IFBB pro, fitness coach, and NLA For Her and Bodybuilding.com athlete Jessie Hilgenberg grew up surrounded by health and fitness. She was always active and athletic, but when family tragedy struck in 2009, Jessie almost turned her back on the gym.
However, with the help of the people closest to her, Jessie quickly realized that fitness was her true calling. Now, as a full-time mom, wife, and the leader of jessiefitness.com, Jessie teaches women everywhere to live a fit lifestyle.
Rock Any Dress
For a workout that will help you feel confident in any dress, look no further. This workout calls for supersets to keep your heart rate up—helping you burn fat and torch calories—and pushes you to lift heavy and build muscle in the 8- to 10-rep range. These are all the ingredients you need for an awesome, fat-burning, muscle-building workout.
In this Rock the Dress routine, you'll work your shoulders, core, arms, glutes, and legs. Time is of the essence, and this workout is no time to slack. Move quickly from exercise to exercise within each superset, resting 45 seconds between each superset. Incorporate this full-body workout into your current routine once or twice a week to crush your fitness goals.
Jessie's Pro Tips
When performing lat pull-downs, you want to hold your torso somewhat steady, and keep back-and-forth movement to a minimum. Grab the bar, engage your lats, retract your shoulder blades, and really focus on activating your back muscles. Feel free to increase the weight each set as you feel comfortable.
Is your grip slipping? Try using hooks or straps. They allow you to focus on your back muscles and lessen limiting factors like grip and forearm strength.
When performing lateral raisess, focus on your form, and keep weight secondary; you don't need a pair of super heavy dumbbells to feel the burn on these. Keep the movement controlled, and use a good tempo throughout the exercise—nice and slow on the way up and down.
When doing lateral raises, place your butt against the bench to help keep your torso steady and keep the focus on your delts.
For chin-ups, focus on bringing down your shoulder blades and engaging your lats before even doing the movement. Don't be surprised if this exercise really taxes your energy systems. Your biceps are a secondary mover here, so you’re going to get a lot out of this exercise.
If you don’t have a workout partner or any assistance machines, you can do these by implementing a rest-pause as needed. After a short breather, just jump back in and finish your set.
Double-Bench Weighted Dips
This exercise targets your triceps, which stand out when they look great in a dress. As you lower yourself to a slow, controlled tempo, make sure your tailbone stays close to the bench that's behind you. The goal is to dip down far enough to get your upper arms about parallel with the ground.
Need an added challenge? Feel free to increase the weight as you progress with your double-bench weighted dips.
Reverse Lunge Deficit Deadlift
When performing reverse lunge deficit deadlifts, keep the bar close to your body the whole time. As you step back, make sure to move in a slow, controlled manner. Keep your spine rigid, your shoulder blades back, your torso upright, and your lats engaged. Do all reps on one leg before moving on to the other leg.
Not comfortable including the deficit in your workout program just yet? That’s OK. Feel free to do these deadlifts on flat ground, and work your way up to the challenge.
Single-Arm Preacher Curl
Performing preacher curls with a single arm allows you to focus on the biceps and the mind-muscle connection. Go nice and slow with these. Your tempo should be the same on the way up as it is on the way down. Do all reps on one arm before switching to the other arm. Be mindful not to bend your wrist during this movement. If you need to use wrist wraps to keep your wrists nice and solid during the exercise, go for it.
Barbell Hip Thrust
For barbell hip thrusters, keep your feet about shoulder-width apart, your knees at a 90-degree angle, and your toes slightly pointed out. There should be an anterior tilt at the bottom of the exercise, and as you move up in the movement, you should transition to a posterior tilt—tucking your hips up and getting a full glute contraction at the top.
Exercise-Ball Hamstring Curl
Find a resistance band that allows you to push your knees out so that they’re hip-width apart for the entire exercise. Place the band 1-2 inches above your knees. Doing this allows you to push your knees out during the hamstring curl, making it an awesome exercise for your glutes and hamstrings.
To perform the hamstring-curl portion of this exercise, keep your hips high and your heels on the ball as you drag it as far as you can. Try to get your heels all the way to your hips, then slowly release. Let your hips go down, then start the rep all over again.