Memorial Day is just around the corner, and with it comes sundresses, shorts, sleeveless tops and of course (gulp) a bathing suit. But if you want to firm up and lose a few pounds before you shed your cozy (read: cover-all) winter clothes, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time. In fact, with SELF’s fun and easy Drop 10 exercise plan, you can tone up all over in just five weeks! The simple slimming formula: cardio quickie workouts that take just 14 minutes, 6 simple toning moves and a sneaky strategy for plowing through them fast. I had you at 14 minutes, right?
Why it works: The moves use a Jedi mind trick to make them more manageable. You’ll do 8 reps of a move, rest for 10 seconds, then do 7 reps, rest for 10, and so on, until you’re left with one measly rep. You can do one of anything, right? Couple that with the fat-melting magic of Tabata cardio intervals (Tabata simply means 20-second bursts with 10-second rests, repeated 8 times) and you’ll firm fast!
What you’ll need: A stability ball and a set of medium-weight dumbbells. That’s it! What to do: Complete the Drop 10 toning moves below 3 times per week, counting down sets from 8 reps to 1 rep with rests in between. Finish with Tabata intervals (there’s an at-home workout and one for the gym—your choice!). Then add the “Feel-Like-It Fat Burning” (details below) and get ready to reveal your amazing new body!
Works biceps, butt, thighs Stand with a stability ball pressed between your lower back and a wall, feet hip-width apart; hold a weight in each hand at shoulders. Maintain contact with wall, uncurling arms as you squat (as shown). Return to start; repeat. Do reps.
Works shoulders, triceps, chest, abs Start in push-up position, hands in line under shoulders on ball, hips lifted, legs extended behind you, resting on toes. Bend elbows and lower chest to ball (as shown). Return to start; repeat. Do reps.
Works abs Lie faceup with knees bent at 90 degrees, calves on top of ball, arms at sides, palms flat. Squeeze ball between back of thighs and calves as you draw knees toward chest, performing a reverse crunch (as shown). Return to start; repeat. Do reps.
Works thighs, butt Stand with ball on right side, right leg extended with side of foot resting on top; hold a weight in left hand. Bend left knee and squat, reaching weight past knee (as shown). Return to start; repeat. Do reps. Repeat on opposite side.
Works back, shoulders, abs, butt Lie with chest on ball, arms dangling in front, a weight in each hand, legs extended behind you with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, resting on toes. Engage core as you lift upper body off ball and extend arms in a Y at shoulder height (as shown). Release to start; repeat. Do reps.
Works triceps, abs Lie faceup on ball with feet flat, knees bent, a weight in each hand with elbows bent 90 degrees. Tighten abs and crunch up as you straighten arms in front of you (as shown). Release to start; repeat. Do reps.
THE 14-MINUTE CARDIO ROUTINE At-the-gym option Warm-up: Walk on the treadmill at a moderate pace (3 to 4.5 mph) for 5 minutes. Tabata intervals: Run as hard as you can for 20 seconds (5 up to 10 mph, if you dare!), then stop completely and rest for 10 seconds. No need to lower the speed. Grab the console and hop feet on and off the belt. Repeat the 20-10 cycle a total of 8 times (4 minutes). Cooldown: Walk it off for 5 minutes at a moderate pace (3 to 4.5 mph). Nice job!
At-Home Option Warm-up: Walk at a moderate pace (you can chat easily) for 5 minutes. Tabata intervals: Create your own move medley using these sizzling suggestions: jumping jacks, jumping rope, running in place with high knees or butt kicks, jump squats. Perform your pick for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Do that 20-10 cycle eight times. Cooldown: Walk for 5 minutes at a moderate catch-your-breath pace. Well done!
Feel-Like-It Fat Burning Zap 700 additional calories each week any way you want. See how many calories 20 minutes of the most popular heart-pumping exercises erase. (The calorie counts below are based on a 135-pound woman; to determine how many you scorch during your favorite exercise, check out the calories-burned calculator at Self.com.)