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Biceps curls combined with lunges build your balance too

Working out your biceps along with your lower body is a classic combination, because those areas tend to be able to handle relatively strong loads, said Kim Lyons, founder of Bionic Body in Hermosa Beach. That means you can really push yourself and still be able to hoist your coffee cup or lower yourself into your office chair the next morning.

What it does

Targets your glutes, thighs and biceps, and will give you a cardio boost. Also works on your balance.

What to do

Grab a set of handweights. Lyons does this workout with 5-pound weights, but you can go heavier as long as your form stays true. Start by standing tall, abs tight, shoulders back. Holding the weights down at your side, take a big step backward with your left foot so that your weight is roughly balanced between the ball of your left foot and the heel of your right foot. Now drop into a lunge, lowering your body so that both knees are at about a 90-degree angle. (Beginners might want to skip the weights and drop down only as far as is comfortable while learning this movement.) Raise and lower the body straight up and down, fighting to keep the torso from leaning forward. Go for about eight to 16 repetitions, and then repeat with the other leg.

Follow lunges with traditional biceps curls: Stand tall, abs tight, feet shoulder-width apart, weights at your side (palms facing your thighs or the front of the room, whichever is more comfortable.) Raise the weight to your shoulder, squeezing the biceps, and then lowering back to the starting position.

Form is crucial with lunges, so focus on perfecting that before turning this into a blood-pumping combo.

But when you're ready: Take a step back as you curl the weights, and then lower the weights as you return to a standing position. Alternate legs with each rep. If you wobble during the movements, "it means your core is not tight enough" or your weight is too heavy, Lyons says.

How much

Work up to 16 repetitions of each exercise before combining the two. Aim for three to four circuits total. You can perform this combo two to three times a week, leaving a day or two of rest in between.

rene.lynch@latimes.com

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