Best Body Challenge: Month Three

This is your all-out sprint to the finish — the last month of our total-body transformation plan. Be prepared to be amazed!

Best Body Training Plan, Month Three

You'll do this workout three times per week, following it up with a HIIT workout each time. Rest 30 to 60 seconds between exercises and sets.

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Plie Squat

Target Areas: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings

Set Up: Stand with your legs wide, and hold a dumbbell with both hands.

Action: Bend at the knees and hips to slowly lower your body as if sitting down in a chair. Pause when your thighs come parallel to the ground, then forcefully drive through your heels, extending your hips and knees until you arrive back at the start.

Helpful Hint: At the end of each set, hold the squat at the bottom for up to 30 seconds. Stand up, continuously squeeze your legs and glutes for another 30 seconds, then rest.

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Romanian Deadlift

Target Areas: hamstrings, glutes

Set Up: Stand and hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your upper thighs, with your palms facing your body. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and maintain a slight bend in your knees.

Action: Brace your core as you lean forward from your hips, pushing them back and bending your knees slightly, until your torso is parallel to the floor. As you lean, keep your arms straight, lowering the dumbbells until they are in front of your shins. Flex your hamstrings and glutes, and push your hips forward to return to the start

Helpful Hint: The closer the dumbbells are to your legs on the way up and down, the better you'll target those lower glutes and upper hamstrings (known as the glutes-hamstring tie-in).

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Target Areas: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings

Set Up: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand tall, keeping your abs tight and a natural arch in your lower back.

Action: Step forward with one foot. Bend both knees to lower towards the floor, making sure your front knee doesn't pass your toes. Stop short of your rear knee touching the floor and reverse, driving through the heel of your front foot to return to the start. Repeat, alternating the working leg.

Helpful Hint: For greater intensity, do all your reps on one leg before switching sides and repeating with the other leg in front.

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Floor Press

Target Areas: pectoralis major, deltoids, triceps brachii

Set Up: Lie face up on the floor with your feet flat on the ground and knees bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand above your chest, with your arms extended and palms facing forward.

Action: Slowly bend your arms to lower the dumbbells. Stop when your upper arms make contact with the floor, then press them up to return to the start.

Helpful Hint:

Concentrate on the contraction and relaxation of your pecs. Inhale and you lower, exhale as you press. 

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Floor Flye

Target Areas: pectoralis major

Set Up: Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip (palms facing in), and extend your arms above your chest.

Action: Slowly lower the dumbbells in a wide arc until your upper arms are in line with your shoulders. Reverse to return to the start.

Helpful Hint: When the weights come together in front of you, press them together hard for five seconds. This will enhance the peak contraction, stimulating more muscle fibers.
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Push-Up to Row

Target Areas: pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids

Set Up: Get into a push-up position, with each hand on a dumbbell placed on the floor. Keep your head neutral and abs tight to create a straight line with your body.

Action: Bend your arms to lower your chest towards the floor [A], then press up into full extension. When you reach the top, row one dumbbell up until it is beside your ribcage [B], then replace it on the ground. Repeat, alternating your rowing arm with each rep.

Helpful Hint: Increase the intensity by doing all of your rows on one arm. When you're through, switch sides and repeat without resting.

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Bent-Over Row

Target Areas: latissimus dorsi (lower portion), rhomboids, biceps brachii

Set Up: Stand tall and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your abs tight and spine neutral. Your arms should be extended straight down towards the floor [A].

Action: Pull the dumbbells up towards the sides of your torso, keeping your elbows near your sides [B]. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top for a full contraction, then lower the dumbbells along the same path before repeating.

Helpful Hint: Try it with your palms facing your body, as if you were using a barbell, to target your upper lats and mid-back.

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Overhead Press

Target Areas: deltoids (front and middle head emphasis)

Set Up: Stand and hold a dumbbell in each hand above shoulder level, with your palms facing forward and wrists over your elbows [A].

Action: Keeping your shoulders back and down, extend your arms to press the dumbbells overhead in an arc - but don't let them touch at the top [B]. Slowly lower to the start, and repeat.

Helpful Hint: For a couple of your sets, try working one arm at a time. Wait until your working arm is down before starting the next rep with the opposite arm - this will target your core to a greater degree.

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Upright Row

Target Areas: deltoids (front and middle head emphasis)

Set Up: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells in front of your body with your hands spaced wide.

Action: Pull the dumbbells straight up, bringing your elbows high. Keep the dumbbells close to your body, and maintain a natural curve in your spine. Hold before lowering back to the start.

Helpful Hint: The wide-grip upright row targets the shoulders better than the narrow-handed version. Plus, when your hands are close together, it places unwanted stress on the muscles of the rotator cuff.

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Bent-Over Lateral Raise

Target Areas: deltoids (rear head emphasis)

Set Up: With a dumbbell in each hand, bend forward from your hips until your torso is parallel to the ground. Let the dumbbells hang directly beneath your shoulders, with your arms slightly bent and palms facing each other.

Action: Forcefully raise the dumbbells up and out to your sides, maintaining the slight bend in your elbows, until your arms form a straight line with your shoulders. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, and repeat.

Helpful Hint: Don't flex and extend your elbows with each rep; keep a slight bend in your arms to emphasize your delts.

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Biceps Curl

Target Areas: biceps brachii (short and long heads)

Set Up: Stand and hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, with your palms facing forward. Keep your abs tight, chest up and eyes focused straight ahead.

Action: Contract your biceps to curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders, keeping your elbows at your sides. Squeeze your biceps at the top, then slowly return the dumbbells to the starting position along the same path.

Helpful Hint: If or when you reach fatigue, alternate your arms. By working one arm at a time, you free up a bit more energy to help you through the set.
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Triceps Kickback

Target Areas: triceps brachii (lateral or outer head emphasis)

Set Up: Stand with a weight in each hand, and lean forward from your hips. Bend your elbows and raise your upper arms parallel to your torso, keeping them tight to your sides as shown [A].

Action: Without moving your upper arms, extend at the elbows to straighten your arms [B]. Squeeze for a second, then lower to the start and repeat.

Helpful Hint: During your set, when doing both arms simultaneously becomes too difficult, stagger your stance, hold on to a stable object, and work one arm at a time.

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Weighted Crunch

Target Areas: upper abdominals

Set Up: Lie face up on the floor with your legs bent and feet flat. Hold one dumbbell with both hands above your body.

Action: Keeping your arms extended, slowly curl your upper body off the floor, raising your shoulder blades to bring your chest and shoulders towards the ceiling. Squeeze your abs before returning to the start.

Helpful Hint: When you reach failure, put the weight on the floor and do as many body-weight double crunches - bringing your knees towards your chest as you crunch - as you can.

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Your HIIT Workouts

Four times per week, choose one of our HIIT cardio plans - you'll two more here - and perform it following the strength portion of your program. Prior to each, warm up for five minutes with light activity. Note: “Rest” means that you stop altogether.

Jumping Rope

  • Jump rope as fast as you can for 1 minute
  • Jump rope with high knees for 1 minute
  • Rest for 1 minute
  • Jump rope fast for 1 minute
  • High knees for 45 seconds
  • Rest for 45 seconds
  • Jump rope for 1 minute
  • High knees for 30 seconds
  • Rest for 30 seconds
  • Jump rope for 1 minute
  • High knees for 15 seconds
  • Rest 1 to 2 minutes

Repeat entire sequence 3 to 5 times.

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