Yesterday I drooled over how awesome Cameron Diaz’s body looked at the Oscars. Badow! Then I mentioned I’d give some tips for an Oscar-worthy workout of your own.
If you read the post about HIIT awhile back, you’ve got a head start. If you’ve been DOING the workout, you’re in even better shape. Literally.
High Intensity Interval Training is a good place to start in getting a lean, buff bod. It will burn tons of calories, and help lower body fat so the muscle you are building will show. Remember, HIIT is for people with a decent fitness base. If you’re a beginner, work on building your cardiovascular fitness with more moderate exercise until you can go for about 30 minutes.
High intensity training sessions often include a strength component. Think body weight exercises like push-ups, squats and tire flipping. This is an effective way to work the whole body in a shorter period of time. Heart rate elevates, muscles get fatigued and you get more fit.
An example of a high intensity circuit might be push-ups, squats and mountain climbers, performed in quick succession, with little to no rest between exercises. Try three sets of each circuit, 30 seconds of each movement, with 1 minute of rest between each circuit.
1) push-ups, 30 seconds.
2) squats, 30 seconds. (A note about this photo: notice her good form. Chest up, butt back, knees behind toes, neutral spine. Arms out front makes it harder, so if that doesn’t feel good on your lower back, or is just too challenging, cross arms over chest)
3) mountain climbers, 30 seconds, then rest 1 minute. Repeat circuit. (A note about this photo: this guy has great form. Notice in “A” his body is in a straight line from head to ankle. His neck is neutral, belly tight, upper back and shoulders set, rather than hunched. In “B” he maintains great spine position and lifts knee toward chest.)
This mini-circuit is just a small piece of a workout, but once you understand the formula, you can create different combinations, until you have a complete workout. Or, if you’re just beginning, tack this sample circuit onto your regular workout.
Back to Cameron’s arms. In addition to HIIT workouts, I’d guess she’s doing some targeted strength training. Here are a couple of great arm/back/shoulder exercises. Remember, if you’re unfamiliar with these exercises, get help on proper form. Most trainers are happy to help you with your form on one or two exercises, (though please don’t ask them to take you through a whole workout! You’ve gotta pay for that!):
Renegade push-ups (a push-up combined with a dumbbell row)
Woodchops, either with a medicine ball or with cables
The recipe for awesome fitness varies from person to person, and there are always new things to try, but I hope I’ve given you a few fresh ideas. And hey, if you’re a trainer with an awesome move, please share! I love to try new stuff. If you’ve got pictures of you or a client performing the move, even better. I’ll post it with a credit.