Focus on the Negative (Just This Once)
If you want to get more bang for your exercise buck, concentrate on the “negative” phase of a weight-lifting routine, which is when you’re lowering the weight back to the starting position. “We build more strength when we’re lowering a weight than when we’re lifting it,” says trainer Pete Cerqua, the author of The High Intensity Fitness Revolution ($15, amazon.com). So pay special attention to your form during the lowering phase, and take it slow. Not a weights person? This modified push-up can give you the same rewards: Hold the top (or plank position) for 10 seconds, then lower as slowly as you can. When you get to the floor, push up onto your knees to get back into plank position.