The secret to the celebrity-endorsed slim-down lies in muscle confusion, which is actually a good thing. The technique involves switching up workouts so muscles don't know what's coming next. "Surprise and variety force your body to perform at its peak, blasting megacalories and combating the things that stand in the way of change, like boredom and injury," explains Tony Horton, the author of Bring It! and creator of P90X ($140; BeachBody.com). The 12-disc system has followers doing plyometrics, yoga, karate and more six days per week, but Horton created a six-move sampler exclusively for SELF.
The plan Perform Horton's moves, designed to create muscle confusion quickly, repeating the circuit two or three times, three times a week on alternate days. On other days, take some new classes to mix it up even more.You'll need a chair, that's it. Your red-carpet body awaits.
Dive-BomberWorks shoulders, arms, back, abs Start in an inverted V, hands and feet flat, butt raised toward ceiling (Downward Dog). Bend elbows and scoop forward until hovering above floor with back arched, arms straight, chin lifted, on toes. Return to Downward Dog for one rep. Do 10 reps.
Sneaky LungeWorks shoulders, abs, butt, thighs, hamstrings, calves Stand on balls of feet with legs together. Stay on tiptoes as you lunge forward with left leg, reaching arms up until body forms a straight line. Step back to start. Repeat on opposite side for one rep. Do 20 reps.
Wacky JacksWorks shoulders, abs, obliques, butt, thighs Stand with feet hip-width apart; raise arms to sides, elbows bent, palms facing forward. Hop onto right foot as you swing left leg out to side as high as you can, bending torso to left (as shown). As left leg swings back to floor, hop onto left foot, bending torso to right. Continue, alternating sides, for one minute. Horton's hint: the sillier you look, the better.
Superman BananaWorks lower back, abs Lie faceup, arms overhead on floor. Raise all limbs and head off floor to start. Hold position for three counts. Roll onto stomach, with hands, feet and head still aloft; hold for three counts. Roll back to start for one rep. Do 20 reps.
Swing KickWorks abs, butt, thighs, hamstrings Stand with feet hip-width apart facing a chair back with elbows bent, hands in loose fists. With right knee soft, swing right leg up and over chair (as shown), tap floor, then swing leg back to start. Repeat on opposite side for one rep. Continue, quickly alternating legs, for one minute.
Side Tri-UpWorks triceps, chest Lie on right side with legs stacked and extended. Place left hand flat on floor near chest, elbow bent; bend right arm and place hand on left shoulder to start. Press through left hand, straightening arm, as you lift upper body off floor. Return to start for one rep. Do 12 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
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