Fitness expert Kim Lyons, the founder of Bionic Body in Hermosa Beach, says she’s most frequently asked for workouts that will tighten up the back of the arm or the booty. (“And it’s not just women who ask.”) Today, she shares a gym combo that targets both those notorious trouble spots.
What it does
Works the glutes and the triceps, and provides an easy cardio boost.
What to do
Grab one 5- or 10-pound dumbbell. (Beginners should go for the lower weight.) Start with a set of overhead triceps extensions: Stand tall, abs tight, both hands holding the single dumbbell straight above your head. Keep your elbows as close to your ears as you comfortably can as you slowly lower the weight behind the head. When you can’t go any lower, reverse the movement while “really squeezing throughout the triceps.” Don’t let momentum do the work for you. This is one exercise where “mind-muscle connection is everything,” Lyons said. (Note that you might need to take time to find the most comfortable grip.)
Next, hold the weight in front of your chest for glute extensions. Stand tall, abs tight and, with a pointed toe, slowly lift and lower your leg behind you. Again, do not let momentum take over. And fight to keep this rear leg lift from drifting into a side leg lift. “Height is less important than keeping a tight glute and maintaining your focus on the movement,” Lyons said. As needed, pause to rebalance yourself. Beginners can touch their toe to the floor between lifts. Advanced exercisers should try to complete each set without touching.
When you feel like you have mastered both moves, put them together: Alternate leg lifts as you perform a triceps extension. At the height of this combo movement, your arms will be extended over head and your leg will be extended behind you. This workout is about strength training, not speed: Pause to rebalance as needed.
Work up to eight to 15 repetitions, and remember to hit both legs. Aim for three to four sets total. You can perform this combo two to three times a week, but make sure you leave a day or two of rest in between sessions. As you progress, you can increase the weight to make it tougher, but you don’t need to go over 15 pounds.