When she's not busy filming "The Biggest Loser", Alison Sweeney is busy writing books (her second, Scared Scriptless, comes out in June 2014) and running after her two kids, ages 8 and 5. Still, she finds time to squeeze in workouts, even if it means 10 minutes in front of the TV after the kids have gone to bed. Sweeney's go-to workout is a series of multitasking moves that burn fat while strengthening and toning your whole body -- perfect for busy women like you.
Works every muscle while helping your balance and stability.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand. (Ali uses 5 to 8 pounds, but start with less.) Shift weight to right foot and hinge forward as you raise left leg behind you so that body forms a T, keeping back straight and weights close to legs (A). Return to upright position, but keep left foot off floor. Bend knee and lift left leg to hip-level while bending elbows and pulling weights in to sides (B). Extend left leg straight out in front as you push weights overhead (C). Return to start. Do 10 to 15 reps per side.
Works front deltoids, chest and core.
Lie face-up with a dumbbell in each hand; raise arms straight up. Bend left knee and draw it in to chest, while lifting right leg 2 to 3 inches off floor (A). With abs engaged and small of back pressed into floor, bicycle legs while lowering arms out to sides (B). Be sure to keep a slight bend in elbows. Return to start. Continue for 30 seconds, working up to 1 minute.
Protect your spine! Legs should be low enough to challenge your abs, but not so low that you're stressing your back.
Works biceps, triceps, back, abs and glutes.
Start on hands and knees, with hands under shoulders and knees under hips, holding a dumbbell in right hand. Keeping knee bent, lift left foot up and pull right hand up toward chest (pictured). Slowly lower back to start. Do 12 to 15 reps; repeat on other side.
Make it harder! Put a dumbbell in the crook of your knee for added resistance.
Works arms, abs, hips, butt, quads and hamstrings.
Start with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in left hand. Lunge to right, keeping feet pointed forward, bringing left hand to right foot (A). Push off gently with right foot, bringing right leg diagonally back behind left leg (a curtsy) as you lift left arm, pressing weight overhead (B). This is 1 rep. Repeat motion, stepping immediately into a side lunge from the curtsy. Do 10 to 15 reps, then switch sides.
Knee should bend no more than 90 degrees.
Not only does this move strengthen legs, but it also promotes agility and cardio.
Start facing right; bend knees and push hips back to come into a squat, with arms extending back (A). In one swift motion, raise arms overhead as you leap high in the air (B), rotating body 90 degrees. Land softly, facing left, and lower back into a squat (C). Repeat move in opposite direction. Do 12 to 15 reps.
Look straight ahead while jumping to help with balance.
Adding this type of jumping jack to the plank engages the core even more and helps you keep good form throughout the movement.
Start in the "up" part of a push-up position, with shoulders over wrists, body in a straight line from head to toe and feet together (A). Jump legs out wide (B) and then back together. Repeat for 1 minute, eventually building up to 5 minutes.
Hold pelvis steady and back straight.
Works entire body, particularly the core.
Start in the "up" part of a push-up position, with shoulders over wrists, body in a straight line from head to toe, feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in right hand (A). Extend right arm and left leg up and away from body (B). Slowly draw right elbow and left knee in to touch under torso. Extend arm and leg back out. This is 1 rep. Do 12 to 15 reps, then switch sides.
Keep spine straight and abs engaged.
Works entire body while promoting agility and coordination.
Start in the "up" part of a push-up position, with shoulders over wrists, body in a straight line from head to toe and feet hip-width apart (A). Rotate torso to right, putting weight on left hand, and lift right arm up as you raise core and pull left leg through and extend it out to 45 degrees, placing right foot on ground for support (B). Hold for 2 seconds, then return to start. Repeat on opposite side. Do 8 to 10 reps on each side.
You should be looking up, along your raised arm.