fbpx ;

Marisa Tomei’s Trainer Shares His Favorite Beginner Workout

In case you missed the exciting news, it’s Guest Bloggers’ Week! And today Key Son — a celebrity trainer to Marisa Tomei and other celebs with a doctorate in sports medicine and a bachelor of science from Cornell University — is spilling the secrets of his favorite beginner workout. The best part? No equipment is needed other than your body! 

I have been working as a personal trainer and health and fitness consultant for the film and fashion industry for more than 10 years. I have studied the human body and the possibilities of what can be done. I combined biomechanics, which is the physics behind human movement with creative ways to mold and shape the body.

I developed this method of circuit training to give the actresses and models the most effective and efficient workout possible with circuits of simple, effective exercises. Circuit training is a form of cardiorespiratory training composed of a very time-efficient series of exercises, one after the other with minimal rest — and it is as beneficial as traditional forms of cardio producing greater levels of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which is simply increased caloric expenditure and strength. This is a state where the body’s metabolism is elevated following exercise and its using more calories after exercise than exercise was initiated, a caloric afterburner.

For many of the actresses and models I work with, time is an issue, so I’ve created a beginner workout where in a small amount of time, you generate as much power as you can by combining resistance training with specific exercises to mold and sculpt the muscles to the shape you want, decrease body fat and strengthen your core. With this routine, we will improve structural balance and help you achieve optimum levels of physiological benefits such as improved cardiorespiratory efficiency and metabolic efficiency, increase in tissue strength and bone density, physical benefits such as a decrease in body fat and increase in muscle tone, and performance benefits such as increase in strength endurance, neuromuscular efficiency and balance.

Full-Body Beginner Workout — No Equipment Needed!


This workout can be done without any equipment, or with resistance bands if you have them. All exercises are from my book, The New York Model Workout. The result is structured shoulders, a thin, tapered and flat waist with long, well-balanced lean legs and tighter glutes.

Instructions: Start with one circuit, which is a full completion of 10 exercises, and increase at your own pace to three circuits of the 10 exercises for one full workout. Rest 30 seconds between exercises, then two to three minutes between circuits. Increase full workout frequency to doing this beginner workout two to three times a week. In addition, aim to do 45 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular work, such as moderately paced walking two to three times a week.

1. The Reach

The Reach is a warm-up and flexibility exercise. As a functional exercises, it works on balance and coordination. It tones the back of the legs, hips and lower back.


Stand on both feet with arms at sides. Draw midsection in (bring in navel towards spine). Tighten stomach. Reach with both hands toward ground. Aim for a spot two to three feet from you, at 45 degrees to the ground. While lowering, keep legs straight. Then, activate hamstrings and glutes. Stand back up until hip is extended. Repeat for 20 repetitions.

2. The Single Leg Squat

The Single Leg Squat works directly on the genu articularis, which tightens the knee capsule. It reduces and tightens the area above the knee.


Stand on one foot with foot pointing straight ahead. Draw midsection in. Tighten stomach. Keep raised leg next to standing leg. Lower body by bending knee on standing leg to 45 degrees. Push through heel and tighten glutes; stand back up. Tighten the knee on the standing leg as you stand up and extend. Repeat for 20 repetitions on each leg.

3. The Kickback

The Kickback works on the gluteus maximus and upper hamstring. It tightens the posterior hip.


Start on all fours, with the spine in a neutral position. Draw midsection in. Tighten stomach. Slowly extend one leg with toes pointed away from the body. Keep leg straight. Hold for two seconds. Lower leg to the ground. Repeat for 40 repetitions on each leg.

4. The Prone Isometric Stand

The Prone Isometric Stand works on the transversus abdominus. It strengthens the stabilizing portion of the core.


Get in push-up position on the floor with feet and hands on the ground. Tighten stomach. Keep body off the ground forming a straight line from head to toe. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds.

5. The Pullover

The Pullover works on teres major and triceps. It tightens the back of the arms.


Lie on the floor with knees bent at a 90-degree angle, feet flat on floor. Extend arms overhead with arms straight. Raise hips off ground. Draw midsection in. Tighten stomach. Move arms to the sides of the body. Repeat for 20 repetitions.

6. The Triceps Extension

The Triceps Extension works on the back of the arms.

On floor with feet shoulder-width apart and hands posterior to body, draw midsection in. Tighten stomach. Lift hips off floor. Bend elbows to 45 degrees. Extend arms by pushing hands toward the ground until arms are fully extended. Slowly lower body to 45 degrees of elbow flexion. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

7. The Crunch

The Crunch works on the rectus abdominus. It tightens and tones the frontal midsection.


On the floor with knees bent and both feet flat on floor. Draw midsection in. Tighten stomach. Flex abs in. Move upper body forward and back off the floor, bringing the lower rib cage toward hips. Slowly lower upper body to the floor. Repeat for 100 repetitions.

8. The Kneebend

The Kneebend works on the hip flexor and rectus abdominus. It tightens the lower abs.

kneebendLie flat on the floor with hips and knees bent at a 90-degree angle, feet in the air and arms to sides stabilizing body. Draw midsection in. Tighten stomach. Lift hips off the floor bringing the knees toward the chest. Slowly lower the hips to the floor. Repeat for 40 repetitions.

9. The Side Crunch

The Side Crunch works on the rectus abdominus and obliques. It tightens and tones the frontal and side midsection.


On the floor with knees bent and both feet flat on floor. Lower both knees to one side. Draw midsection in. Tighten stomach. Flex abs in. Move upper body forward and back off the floor, bringing the lower rib cage toward hips. Slowly lower upper body to the floor. Repeat for 50 repetitions on each side for 100 repetitions in total.

10. The Upward Rotation

The Upward Rotation works on the internal and external obliques. It tightens and tones the midsection.

upward-rotationStand on both feet shoulder width apart and pointed straight. Keep arms straight and hands together. Tighten stomach. Rotate upper body diagonally upward. Turn until the hands are above shoulder level and the back leg is fully extended. Return to start position. Repeat for 10 repetitions on each side.

Do this beginner workout regularly, and you’ll get stronger and start seeing results! —Key Son

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!