12 Moves Celebrity Trainer David Kirsch Says Every Woman Should Do
They call David Kirsch "the sculpt master," and after training one-on-one in the last few weeks leading up to my wedding, I understood why. At my last wedding dress fitting, my arms and upper back were spilling out over my strapless dress.
"Oh well," I admitted to myself, "I guess I'll be a little chubby in my dress."
Then David stepped in, training me about four times per week for the two weeks leading up to the big day. In addition to doing his full-body workouts — which were always different and truly challenging — I followed his low-carb, low-fat, high-protein diet. Like any great makeover story with a happy ending, on the day of my wedding, my dress was actually a bit roomy and I felt totally confident with my shape. You can see me after my final workout (with David) in the photo above.
David is a body sculpter and also a master trainer. His résumé is quite honestly too long to list. But here are some highlights: He founded Madison Square Club, which is one of the nicest gyms I've been to in New York City. He has written five books, including the bestseller The Ultimate New York Body Plan; launched his own line of protein powders and supplements (my favorite is the A.M. Daily Detox); and trained celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, and Liv Tyler. So getting my ass kicked by him was honestly a dream! And his regimen worked.
Since we can't all pay the big bucks or make it to NYC, he rounded up his favorite total-body toning moves for you to try at home! You can bet I'll be doing them on my own at the gym.
Jumping Jacks With Resistance Bands
How to do it: “Place a resistance band around your ankles. Make sure to choose the appropriate resistance for your fitness level. Performbetter.com sells the bands in green (the easiest), yellow, blue, and black (the most resistance). Grab a pair of three-pound dumbbells. Stand with your feet apart so that there is some resistance in the band. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height, with your palms facing forward. Simultaneously press the dumbbells up as you jump your feet out. Try to continue for 30 seconds.”
Why it’s effective: “I really love this old-school combination as a great cardio/plyometric exercise that helps shape your arms, upper back, core, legs, outer thighs, and butt.”
Plank With Dumbbell Row to Triceps Extension
How to do it: “Get into a plank position with your arms straight and your hands placed directly under your chest with a dumbbell in your hand. Pull back your right arm, keeping your elbow close to your side, and immediately extend your arm back to engage your triceps. Repeat 15 times on each side.”
Why it’s effective: “This is an amazing combination exercise that engages, strengthens, and tones your core, while the dumbbell row to triceps extensions helps shape, tone, and sculpt your back and triceps.”
Hip Abduction With Front Raises
How to do it: “Place a resistance band around your legs just above your ankles and stand with legs shoulder-width apart. Place dumbbells in your hands. Simultaneously extend (abduct) your right leg out to the side (as high as you can go) and raise the dumbbells straight out in front of you until they are parallel to the floor. Repeat 15 times on each side.”
Why it’s effective: “This is another one of my favorite combination moves because as you abduct your leg, you are shaping and toning your outer thigh. And while you do front raises, you shape and tone your arms and the front part of your shoulders. Added bonus for engaging your core throughout the exercise.”
Hip Extensions With Overhead Side Laterals
How to do it: “Place a resistance band around your legs, just above your ankles. Place dumbbells in your hands at your sides. Simultaneously extend your flexed foot behind (contracting your glute muscles) while extending the dumbbells out to the side and over your head. Repeat 15 times on each side.”
Why it’s effective: “I really love this combination move because the resistance hip extensions shape, tone, and tighten your butt without engaging your quadriceps (your quads won’t get any bigger!). The overhead side laterals shape, tone, and sculpt the outer part of your shoulders, your arms, and your core.”
How to do it: “Start in a plank position on your hands and toes, keeping your core engaged and your spine in a neutral position. While maintaining the plank position, walk your body five steps to the right and then five steps back to center. That’s one repetition. Repeat five times on each side.”
Why it’s effective: “Plank is one of my favorite core-tightening and toning exercises. Walking side to side just raises the level of difficulty and really engages both your core and triceps.”
Side Plank Oblique Crunches
How to do it: “Position yourself in a side plank, resting on your right forearm with your left arm behind your head. Bring your left elbow in toward your belly and then return to the starting position. Perform 15 repetitions on each side.”
Why it’s effective: “Kiss your love handles goodbye! Side-plank oblique crunches provide a double whammy — the benefits of the side plank strengthen and tone your oblique muscles among other things, while adding the crunch engages the oblique muscles even more!”
Plank With Torso Rotations to T-Stand
How to do it: “Start in a plank position holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Reach your right arm under your torso and then back out, rotating your body to a side plank. As your right arm extends straight up, your arm should form a T with your body. That’s one repetition. Perform 15 repetitions on each side."
Why it’s effective: “Raise the level on your plank by rotating your torso and extending your arm overhead, firing up your triceps and obliques.”
Push-Ups With a Hip Extension
How to do it: “Get into a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width distance apart and directly under your chest. Lower yourself into a push-up while simultaneously lifting your right leg six inches off the ground, keeping your leg straight and your foot flexed. Perform 10 repetitions and then repeat with the other leg.”
Why it’s effective: “Put a little twist in your push-up routine! While push-ups work your arms, back, core, and chest, the extension engages your butt and adds a little extra emphasis on your lower core.”
Stability Ball Handoffs
How to do it: “Lie flat on your back with your arms overhead and a stability ball in your hands. Lift your torso and your hands to meet your legs in the middle; pause and pass the ball so you’re now holding it between your legs. Return to lying flat on your back, this time with the stability ball between your legs. Then lift your torso and legs again to meet and return the ball to your arms. Perform 15 repetitions.
Why it’s effective: “This is one of my favorite signature ab exercises. It really blasts your abs from every angle.”
Platypus Walks With a Medicine Ball Overhead
How to do it: “Start in a plié squat position with your arms extended overhead, holding a medicine ball with your thighs parallel to the floor. Stay engaged in the plié squat as you walk forward (waddle), stepping the left foot in front of the right, then the right foot in front of the left. Keep your knees out and aligned with your toes, your weight in your heels, and your butt sticking down and out throughout the exercise. Take five total steps forward and then reverse. That’s one repetition. Repeat five times.
Why it’s effective: “This is another one of my signature moves. It blasts your core toning your butt and thighs. I really love this exercise because it focuses on your inner thighs and the lower part of your butt — both are hard-to-reach areas!
Stability Ball Scissors
How to do it: “Lie face down on top of a stability ball with your hands on the floor close to the ball and your feet flexed and spread wide touching the ground. Balance on your hands and then lift your legs and bring your heels together, scissoring with your legs. Pause for five seconds, then repeat. Do 30 repetitions. This move can also be done on a Bosu ball if you don’t have a stability ball or you have difficulty using the stability ball.”
Why it's effective: “This is an amazing exercise that shapes, tones, and blasts your butt! I really love this exercise because it does it all that without engaging and bulking your quads.”
Sumo Lunge to a Side Kick With a Squad Jump
How to do it: “Stand in a sumo position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width distance apart, knees bent and body weight over your heels. Take a large step sideways with your right leg, bringing your right knee in toward your chest and then over to the right in one continuous movement. As soon as your right foot touches the ground, bring your right knee into your chest and complete a side kick, kicking your right heel out to the side. Lower your right leg to the floor, returning to sumo position. Squat down while keeping the weight in your heels and stick your butt out. Keep your knees directly above, not in front of your toes. Spring up while thrusting your arm overhead. Land on your heels, rolling forward onto your toes. Repeat with a sumo lunge and side kick with your left leg and another squat jump. Continue alternating right and left until you have completed 15 lunges on each side and 30 squat jumps.
Why it's effective: “This is one of my most challenging moves engaging hips, thighs, butt, core, and cardio.”