Everyone has a few love/hate relationships in their life. Maybe thin mints. Or possibly Bravo TV. It could be credit cards or Anthropology (probably both in that case). Mine is this quad and shoulder scorcher.
Why in the love of all Girl Scouts, Real Housewives, ridiculously cute flowy tank tops, and heavenly scented candles would I do a workout I loathed so much? Because it WORKS. Alert the top of your thighs (those quads) and shoulders because they will get some major sculpt action here. If you don’t believe me, I dare you to try this. Within a few seconds you’ll feel the target areas burn, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talkin’ about.
This low-impact workout is perfect at the gym, at home, or when you are traveling. I suggest doing this with a set of hand weights to really dig into those shoulders and get as much resistance for your thighs, but you could certainly execute the moves without weights and still get a great sculpting session. This strength-training circuit is appropriate for ALL ages, all abilities, and of course, pregnant ladies. HOLLA!! #represent
Complete this entire circuit four times through, trying your best not to rest in between exercises. If you do need to take a little stretch/breather, place your hands behind your tush (fingertips facing forward), and lift your bottom up to stretch your quads, hip flexors, and arms. You can stretch out your shoulders by sitting back down on to your heels and bringing your right arm across your body, left arm pressing your right in towards your chest, and then switch sides.
Let’s do this!
Upright Row Backs
Start with your knees and shins on the ground. Extend your arms directly in front of your shoulders, palms facing each other. Next, gently lean back to your farthest position as you bend your elbows in past your sides and squeeze your shoulder blades together (press your elbows as far back as you can). Extend your arms back in front of your shoulders and use your thighs to bring your body back to the original upright position. Do 8-12 repetitions.
Static Lean with Arm Extensions
Lean back to your farthest position (keeping your hips up towards the sky) and extend your arms directly in front of your shoulders, palms facing each other. Holding the lean, bend your elbows slightly then press your weights forward, extending your arms fully. Do 8-12 repetitions.
Static Lean with Straight Arm V Lifts
Stay leaning back and place your arms down in front of your body, palms facing upwards, on top of your thighs. Keeping the lean in your lower body, lift your arms into a V position – at 45 degree angles in front of your shoulders (palms facing each other). Lower your arms back down and do 8-12 lifts while keeping the static hold lean.
Hovering 90 Degree Arm Lifts
Lower your body so that your bottom hovers just above your heels and hold that position as you position your arms at 90 degrees in front of your chest (elbows directly in front of your shoulders). Next, lift your 90 degree bent arms slightly up, then back down. Do these small little lift pulses while holding your legs for 8-12 repetitions.
Press and Lifts
Keep your bottom off your heels and arms at the 90 degree bend, directly in front of your shoulders (palms facing each other). Next, press your arms out to the sides (elbows directly in front of your shoulders, palms facing out) and lift your bottom as you press your hips upwards. Bring your arms back to the 90 degree angle as you lower your bottom (but never directly sitting on your heels). Do the press out and lifts for 8-12 repetitions.
Repeat this entire workout four times through.
Tips: When in a leaning position, keep your hips high and in line with your shoulders. Don’t let them fall the entire time you are doing this workout. When hovering your bottom directly above your heels, keep your chest up and shoulders relaxed, hips stacked directly below your shoulders. If your shoulders do not feel fatigued midway through each exercise, use heavier weights. If the weights are causing you to clench, let your hands or elbows drop, or cause undue tension in your upper body (shrugging your shoulders to your ears in order to keep the weights up), lower the weight or do the moves without hand weights.
Did you watch an entire episode of Real Housewives while doing this? If not, it may not be a bad idea for a good distraction! Be sure to stretch (explained in the beginning of this post) and drink plenty of water when you’ve completed this quad and shoulder scorcher.
What are your favorite workout moves for sculpting your thighs or shoulders? Some other great upper and lower body combined circuits include this ultimate buns and guns workout, killer shoulders, tri’s, butt, and thighs, and this summer bikini workout – total body tone.