Go Blue

When you add water to a cardio workout, you turn it into a total-body resistance routine.

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When you add water to a cardio workout – whether you’re swimming laps or doing a pool boot camp – you turn it into a total-body resistance routine. “Water counters every move you make when you’re fully immersed,” says exercise expert Lori Sherlock, Ed.D., at the West Virginia University School of medicine. “As a result, you work the muscle pair, not just a single muscle – for example, the biceps as you curl and the triceps as you lower.” That adds up: in a recent study in Sport Sciences for Health, fit women who did water workouts twice a week increased muscle mass in their arms and core, dropped body fat, and improved their vO2 max (a measure of fitness) by 15 percent over two months. Even cooler? There’s a mental calm you trigger the minute you take the plunge. 


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Pull Your Weight

For the best gauge of your upper-body strength, do pull-ups. They’re so challenging because they require everything from a good grip to strong lats (your biggest back muscle) to move your entire mass vertically against gravity, says trainer Chris Gagliardi, a pro with the American Council on Exercise (ACE). In fact, they work lats more than seven other common back exercises, according to ACE research. Use the plan at shape.com/pullup to fi nally master this key move. 


Q What’s the best way to recover post-workout? Any hydration rules to follow? 

“Plain water is fine after a workout of 60 minutes or less,” says Felicia Stoler, R.D.N., a doctor of clinical nutrition in New Jersey. For longer, sweatier routines, sodium, potassium, and magnesium are the important nutrients to replace. “If you want an electrolyte beverage, drink Smartwater” – and skip the trendy fizzy tablets offering other vitamins, Stoler says. “Eat real food for those. 



Doing a single-leg squat (with rear foot on a bench) works your gluteus maximus this much more than doing a traditional squat, a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows. 


For a core that’s strong 360, aim for a 1-to-1 ratio: Hold side planks for equal time on each side. Hold a sit-up (60-degree recline angle) for as long as you hold a back extension (the bench to use is found in most gyms).


Just walking half an hour is a good calorie burner 

316 .................on sand 

204 .................on wet sand

124 .................on grass or concrete