Let’s face it: bikini season is coming. Just around the corner is the time when it’s too hot to stay shrouded in longer clothes, so there’s nowhere to hide. This means that if you haven’t already thought about it, it’s time to get on top of your fitness game — fast. But as much as we love a good diet and cardio routine, there are four trouble areas that plague us girls most when it comes to bathing suit mania: abs, arms, side body, and thighs.
Instead of lamenting these trouble areas, we decided to do something about it. We turned to four of the top fitness instructors in the industry to get some awesome workout moves that focus on these trouble spots and — here’s the best part — can be done anywhere at any time. In addition to some butt-busting cardio sessions, be sure to add these four moves to your routine for some targeted toning. You’ll be swimsuit-ready in no time at all!
The zone: Abs
The expert: Fred DeVito, Vice President, Mind Body Programming
The move: The Curl
What it works: The move engages the entire abdominal wall, which includes the rectus abdominus, the internal and external obliques and most importantly, the transverse abdominus which is the deepest of them all.
Why it Works: It’s a super intense (yet safe) exercise that builds abdominal strength as well as the length of your back body for a balanced, solid core foundation. It works the entire abdominal wall.
How you do it: Sitting on the front edge of your yoga mat or a rug (to protect your lower back,) roll down to your waist, pressing your lower back into the floor by pulling your inward abdominals and tucking your pelvis under in order to press your lower back down into the mat (think of your belly button meeting your spine.) As you lift and extend your arms to hold your outer thighs, bend your elbows wide and press your shoulders down, keeping your chin lifted parallel to the floor. Hold this position for two minutes, breathing through the upper chest (try not to move your abdominals).
How many reps: Hold the position for two minutes, then repeat for another two minutes, releasing your legs and tapping your fists above your bent knees 20 times. If you want an added challenge, do another 20 taps, but raise your arms higher. If you can’t, just hold onto the sides of your bent legs and let go one hand at a time.
How often: You can do them every day, working your way up to eight minutes at a time for the ultimate inner core strength.
The Zone: Arms
The Expert: Amanda Max, instructor at SoulCycle in New York City
The Move: Push up
What it works: Primarily triceps, deltoids and pectoral muscles, but also sculpts secondary biceps, abs & glutes.
Why it works: It’s dynamic and works more than one muscle at a time, plus it can be modified for beginners through advanced practices.
How do you do it: Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders, making sure your shoulders don’t collapse and keeping your back, neck and shoulders aligned (beginners can bend their knees on the floor for a modification.) Maintaining this perfect posture, begin to lower your chest towards the floor. Allow your elbows to bend but not too far away from your chest, keep them relatively tight.
How many reps: Depending on your level of strength, start with four sets of five push ups, then advance to 3-4 sets with 10-12 reps each. Rest for
30-60 seconds between sets based on current fitness level.
How often: 3-5 times a week for about 8-10 mintues at a time. It’s such an effective easy way to get shredded for summer!
The zone: Sleek side body
The expert: Anna Kaiser, creator and owner, AKT in Motion
The move: Side Passe Dip
What it works: The entire side body: cut arms, smooth side abs, sleek hips, and a tight core.
Why it works: Holding side plank is challenging enough for your entire side body, but attempting the dips forces you to use your abs and smaller muscle groups that result in a longer, leaner shape.
How you do it: Position yourself in a side plank, supporting your body with your left arm. Anchor your right foot on the floor, bend your left leg, and hold your left foot to your right knee (a “passe” pose). Maintaining that position, try to dip your left hip to tap the floor and raise back up again.
How many reps: 10reps
How often: 3-5 times a week for amazing bikini season results.
The zone: Legs (particularly thighs)
The expert: Holly Del Russo, personal trainer and fitness expert
The move: Plié squat jump
What it works: It really targets that troublesome inner-thigh area and the butt.
Why it works: Explosive jumps and landings challenge the thighs, lengthening muscle as you force upward and building stable muscle as you land.
How you do it: Start with your feet hip-width apart, toes facing outwards like a ballerina. Engage your core and move into a squat position, ensuring your back is long and lean and your knees don’t advance past your toes. From here, jump as high, exploding off the ground, landing softly on the ball of your foot.
How many reps: For best results, do three sets of 25.
How often: At least four times a week. You should start noticing results in about three weeks when added to a great strength training and diet routine!