As the temperature starts to rise, and your baseball caps and flip-flops begin to replace your beanies and boots, those bikini’s hiding in the back of your closet are surely starting to call out your name. This realization that summer beach days and backyard pool parties are just around the corner tends to conjure up a mixed bag of emotions. Some initial reactions are quite naturally along the lines of “Finally!! Time to nap on the sand and get back my golden tan.” Followed very quickly by “Oh sh*t, is it safe for the world to see what’s been hiding under my sweaters?”
Fear not, my dears. The key is to incorporate exercises into your workout routine that recruit multiple muscle groups at once to maximize efficiency. Get stoked for bikini time with these essential moves that will help to tone you up from head to toe…just squeeze these in to your regular routine 2-3 times per week and you’ll be confidently rocking that itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikini!
Planks are my favorite exercise to work your entire abdominal wall, and this move does double the work, toning your bikini body from head to toe as you engage your arms, lower abs, obliques, back and glutes.
Start from a standing position, then bend over at the hips to walk your hands from your toes all the way out until you reach plank position (top of a push-up). Hold here in a strong plank stance for a few breaths, then bring your right knee up towards your right tricep, and return to plank. Repeat on the other side, and return to plank. Walk yourself back up and perform a deadlift to stand back tall again. Squeeze that booty and repeat 5 times.
Alternating Jumping Lunges
Your legs have the larges muscles in your body, so when they’re worked to fatigue they also burn the most calories!
Start in a lunging squat with your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Perform a slight jump to raise both feet off the ground, and switch your legs in the air so that the leg that was in the back is now in the front. Continue this movement, alternating legs for 1 minute straight, aiming to complete a total of 8 sets.
Squat Shoulder Press
This is an excellent move that burns twice the calories as you work multiple muscle groups and engage your core to maintain balance.
Grab a weight that’s light enough for you to repeat a shoulder press with repeatedly. Hold the weight in front of your chest and lower into a squat, keeping your hips back, core engaged, and heels pressing into the floor. As you come up, should-press the weight overhead. Lower your arms back down to the starting position and repeat, aiming for a total of 15 reps.
I have a love/hate relationship with this dynamic move. These will hit your abs just as effectively as any other core-focused move but also has the benefit of providing some cardio at the same time. Take your time, and don’t forget to breathe!
Starting in a plank position (top of a push-up), bring your right knee up to the left side of your chest, then rotate, so you’re switching and alternating which leg is coming up to your chest. Keep your core tight the entire time. Continue for 30 seconds to count as 1 rep. Repeat four times for a total of 2 min or four reps.
Bikini Booty Lift
This move is excellent for the glutes and lower abs. Make it harder by holding a set of light weights on top of your hips as you perform the exercise.
Lay on your back with feet on the ground, about hip-distance apart. Extend your left leg straight up above you as you squeeze your booty and press into the ground with the heel of your right foot, lifting your hips to raise your booty off the ground. Repeat 10 times before switching to the other side.
Once you’ve completed all exercises in this metabolism boosting, full body workout, try repeating it 2-3 times to really get your whole body fired up.
P.S. In addition to your workouts, it’s just as important to make sure what’s going into your body is healthy and clean. Drink lots of H20 to stay hydrated, and fill your plate with plenty of fresh veggies, fruits, and lean protein as you sweat and tone towards that summer bod.