“The Total Package” — Squat/shoulder press/triceps extension
This is a fantastic compound movement to target all areas that may be revealed when wearing that sexy red dress — Glutes, quads, shoulders and triceps. Use five to eight pound dumbbells.
- Start in a squat position — feet hip width, toes forward, kneecaps forward, quads parallel to the floor, weight on the heels. Elbows directly in front of the shoulders, 90 degree angles (biceps to forearms) with both arms, weights in hands.
- Push through the heels to lift out of the squat, squeezing the glutes, while performing a shoulder press to bring the weights together overhead.
- Holding weights together, rotate the elbows in and back and bend the elbows to bring the weights to touch the shoulder blades.
- Extend the weights back overhead to extend and straighten the elbows, flexing the triceps.
This is one rep. Perform 15 reps total, three sets.
“Armed and Dangerous” — Triceps push-up/elbow tap
This bodyweight exercise is killer for creating toned triceps and sizzling shoulders. Say goodbye to that underarm flab!
- Start in an extended arm plank position — on hands, wrists directly under the shoulders, core engaged, thighs and glutes activated.
- Rotate the crease of the elbows forward, shift the shoulders over the wrists, keep core super tight and lower the body until the shoulders are even with the elbows, elbows hugging the rib cage.
- Press up to complete one rep then press back to a downward dog.
- Keeping the hips in downward dog position, rotate the elbows in and lightly tap them to the floor.
This is one rep. Perform eight reps of the entire combination, three sets. There is no shame in dropping to the knees for the triceps push-up. It is one of the most challenging (and effective) triceps exercises one can do. Form first!
“X-Factor” — Plié squat/back body flex
Ignite your quads, inner thighs, glutes, calves, rear and medial delts (shoulders) and upper back. Another great compound movement to get your body ready to steal hearts on Valentine’s Day. Use five pound dumbbells.
- Start in a plié squat, feet slightly wider than hip width so knees and ankles are in one line to the floor, weight on the heels, toes turned out to a 45 degree angle, weights in hands in between the legs.
- Push through the heels to lift out of the plié squat squeezing the glutes ending on the toes to flex the calves. At the same time, lift the weights through the front body, flexing the back, to create an "X" with the upper and lower body.
This is one rep. Perform 15 reps total, three sets.
“Sliding Beauty” — Push-up/knee tuck slide
Fire up your shoulders, chest, back, triceps and core. Glide your way to the perfect upper body and core before you slide into that slinky red dress. You will need a towel or gliders to be used on hardwood, tile or any slippery surface.
- Set up in a push-up position where hands are slightly wider than shoulder width (basic push-up, not a tricep push-up) and toes on a towel or gliders. Make sure the core is tight (navel to spine) and engage the glutes (squeeze them tight) to protect the back.
- Perform one push-up, then using the core, pull the knees in toward the chest maintaining the height of the hips (sliding the towel or glides).
This is one rep. Perform 12-15 reps, three sets.
"Baby Got Back" — Endurance prone taps
Though simple, this is a super effective rear delt, upper back and triceps exercise. It's perfect for that upper body bearing dress! Use three pound dumbbells.
- Lay prone (on stomach) with hands by the hips, weights in hands, knuckles up, palms down.
- Squeeze glutes and lift the chest off the floor, keeping your gaze toward the floor.
- Keeping the arms straight and pressing down on the shoulders, lift the weights off the floor engaging the upper back, back of the shoulders and triceps and then lightly tap the floor. Perform 15 reps. Then holding the weights off the floor, press in against the body for 15 reps.
- Take 15 seconds to rest, and then perform the circuit a second time.
- Take 15 seconds to rest, and then turn the hands the opposite direction, knuckles down, palms up and perform the same movements, 15 taps to the floor, 15 reps pressing in against the body.
According to Stokes, it's more than just these routines that will get you on your way to V-Day hotness.
Mind your muscle
Put your brain into the muscle group you are working/fatiguing. Do not just go through the movement, but truly FEEL it.
Cardio that counts
In addition to the above listed exercises, make sure you are doing an adequate amount of cardio... that counts. This is cardio where your heart rate is at or above 80 percent of your max for intervals during your workout. Challenge your heart by jumping rope, doing plyometrics, running stairs rather than just staying on one piece of equipment for an extended period of time. If you can read while doing cardio, you are not working hard enough!
Become a grazer
Eat six small meals a day rather than three large ones and avoid skipping meals. You need to feed your metabolism to keep it revved at a high rate. Never let yourself get to the point where you are starving. Pack healthy snacks to eat frequently during the day so you aren't tempted to grab an unhealthy alternative when out and about.
Kelly Jones, Clinic Director and Personal Trainer at Medithin, says you can look GREAT in time for Valentine's Day if you start now. Here are a few of her tips:
Start a food journal
A food journal will hold you accountable to learning about the foods you eat — like what a portion size looks like and how many calories, fats, protein and carbs it contains. A 2008 study found that dieters who kept food diaries at least six days a week lost twice as much weight as those who kept the journals one day a week or less.
Keep it simple to start by just recording what you eat. Take notice of how often that is and how you are feeling at the time. One question to ask yourself: "Am I truly hungry?"
If the dress fits...
Wear it. Obviously. Buy a dress that fits your body. Not too loose, not too tight. Accentuate your good features. Then, own that red dress. The look on your face, your presence in the room, the way you stand and the way you walk make you sexy!