4 Exercises to Beat a Fitness Plateau

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by Tracy Anderson, via Health magazine |

These souped-up versions of planks, lunges and other classics will fast-track your body transformation.

It’s time to bid adieu to those old standby moves—at least for a little while. The reason: They don’t do enough! The go-to exercises you’ve been performing forever fail to tap many of the smaller muscles, which means you’re missing out on big benefits. When you upgrade to moves that work multiple muscles simultaneously—both the large ones and the smaller accessory (or stabilizing) muscles—you’ll start to sculpt your body into a tight,flexible and well-toned machine. So go on and try my fresh takes. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Amazing abs, thighs, everything!

These new-and-improved exercises not only sculpt your body better by activating more muscles but also force your brain to really focus on each movement. When your mind is fully connected to your body, your results will be even greater. Just be sure not to skip out on your 30 to 60 minutes of cardio; pair with this routine six days a week.

Plank Reach and Pulse

Get into a plank with forearms on ground, hands clasped and legs about hip-width apart. Lift right foot and bend right leg close to 90 degrees (A). Raise leg as high as possible (B), then pulse up and down 30 times.

Don’t forget to squeeze your glutes.

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Lunge Side Kick

Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands on hips. Take a giant step forward with right foot, then bend knees and lower into a half lunge(A). Extend left arm out to side, leaning into left hip and reaching through fingers for balance as you kick right leg straight out (B).Return to start; do 30 reps.

Knees should not bend past your toes.

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Outer Thigh Lift

Lie on left side with hips and legs stacked. Place left forearm on floor and prop up upper body; raise right leg about 6 inches (A). Lower leg and rotate body until you’re in plank with right palm on floor (keep left forearm on floor); swing right leg out to side (B). Return to start, then repeat 30 times.

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Biceps Curl Press Back

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, with a 3-pound weight in each hand, arms extended out to sides and palms facedown. Rotate right arm until palm is faceup, then curl up (A).Extend and lower arm, then turn arm so palm is facing behind you; press back (B). Return to start. Repeat 30 times.

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Strong is the new skinny

Let’s face it: Women will often go to any length to feel beautiful. The problem, however, is that true beauty isn’t related to how you look on the outside. Instead it comes from being healthy. When you can walk strong in your own skin, you will radiate confidence and truly shine.

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Power eats

When autumn is in full swing, I can’t get enough of purees, root vegetables and stews (yum!). Here are a few of my favorite healthy foods.

Acorn Squash
It’s chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants. I like mine roasted with organic maple syrup, butter, sea salt and pepper.

Rutabaga
This nutty root veggie is a great source of vitamin C. It’s perfect roasted, mashed or in stews.

Fennel
Braise this potassium- and calcium-rich bulb, thinly slice it and add it to salads or use the seeds to lend an anise flavor to dishes.

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