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Bikini Body Countdown

In Trends, Updates on May 1, 2010 at 6:18 am
With the summer being just around the corner, the countdown begins for that swimsuit-worthy body. However, if you’re anything like me and have a busy schedule where you even find yourself penciling in time to sleep, then finding a time slot available for a trip to the gym probably won’t be open. So, I have found a great exercise that you can do right in your own home. This Pilates-based workout will sculpt your abs, arms, butt and thighs in just 20 minutes. I know it seems too good to be true but I have actually been doing this workout for 2 weeks now and I am already seeing significant results. This workout consist of 20 minutes, 3-4 days a week of a series of exercises followed by 15 minutes of high-intensity cardio. If you stick to the routine, in just 4 weeks your body will be beach-bound ready.
Here are the steps to success:
  1. Front Lift
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.
  • Optional Challenge: Hold 2-pound dumbbells.
  • Lift arms overhead, palms facing in, lifting right leg from the hip until it’s parallel to the ground.
  • Hold for 2 counts, then drop right foot into a front lunge.
  • Fitness Focus: Thighs, Glutes, Calves, Abs, Shoulders

2. Front Lunge

  • As you lower into the lunge, bring both arms out to your sides at shoulder height.
  • Hold for 2 counts, then rise and return to standing, bringing legs and arms back to starting position.
  • Alternate 20 reps (10 per leg) with control.
  • Fitness Focus: Thighs, Glutes, Calves, Abs, Shoulders

3. Leg Pull/Push-Up

  • Come to full push-up position with hands under shoulders and draw abdominal in toward spine.
  • Lift left leg to hip height (point toes) or slightly higher. Lift and lower left leg 5 times.
  • Repeat leg lifts on right side.
  • Extend left leg, bend elbows, and slowly lower chest 4 inches toward the ground; straighten arms.
  • Do 5 push-ups with left leg lifted, then lower.
  • Do 5 more push-ups with right leg lifted.
  • Fitness Focus: Chest, Back, Arms, Abs, Glutes

4. Kneeling One-Arm Side Kick

  • Come to hands and knees with palms directly under shoulders and extend left leg behind you to hip height.
  • Grasp a 2-pound dumbbell in right hand (optional) and lift right arm out to the side to shoulder level.
  • Keeping hips, head and arms stable, kick left leg out to side as far as you can without rocking or using momentum.
  • Hold for 2 counts.
  • Return leg to starting position (keep arm lifted) and repeat 10 times; switch sides.
  • Fitness Focus: Chest, Shoulders, Glutes, Obliques

5. Front Plank/Back Support

  • Sit with legs extended and toes pointed, pressing palms to the ground 6 inches behind your butt, fingers pointing to your back.
  • Engage your abs and arch upper back slightly.
  • Press body weight into your hands and lift hips up, forming one line from ankles to shoulders.
  • As you lift hips, try to touch the balls of both feet to the ground.
  • Hold for 2 counts, then return to starting position; repeat 10 times.
  • Fitness Focus: Arms, Chest, Back, Legs, Glutes, Abs

6. Arm-Swing Curtsy Squat

  • Stand tall with arms overhead; bend left knee and lift left foot so that it hovers next to right knee, toes pointed down.
  • Keeping right foot planted, take a giant step out to left side with left foot. Swooping down, curtsy over left leg, curling left arm in front of body and extending right arm to sky.
  • Hold for 2 counts.
  • Return left foot to starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times; switch sides.
  • Fitness Focus: Thighs, Glutes, Obliques

7. Half-Seated Hip Circle

  • Lean back on elbows, abs tight, fingers cupping sides of hips to keep your pelvis still.
  • Extend legs 60 degrees, keeping lower back pressed to the ground.
  • Point toes, press inner thighs together, and trace 10 large clockwise circles in the air with both feet, then trace 10 counterclockwise circles.
  • Fitness Focus: Abs, Thighs, Obliques

8. Bent-Knee Roll-Down

  • Sit with knees bent and arms parallel to ground in front of chest, holding dumbbells (optional) with palms facing each other.
  • Lean back to engage abs; bend both knees 90 degrees and lift legs until shins are parallel with the ground.
  • Balancing on your tailbone, hold for 5 seconds.
  • Keeping arms and shins parallel to the ground, slowly roll lower back down 4 inches and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Using core strength, roll up to starting position. Repeat 10 times without touching feet to the ground or rolling all the way down.
  • Fitness Focus: Abs, Back, Shoulders

9. Double-Leg Kick

  • Lie facedown and either clasp hands or hold a light dumbbell behind back.
  • Bend knees and bring shins perpendicular to ground, toes pointed.
  • Bring heels to glutes twice in short kicks.
  • On the third lick, lift chest off ground and extend arms straight back to hover an inch above your glutes. Straighten legs, contract thighs and glutes

10. 15-Minute Cardio Blast

  • 0:00-2:00 (mins); Jumping Jacks- Maintain a fast, rhythmic pace.
  • 2:00-4:00: Run in Place- Bend elbows and pump arms front to back while reaching your knees up to your abs, accentuating leg movements as you run.
  • 4:00-5:00: Squat Jumps- From a standing position, lower knees 90 degrees into a squat, keeping arms parallel to chest. From the bottom of the squat, jump up 4 to 6 inches. Land softly with knees bent; repeat.
  • 5:00-7:00: Jumping Jacks
  • 7:00-9:00: Run in Place
  • 9:00-10:00: Squat Jumps
  • 10:00-12:00: Jumping Jacks
  • 12:00-15:00: Run in Place- Gradually slow to cool down.

So ladies, stay focused, stay motivated and in just 4 weeks you’ll be sitting poolside with pride!

For more tips courtesy of Fitness Magazine click here!

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