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Get Your Fit On: 5 Easy Moves To Tone Your Whole Body

Fitness All Body Workout

We're not religious, but we joined 'Muscle Mass' to receive pardon for our laziness.

It may not look like it, but spring is near, meaning it's time to get ready for swimsuit season. We have a confession: We haven't really done anything athletic since the Black Friday sales. If the gym is considered "gay church", then DavidBartonGym is our mecca. Looking for repentance, we signed up for Muscle Mass, an all-over body workout exclusively offered at the Limelight, the gym's new location in New York's former disco.

Offered twice a week, the 45-minute class mixes classic weight lifting techniques with training concepts varying volume, intensity, and tempo to help you maximize strength gain, and build muscle as fast as possible. Here, trainer Cara Brennan shares five easy moves to get you back in shape.


Straight Bar Biceps Curl

Equipment: barbell, weights

"Find your grip angle by letting your arms hang down at your sides, and then turning your palms out. There should be a little space between your forearms and your body: That's your grip angle. Keeping your elbows still against your rib cage, curl the bar up to your chest, then lower it on a slow four-count. This fast-up-slow-down method keeps the biceps under tension longer, and gives you more work per rep."
Reps: 3-4 sets of 8-12.

Negative Push Up

"The negative push up loads up your upper body and doubles as an abdominals workout. Place your hands on the ground under your shoulders, and extend your feet behind you, like a traditional push up. Lower yourself very slowly, pushing into the floor as if you are trying to push it away from you. Make sure you are engaging your abdominals and not letting your lower back sway: pull your abs up into your spine, and try to keep your stomach flat. Lower yourself slowly to the ground, then roll up to your knees, and re-position. This exercise is all about keeping the whole body under tension for as long as possible, so take your time."
Reps: 3-4 sets of 10.

Over-Head Push Press

Equipment: dumbbells

"Begin with a dumbbell in each hand, and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bring your arms up so your fists are pointing up, creating a right angle with your elbows and forearms. Sit down a few inches like you are about to squat, then push into the ground and stand, using that momentum to help drive the weights over your head to touch. Control your strength to lower them back to the right angle, and repeat."
Reps: 3 sets of 8-12.


"We never skip abs in Muscle Mass, and we often use planks as active recovery between upper or lower body exercises. Lay face down on the ground, forearms planted on the ground, lying parallel and straight ahead. Extend your feet behind you, and keep your neck in a neutral position --neither craning up nor falling forward. The key is to make it as intense and active as possible. Breathe deeply, fill your belly with air, then powerfully exhale and feel your abdominals push the air out."
Hold 20 seconds to 30 seconds max.

Dumbbell Split Squat

Equipment: dumbbells

"Holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand, take one step forward as if you are doing a lunge. Make sure you have enough space between your back foot and your front foot. Slowly lower your back leg, so that you form a right angle with both knees, then push into your front foot to stand. Make sure your front knee does not track over your toe. Stay on this leg and perform a set of 8-12 reps, feel the burn, then switch legs and do the other side."
Reps: one set of 8-12 on each leg.

Pictured: Model Rivaldino Santos photographed by Heather Sten for Out.

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