The Excuse-Proof Workout

I am one of those people who’s inboxes get flooded with emails from,, and Giuliana Rancic’s FabFitFun. Every morning I receive emails with subject titles like, “Top Butt-Busting Moves” and “Kickass Kettlebell Workout.” Often, I go as far as reading the workouts, agreeing that yes, they would probably make my derriere look darn sexy, but never actually following through with them. I use the same excuse we have all used– as much as I would looovee to do this challenging workout, I simply don’t have the money for the fancy equipment!

This week in my core class, I was reminded that you don’t need a kettlebell or a medicine ball or a sit-up bench to get a good workout. Going back to the basics, all we used were simple hand weights. Don’t be fooled by their name– just because you hold them in your hands does not limit them to only arm exercises. Try out some of these exercises that we incorporated into class to work those abs, arms, glutes, quads and all. (Don’t even have hand weights? Stuff socks in your sneakers or use filled water bottles– no excuses for skimping on this workout!)

1. L-Lifts

Holding a weight in each hand, arms down in front of you and palms facing your legs; raise arms up to shoulder height, then bring arms out to sides, and lower. Now, go in reverse, raising arms out to sides to shoulder height, bring arms out front, and lower back down. Repeat 5 reps for 2 sets.

2. Push-Out Squats

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, arms bent holding weights at chest level; squat down, bending knees to 90 degrees and keeping weight in your heels, and extend your arms out in front of you. As you stand back up, bring hands back to chest. Repeat 20 reps for 2 sets.

3. X-Men

Sitting on a mat, lean back and place one weight on your abs. Once balanced, continue to lean back, and raise your arms and legs off the floor in an X-formation. Balance there, keeping the weight from wobbling off your abs, for 15 seconds. The farther back you lean, the harder! Repeat for 5 sets.


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