Three Moves, One Complete Muscle Workout — Pt. 1


Over the next month I will provide you with three multitasking muscle exercises that, when combined, work every major muscle group and give you a totally well-​​rounded workout, with only 4 moves to remember and repeat!

Move 1: Six Part Plie Squat (Works glutes, quads, inner thighs, biceps, shoulders and calves)

Start holding two heavy weights with arms straight, in standing position with your legs wider than shoulder-​​width apart. Squat so that your knees are over your ankles and your hips are almost in line with your knees.

On count 1, straighten your legs and as you stand, raise your arms with palms facing in, into a hammerhead biceps curl.

Then on count 2, push the arms overhead into a shoulder press while rising up onto the balls of your feet to work the calves.

Lower weights back to shoulders on count 3.

On the final count of the four-​​count, lower weights back toward the floor by straightening arms and squatting into a plie, where you began. Repeat 15 times.

Complete Muscle Workout

Tune in next week for move #2 to work your triceps, outer thighs and abs.

Week 3 will work your chest, upper back, lower back and, hamstrings and glutes.

Fitness — fit it in! Nikki

Move of the Week: Lunging Ladder


Multitasking is the superhero when it comes to fitting in a fast and effective workout. Today we’re adding a move that targets biceps, triceps, quadriceps, glutes and abdominals.

The Lunging Ladder begins with two medium weights in your hands. Step your left foot back into a lunge, far enough away that your right knee is directly over your right ankle and your left heel is off the ground. Lift your right arm overhead and drop the weight behind your neck by bending your elbow. The elbow should point up to the sky. This is set position.

Get moving by straightening the legs and coming forward to balance on the right leg. Bring the left knee up to hip level to activate the abs, while lifting your left hand into a hammer curl for the biceps, palm facing the center line of the body, and lifting your right hand to the sky into a French press for the triceps. Bend the knees again to lower, and lower both arms to the set position. Repeat up and down together for 15 reps.

Switch the position so your right leg is back, and left hand is overhead and repeat on the other side.

Lunging Ladder

You’ve just climbed the ladder to looking more like Spiderman in less time than it takes to throw a web. Next up: climbing buildings!

How to Get “Guns”

Client: Do you know the nearest vet office?

Trainer: Why?

Client: I have some sick pythons. (Client flexes his puny arms and kisses each bicep.)

Trainer: (Rolling her eyes) Drop and give me 50.…

Taking your “sick pythons to the vet” doesn’t have to be a joke. You can really have great guns (amazing arms) in just a few easy steps.

1) Melt the fat over the muscle. That means doing more cardio, eating lean protein after your muscle workouts, and making sure you eat 6 healthy meals a day including lots of fruits, veggie and fiber.

2) Build the muscle my increasing your weight. You won’t get too bulky by lifting 15 lbs free weights, and if you never move beyond the 5 lbs weights you won’t see definition. Work on your arm muscles 3 times a week with a rest day in between. Increase the weight by 2 lbs each week. Aim for 8 reps your first day, 10 the next and 12 the last day, then up the weight.

3) Work the different fibers in your muscles by hitting them from different angles. For example, do outside biceps curls (elbows in by your sides hands lift away from you out to the sides, then up to your shoulders), forward curls, hammer curls, preacher curls and cross curls (bring weights across body from left hip to right shoulder).

4) Make your triceps a triple threat with French presses (hands together overhead holding weight, then lower weight behind your head keeping elbows pointing to the ceiling and press back up), kickbacks (lean forward, lift elbows up near your ribcage and move weights from shoulders to hips and back to shoulders), and dips (sit on a bench, hands at your sides and lift your butt off the bench, lower down toward the floor until elbows are bent at 90 degrees and lift yourself back up by pressing through the palms).

5) Push that weight off your shoulder. Do overhead presses with weights facing forward and another set with them facing your ears. Do front and side extensions by keeping arms straight and lifting the weight away from your body forward and to the side. Throw in some planks and yoga-​​style down dogs in your other workout days to continue to define those delts.

If you can’t get to the gym or are traveling, push-​​ups work all three areas conveniently. And save the corny jokes. Arms like yours are seriously sculpted.

Is Your Vacation Making You Fat?

You worked hard doing Booty Camp and getting in bikini shape. You’ve finally gotten the Hard Core Abs I have been writing about. But the you go on vacation to the all-​​inclusive resort, or home to see family with lots of mom’s cooking and little time at the gym. Your only sweat is from laying out in the sun instead of a run. Your vacation is making you fat.

Here is where my fit travel workout moves and advice can help.

Prepare before you go: The most important part about staying in shape while traveling, for work or vacation, is packing work out clothes. When you have a chance to exercise, the excuse “I don’t have sneakers and a pair of shorts” stops way too many people before they even get started. It is worth finding room in your bag because of the stress, bad food and sitting involved in traveling. Your body wants you to move. You’ll get rid of stress, burn calories and release those feel-​​good endorphins.

While you are there: If you don’t have access to a gym or weights, there are plenty of things you can do with your own body’s resistance. Here are 10 of the 20 moves that make up my exercise-​​on-​​the-​​road routine, and my Fit Travel DVD was shot in 6 scenic locations around the world so your mind gets a vacation while your body gets a workout!

1) Warm-​​up. Start with a simple march and then jog in place for a minute. Move to a step-​​touch while lifting arms to the sides. Add an alternating hamstring curl and biceps curl with both arms. Then finish up the five-​​minute warm-​​up with light jumping jacks.

2) Push-​​ups with a glute raise. Start with regular style or add a multi-​​tasking move by lowering to the knees and adding lower-​​body sculpting. After the first modified push-​​up raise your right foot to the ceiling. Repeat 10 times on the right side after each push-​​up and then 10 times on the left side. You’ve just worked your pecs, triceps, core and glutes.

Pushups and Glute Raise

3) Low leg low ab crunch. Next, lie on your back and straighten your legs 80 percent straight, knees together and feet on the floor. Put your hands behind your head and crunch up for 50. Be sure to keep your eyes on the ceiling, knees together, neck long and chin lifted.

4) Cardio interval. Jump rope (pretend to hold the rope and swing it for extra biceps work) for one minute or count to 100 — alternate from one leg at a time, to feet together and hopping. Maybe hop twice on one leg at a time. Have fun with it. For all cardio intervals in this workout, march in place for at least 20 seconds afterwards to get your heart rate back down to a comfortable level.

5) Triceps dips. Sit on a bench, footstool or chair with your hands at your sides and palms on the bench knuckles up and fingertips curling around towards the floor. Lift yourself off the bench and slightly forward. Lower your backside toward the floor while bending your elbows at 90 degrees. Finish the move by pushing back up so elbows extend again. You can make this more difficult by straightening the legs or lifting one leg off the floor.

Tricep Dip

6) Inner thighs. Lie on your right side and balance on your right elbow and right hip. Bend your left knee to place the left foot in front of your straight right leg. Be sure to keep the right foot parallel to the floor and lift the right leg 30 times. Repeat on the other side. Next lie on your back with your legs extended over your ribcage. Turn the toes out and flex the feet. Begin to open and lower the legs to the sides, away from one another. To finish the move, bring the heels back together. To intensify, only bring heels in halfway and press against your inner thighs with your hands for a true “thigh master” resistance move. Repeat step one on the left elbow and hip.

7) Cardio. Stand up and do 20 jumping jacks with the right foot in front, 20 with the left foot in front and 20 alternating and crossing feet.

8) Outer thighs. Now lie again on your right side, and prop yourself up on your elbow but this time in a half-​​side plank. Bend the right leg lift hips off the floor. Keep the left leg straight as you lift it for 25 reps. Keep the abs tight because you’re working them as well in this multitasker. Repeat on the other side.

Outer Thighs Workout

9) Planks. Alternate from a middle plank (looks like a freeze frame of the top of a push-​​up) to a side plank and hold each for a count of 10 seconds. middle, right, middle, left equals one repetition. Complete 5 repetitions.

10) Cool down. Do a 5 minute cool down with the same moves in the warm up and then stretch your hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, hip flexors, inner and outer thighs, glutes, triceps, pectorals, trapezious and rhomboids (upper back), and lower back with standing rolls or cat/​cow.

Remember to drink a lot of water, and maybe treat yourself to a new exercise clothes as a souvenir to celebrate your healthy habits on the road.

Jump Off the Fitness Plateau

One of the questions I get all the time from clients and readers is how to break out of a fitness plateau. This plateau occurs when you stop seeing results, despite your workout routine. The answer is to pick up the intensity, challenge yourself and cross-train. Here are five easy ways to do that:

1) Multitask your workouts
Combine two workout moves. For instance, combine side-lying outer thigh leg lifts with your side plank ab workout. Try doing a side plank on your forearm and lifting the top leg for 20 reps. You’ll shorten your workout and make each exercise twice as difficult for your muscles. Use the extra time to do some different cardio.

2) New cardio
If you usually run, do one week of spin, then one week on the elliptical, then stairs, then combine running, spin, elliptical and stairs in the last week. It’s a month of new cardio workouts. You can also make each day of each week harder with more weight or incline, and for longer by five minutes each day.

3) Double your weight
If you’re used to doing 20 reps of shoulder presses with eight-pound barbells, jump to 10 reps of 15 lbs. Usually work out on a machine? Jump off the machine and get barbells then jump down to number four.

4) Get tubing, therabands, or cable machines at the gym
This offers different range of motion and different resistance. Add more resistance three days a week and increase the weight each week for a month. After that, add stability balls, bosu balls, body bars and kettle bells.

5) Switch up your fitness classes, outdoor routines and fitness DVDs
Try some hardcore moves that include intervals. For example, half-hour workouts where alternate working out for four minutes, and easy for two, will challenge your muscles and your heart. It will also help you burn more calories during and boost your metabolism.

Take my month-long five-step challenge to push yourself off that plateau. Just don’t blame me if you get sore — that’s how you know it’s working.

Ease Into Your Resolutions With Easy Workouts

Did you spend the entire fall holidays eating and hibernating? Just scale back a bit? Or have you never been a regular exerciser, but want to start? New Year’s Resolutions are the perfect time to reclaim your winter body. It is never too late to get a spring back in your step and get in shape. Here’s how to start!

For the novice, do safe level 1 moves

Duration: one of the best ways to start a spring workout is to start slow and isolate muscle groups with toning workouts for the whole body for 45 minutes every other day, or for just the upper body for 30 minutes and another day do lower body for 30 minutes, and steady state cardio for as long as you can every other day or every third day for the first two-​​four weeks, four-​​six times a week.

The moves: Muscle toning should be done every other day to let muscles recover. If you have access to a gym, focus on isolating machines. For example, a seated shoulder press machine, a seated abductor/​adductor thigh machine and many others allow you to sit and just work one area of the body. This will keep your workout safe and start to build muscles before doing standing balance challenges and multitasking toning moves (see level 3). If you are working out from home, start with seated arm moves using light barbells (ex. seated biceps curls), then standing squats and lunges holding onto a wall. Also, kneeling push-​​ups work several areas of the arms and the core, so work on doing them every other day and adding on the number of reps. Do regular crunches, side lying oblique crunches and cross crunches and spinal extensions for the lower and upper back.

For cardio: Start with walking or jogging for 10 minutes, then work up to jogging for 20 minutes. If you prefer an elliptical or a bike, slowly start increasing your duration and speed. You can do cardio on the days you don’t do toning, or do both on the same days if you have the energy.

For someone who just hibernated a little too much this fall, but used to work out in warmer weather, your muscles have memory so you can start at level two.

Duration: Do cardio for 30–40 minutes every other day, and do combo muscle workouts for 30–60 minutes every other day, 4–6 days a week.

Level 2 muscle moves: Once you are stronger, a novice can up the weights and move on to combo moves that work the upper and lower body together. For someone who just took the winter off, you start at this level as well. At this level, you can get rid of the gym machines and do multitasking toning moves and increase the weight. These include plie squats with over head shoulder presses, lunges with biceps curls, calf raises with triceps overhead presses, bent over glute leg lifts with upper back rows, and full push-​​ups. Work the low back with supermans and add more complicated abdominal moves. Start with a weight of around 5–8 pounds with 8 reps, once you can do 15 reps easily, then increase the weight to 10–12-15 pounds and go back to 8–10 reps. Once you get to 15 reps with 10–15 pounds, move onto to level 3.

Once you have moved through both levels, it is time for a kick-​​butt workout like the NikkiFitness Booty Camp DVD.

Level 3 moves combine muscle and cardio in intervals and do harder combo moves but cut the workout time to just 30 minutes! You do your multitasking toning moves with balance challenges for 3 minutes, then 3 minute plyometric cardio intervals where you go medium effort for one minute, hard effort for the second minute, then recover with medium to easy effort on the 3rd minute. Because these moves are intense and the transitions are fast, you burn more calories and up the metabolism.

Duration: You’ll get your booty camp workouts with muscle and cardio on the same day, then on alternate days you can also add cross training classes like dance, yoga, pilates, spinning, swimming and long runs/​road races because your body will be ready to take on more and more challenges. Work out 6 days a week….

….And you’ll be ready to show some summer skin before you know it!

NikkiFitness, Nicole Glor, is a regular fitness expert on Fox and Friends, and the star of 7 fitness DVDs including new Hard Core Abs DVD, Fit Travel Workout DVD, Booty Camp, Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon). She is also an AFAA certified NYC personal trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, a 200 RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor, author of the upcoming book “Slimnastics”, a fitness columnist for Military.com and a spokesperson for SilverSport antibacterial fitness products. Her “Slimnastics” workouts focus on multitasking toning and cardio intervals to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Nikki’s workouts have been featured in over 60 national media outlets. Get her newsletters, music playlists, video demos and DVDs at www.nikkifitness.com Search for “NikkiFitness” on Facebook and Twitter!

Combo Moves for Traveling Workouts!

Down and Dirty: Combo Moves for Traveling Workouts!

It’s that time again. Thanksgiving and the winter “Heavy Holidays”! That also means it’s time for more new no-​​equipment, do-​​anywhere moves from my Fit Travel DVD and Slimnastics workout program.

Save this blog for when the turkey and potatoes give you too much filling, or when stress and travel cut into your workout time.

My new “Down and Dirty” combo move works every major muscle group, from calves to quads, buns to abs, lower and upper back, chest arms and shoulders. Oh, and cardio too!

I performed this combo last weekend on Fox and Friends. Get more moves on my NikkiFitness Facebook page!

NikkiFitness Travel Workout on Fox and Friends!

Multi-​​task More, Work Out Less

This week I want you to spend half the time you spent last week working out. You’ll burn more calories and create more chiseling.

The moves I want you to do combine muscles in the upper body and lower body simultaneously, while putting you a little off-​​balance for core strengthening. You then add cardio intervals between moves for a total body workout.

The best part? It’s the reason we multi-​​task in the first place. These moves will cut your work-​​out time in half.

1) Start with 15 right leg lunges forward (be sure to step far in front, landing heel-​​then-​​toe and keeping the right knee directly over the ankle as you lower.) It becomes a multi-​​tasker by adding front bicep curls when you come back to a standing position. Use weights heavy enough for you to feel challenged after 15 reps. Keep your abs tight. Lower the weights as you lunge forward again.

2) Do 15 left leg lunges forward while lifting one or two heavy weights overhead into a tricep french press. You do this by bringing your weights together overhead and bending the elbows. The weight is now behind your neck. Lunge forward. As you bring the left leg back to stand tall, lift the weight back overhead by extending the elbows. Be sure to keep the arms right next to your head and elbows pointing forward, not out to the sides.

3) Finally, lay on your back with heavy weights in your hands, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Align your wrists directly over your elbow, getting ready for a bench press. (Your arms should look like goal posts.) You’ll simply straighten the arms to lift the weights towards the sky, and then bend the elbows back to 90 degrees, keeping the wrists above the elbows. At the same time.

Bend the legs and put your feet flat on the floor. As you lift the weights for a chest press, you will engage your glutes, quads and abdominals to lift the hips as high as you can off the floor. Lower hips and hands at the same time. Make it harder by lifting one leg for half of the reps and then switching to the other for the last half. Do 15 reps.

Do one minute of jumping jacks or simulated jump rope between each numbered move. Repeat 1–3 for a total of 3 sets. You will work quads, glutes, triceps, biceps, shoulders, inner thighs and abs.