Alternate sides.
LEVEL 2: Rather than touching the ground with the balls, lightly bounce them; stand; then toss the balls above your heads; catch. Alternate sides.

4. Bicycle crunches:
LEVEL 1: Lie on your backs, hands behind your heads. Twist your upper bodies right and left while your legs "pedal" back and forth.
LEVEL 2: As you pedal, lower outstretched legs until they're about an inch above the ground.

5. Side hops:
LEVEL 1: Place medicine balls on the floor and step back and forth over them.
LEVEL 2: Hop back and forth over the balls, keeping your feet together.

6. Balance training:
LEVEL 1: Stand holding the balls at chest level. Lift your right legs (bent at the knees) and tuck feet into your standing legs. Close your eyes.
LEVEL 2: Holding the pose, slowly press the balls overhead; lower; repeat.

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