Kim Lyons, the founder of Bionic Body in Hermosa Beach, says she got back into shape after the birth of her son using time-saving exercise combos that give you a cardio pump while also toning muscles. “More bang for your buck,” as she puts it. The combo she shares with us this week actually does triple duty.
What it does
It works the lower body and the back, and will also get your heart pumping.
What to do
Grab a pair of light hand weights. Start with a super-wide stance. Chest up, shoulders back, core tight. Rotate your torso to the right, and then drop into a lunge position. At the same time, you’ll perform hammer curls — think biceps curls but with palms facing each other. So, as you lower into your lunge, you’ll lower your weights. Return to your starting position, and then switch to the other side. (If you find yourself hunching over or struggling, lighten up those weights.)
For the next round, assume a lunge position, but lean forward at the waist. (Think about your back forming one long straight line, from your heel to your ears.) Now do a set of back rows: Bring your elbows back, squeezing your shoulder blades together using smooth, controlled movements, as if you are rowing a boat. When finished, switch your forward leg in the lunge.
When you’re comfortable with these exercises, it’s time to combine them: Assume a lunge position to the right with that long, flat back. Perform a row followed by a biceps curl, and then return to your starting position. Pivot to the left and repeat.
“If you lose your balance, stop, readjust and get right back into it,” Lyons said. Use “nice, smooth movements. You don’t have to rush this.”
Work up to eight to 16 repetitions of each exercise before combining the two. (Remember to work both sides of the body.) Aim for three to four sets total. You can perform this combo two to three times a week, leaving a day or two or rest in between.