Toning Exercises to Get in Shape Fast

How does Madonna get in shape for the holidays? She's got exercise guru Tracy Anderson on speed dial.

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November 17, 2008 12:00 AM
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Viki Forshee
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Exercise Moves

ABS

This sequence exhausts large muscles early on, so the small, underused "accessory" muscles get more of a workout. The exercises also help add definition to hips and lower abs. If you can't complete all the reps listed, do as many as possible. A mat is recommended.

1. LEGS STRAIGHT OUT Lie on your back, hands behind head, legs straight out. Point toes and crunch up. Do 50 reps.

woman working out on pier
Viki Forshee
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Exercise Moves

2. CLICK-TOGETHER LIFT Crunch

Lie on your back, hands behind head, legs straight out and shoulder-width apart with knees facing ceiling.

woman working out on pier
Viki Forshee
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Exercise Moves

Crunch up, but keep legs straight. Simultaneously lift legs 3 to 6 inches off the ground and touch together. As you return to floor, legs return to starting position. Do 50 reps.

woman exercising on pier
Viki Forshee
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Exercise Moves

3. DIAGONAL CROSS

Lie on your back, hands behind head with left leg bent and right leg straight and pointed.

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Exercise Moves

Lift and cross right leg over left and crunch up. Return to start. Do 100 reps with each leg.

Viki Forshee
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Exercise Moves

4. PIKE

Lie on your back, hands overlapping under tailbone, legs straight out and together on floor with knees facing ceiling.

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Exercise Moves

Raise legs to a 90-degree angle and lower, touching floor for a second. Do 50 reps.

Viki Forshee
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Exercise Moves

5. STANDING ISOLATION

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Pull shoulders back. Keeping your hips completely still, shift rib cage from left to right. Do 50 reps on each side.

Viki Forshee
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Exercise Moves

ARMS This series doesn't isolate specific muscles. Instead, the exercises work several small muscle groups simultaneously to combat saggy upper arms. You'll need a set of 1- to 3-pound hand weights.

1. SINGLE-ARM PULL

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, left hand on hip, right arm straight out to side with palm facing floor. Pull right elbow to hip, twisting palm to ceiling.

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Exercise Moves

Raise arm to a high "V." Smack hand to top of back and return to starting position. Do 50 reps on each side.

Viki Forshee
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Exercise Moves

2. DOUBLE-ARM PALM OUT

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, right arm bent covering forehead, left arm bent covering chin, both palms facing away from face.

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Exercise Moves

Then extend arms out to sides and swing hands behind you, clapping them together. Bring arms back to starting position. Do 50 reps with right hand on top, then 50 with left hand on top.

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Exercise Moves

3. LARGE-RANGE HALF-CIRCLE

Stand with one foot in front of the other, knees slightly bent, with arms raised slightly above "T" position and palms facing floor.

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Exercise Moves

Rotate palms to ceiling and extend arms out in front of you. Reverse move to starting position. Do 100 reps.

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Exercise Moves

4. DIAGONAL PULL-UP

Holding a 1- to 3-pound weight in each hand, both arms to the left side of your body, stand with feet shoulder-width apart.

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Exercise Moves

Hold left arm in place and pull right arm across body to the right side of your hips. Then raise right arm up to a high diagonal and return to starting position. Do 50 reps on each side.

Viki Forshee
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Exercise Moves

LEGS This sequence works your deepest butt and thigh muscles, creating lift and firmness exactly where you want them, without adding bulk. Use a mat to reduce pressure on your joints.

1. ATTITUDE LEG LIFT

Kneel on all fours. Keep your right leg slightly bent and raise it up behind your back, straightening your leg as you lift.

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Exercise Moves

Return to starting position. Do 50 reps with each leg.

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Exercise Moves

2. OVERLAP OUTER-THIGH LIFT

Lie on left side on mat, left leg slightly bent, leaning back on left elbow. Cross straight right leg over left leg.

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Exercise Moves

Keep hips rotated to the left and lift the right leg to a 90-degree angle, keeping it straight. Lower to starting position. Do 50 reps with each leg.

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Exercise Moves

3. LARGE-RANGE EXTENSION

Start in a plank push-up position. Bend right knee toward the ground without touching it, then straighten leg and lift as high as possible toward ceiling. Lower to start. Do 50 reps with each leg.

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Exercise Moves

4. ATTITUDE BUTT PULSE

Kneel on all fours. Keep right leg slightly bent and lift toward ceiling. When as high as possible, pulse leg slightly. Do 100 pulses with each leg.

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Exercise Moves

5. INNER-THIGH LIFT

Sit on the mat with your right leg extended and left leg bent, left foot on the floor with toes forward. Flex right foot and turn it out, away from your body.

Viki Forshee
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Exercise Moves

Lift right leg so it's parallel to angle of left and point toes. Return to starting position. Do 50 reps on each leg.



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