Toning Workout for Women

Ready, Set, Shapeover!

Go from frumpy to fit in 5 fast weeks with our best-ever walking-and-toning workout. Your new secret weapon: suspension straps!

Spice Up Your Workout

Showing up for your sweat sessions but not seeing results? (Related: 4 Signs Your Workout Isn't Working)

Your equipment might need an upgrade. Enter: suspension straps, the one-piece-does-it-all Swiss Army knife of fitness gear. Loved by personal trainers, these versatile nylon straps hook to any stable anchor—your bedroom door or a sturdy tree branch—and allow you to use your own body weight as resistance. They require minimal space, weigh only about 2 pounds, and can be stashed in a drawer between uses. You can even tuck them into a suitcase for on-the-road workouts. (Search: Healthy travel tips) They're also fun to use, and you can control how challenging each move is. Bonus: Because strap moves require balance, they engage your core muscles, flattening your belly fast.

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What's more, our Slim + Sculpt Straps routine, created by Prevention contributing editor and personal trainer Chris Freytag, will slim you from head to toe in only 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week! We had real women test the plan using the Jungle Gym XT suspension system ($99; lifelineusa. com). To melt fat faster, they also squeezed in three or four quickie Cardio Walks each week and followed a 1,600-calorie diet. After 5 weeks, the numbers on the scale plummeted. The women's average weight loss was more than 8 pounds, and one tester even dropped a whopping 18.6 pounds--for some women, that's three whole sizes--as well as 10 inches total off her waist, hips, and thighs!

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A Sample Week At A Glance
Aim to do three Slim + Sculpt Straps sessions and three or four 20-to 30-minute Cardio Walk sessions each week. Feel free to swap days according to your schedule.

Day 1: Slim + Sculpt Straps   
Day 2: Cardio Walk, 20 min   
Day 3: Slim + Sculpt Straps
Day 4: Rest   
Day 5: Cardio Walk, 30 min   
Day 6: Slim + Sculpt Straps, Cardio Walk 20 min   
Day 7: Cardio Walk, 30 min

Cardio Walks
You don't have to work out for hours on end to burn off unwanted jiggle. Simply do 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking at an intensity at which you're breathing hard but can still speak in short sentences. Do cardio walking on the same day as your strap circuit for a longer, fat-blasting workout or on alternate days when you're pressed for time.

Find out how you can walk off your unwanted weight!

Your Slim + Sculpt Straps Circuit!

How to do it: Start with a 2-minute warm-up of slow walking (or walking in place). Do 2 sets of 15 reps of each exercise, resting no more than 30 seconds between sets and when adjusting straps before moving to the next exercise. (The fast pace keeps your heart rate elevated, which boosts calorie burn.) To protect your back and maintain balance, be sure to keep your abs engaged and your head in line with your spine throughout each move. End with a 2-minute cool-down of full-body stretching.

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