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3 Exercises To Help You Look Amazing In Summer Dresses

It's the season to show off your arms, shoulders, back and legs. Tone and tighten them all with one effective routine.

By Emma Haak

Designed by Susan Stanley, a master trainer at Equinox in New York, this 3-move routine works your entire body but gives special attention to the areas on display during warmer months.

You don't need gym machines to do it -- just a couple of dumbbells. When you're doing resistance work using just your own body weight, dumbbells or a medicine ball, even if the move isn't targeting your core, you're working it the whole time to stay balanced.

Do this routine 3 times per week (skipping one day between each session) and you'll see noticeable definition at the 4-week mark, says Stanley. "But you're going to feel stronger, tighter and more confident well before that."

  • The Move: Reverse Lunge with Halo
    <strong>The Steps </strong>
<br><br>1. Start with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell just in front of your chest with b
    The Steps

    1. Start with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell just in front of your chest with both hands. (Start with 5 to 7.5 pounds and see how it feels. You should be able to finish 16 reps and still feel like you could do 2 more.)
    2. Step your left leg back into a reverse-lunge position.
    3. Staying in the lunge position, bring the weight up to head-level and circle it around once, as though you're tracing a big halo.
    4. Bring the weight back down to chest level, press your weight into your right heel and stand up, returning to your starting position.
    5. Step the right leg back and repeat on opposite side.

    Do 3 sets of 16 reps (8 on each side), resting for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
  • The Move: Plank O-Copter
    <strong>The Steps </strong>
<br><br>
1. Get in plank position. 
<br>2. Row back with your right arm, bending your elbow and l
    The Steps

    1. Get in plank position.
    2. Row back with your right arm, bending your elbow and lifting it toward the ceiling while keeping your bent arm snug to your body. Push your right hip toward the floor to engage your abs and keep hips level. Return to right hand to the floor and repeat with left arm.
    3. Keeping your leg straight, lift your right foot up to be level with your hips, then bring it back down to the ground.
    4. Repeat with your left leg.

    That's 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 3 reps, resting for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
  • The Move: Squat Curl and Press
    <strong>The Steps </strong>
<br><br>1. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, curling your arms and holding a d
    The Steps

    1. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, curling your arms and holding a dumbbell in front of your chest with both hands. (Start with a 10-pound weight and see how it feels.)
    2. Squat down, only going as low as you can without tucking your butt under. As you squat down, straighten your elbows and lower the dumbbell toward the floor.
    3. Squeeze your glutes and press your weight into your heels to come out of the squat, curling the dumbbell back toward your chest as you come up, then pressing it up over your head.
    4. Once you're standing with the dumbbell over your head, lower the dumbbell behind your head while keeping your elbows next to your head, not behind.
    5. Bring the dumbbell back over your head and return to your starting position.

    Do 3 sets of 15 reps, resting for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

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