Many women would kill for a lean body, but did you know you may be neglecting the very muscles that would give you that perky butt, amazing abs, sculpted arms and toned legs you’ve been working so hard for?
Read on to find out which muscles you should be working out, and the best exercises for each body part.
Your lats are large back muscles that are attached to your glutes by deep tissue. By working your lats and making them stronger, you’ll help your glutes engage more effectively. Engaged glutes equal a greater calorie burn and toned buns.
The Move: Lat Pulldown Machine
- Seat yourself in front of the Lat Pulldown machine, feet flat on the floor and knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
- Reach up and grasp the bar, hands placed wider than shoulder width apart, palms facing away from you.
- Sitting up straight, pull the bar toward your chest.
- Hold for a moment, and then slowly ease the bar back to the starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
These small muscles are located on the sides of your rib cage and frame your abdominals. When they’re strong and defined, the serratus anterior muscles highlight your abs making your entire torso look more toned and defined.
The Move: Weighted Punches
- Start by lying on your back on the floor or an exercise bench.
- With a 5-10 pound dumbbell in each hand, straighten both your arms up toward the ceiling, opening your chest wide.
- Keeping your elbow and wrist straight, “punch up” with your right arm as if you were trying to push out your upper arm bone from your armpit, lifting just your right shoulder blade off the floor or bench underneath you.
- Alternate punching with both arms.
- Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Otherwise known as the “rear delt,” the posterior deltoid is located at the back of your shoulder, right above your triceps. Because these two muscles are side-by-side, working the rear delts will define the separation between the triceps and make both muscles look more toned.
The Move: Reverse Fly
- With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with feet hip distance apart, knees slightly bent.
- Lean forward at your hips until your torso is about 45 degrees to the ground. Don’t arch or round your lower back.
- Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your arms out to the sides until they are parallel to the floor.
- Slowly lower back down and repeat.
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Most commonly known as your shin, we’re guessing the tibialis anterior rarely gets love during your regular gym sessions. But by working out these muscles at the front of your leg, you’ll create that line of definition that people crave for tight and toned legs. Added bonus? A strong tibialis anterior is great for preventing shin splints and ankle rolling.
The Move: Resistance Band Pull
- Tie one end of a resistance band to a sturdy object near the floor; tie the other end around your right foot near the toes.
- Sit facing the object, far enough away so the band is taut, and repeatedly point and flex your toes.
- After a minute, switch feet and repeat the exercise.
- Do as many sets as desired.