You may not think you are doing curvy figure shaping when you do strength workouts. That is exactly what you should be doing. Why else would you do all the hard work!


You don’t have to compete in contests to build a toned, lean body (although competing can be a good changeup and motivator). And, you don’t have to get bulky like a man. But, you have to build muscle mass, burn fat and shrink your body to lean and toned. Notice that I haven’t said anything about losing weight! Shift your focus to burning fat and the weight loss will come too.

Read my post, “Shape Your Curvy Body Better” to get a good overview on women’s body types and training.

So, let’s get down to business. Here is my Top 7 Woman’s Figure Shaping Exercises:

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1. Dumbbell Lunge-to-Bicep Curl-to-Shoulder Press – This is a good exercise to start any workout. It is definitely a full body strength exercise and it will get your heart rate up in a hurry! When you descend into the lunge position do your curl and press from the lunge position. Do all repetitions with the right leg lunge and then switch to the left leg.

2. Dumbbell Chest Press on Stability Ball – Doing the chest press on the ball forces you to balance while lifting. Each arm also has to do equal work.

chest press on ball2

3. Bentover Dumbbell Rows – If you’re trying to build up back muscles and burn back fat, bentover dumbbells rows should be in your routine. Bentover dumbbell rows allow you to work your lats using heavier weights. Your lower back will be worked more if you row with both arms at the same time. You will also work your abdominals and biceps.


Pullups – The pullup is not just a back muscle exercise. Pullups work your lats (and other back muscles), core, shoulders, arms, chest, biceps and improve grip strength. You should be doing pullups! You can use a stool to spot yourself and give yourself a little help as you work up to doing 5-8 repetitions per set. Start with 1 if needed.


5. Bulgarian Split Squats – This exercise requires great core strength to keep your upper body upright while squatting on one leg.


6. Sprint Intervals for Cardio – Running fast activates and shapes your bulky, fast twitch muscle fibers. There’s a reason that track sprinters’ bodies are so cut—they do their training fast most of the time.

7. Clock Lunges with Dumbbells – Clock lunges work your body in all planes of motion. Lunge with your right leg at 12 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 5 o’clock and 6 o’clock. That’s 1 repetition for your right leg.


Lunge with your left leg at 12 o’clock, 10 o’clock, 9 o’clock, 7 o’clock and 6 o’clock. That’s 1 repetition for left leg. Maintain upright posture throughout to improve core strength.

Rotate heavy lifting days (3-5 reps per exercise, 4-5 sets) with light lifting days (10-12 reps per exercise, 3-4 sets). Do circuit weight training with the lighter weights (little or no rest between sets). You will need more rest between sets when you lift heavy (1-2 minutes rest between sets).

Burn fat and shape your curves leaner and meaner. You will look and feel great!

Download your Free 10-Day Curves and Abs Jumpstart and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES

Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist
Certified Nutrition Coach and Nutrition for Metabolic Health Specialist. Since 2006, I have helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle habit changes that helps you to achieve better long-term health, which includes body transformation and ideal body weight.
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