STAY BIKINI-READY THROUGH THE SEASONS
Exercises to Help You Keep Your Summer Shape Through Fall and Winter!
| || |
|Whether it’s swimming laps or surfing, running on the beach or hiking in the mountains, outdoor activities make it easy to stay in great swimsuit shape all summer long. But as the cooler weather approaches, many of us cut back on some of our summer workouts, yet we still want to maintain that buff bikini-ready body (no matter how many sweaters we layer on top). |
EASY INDOOR WORKOUTS
To keep your upper and lower body as well as your core lean and toned, strength training at least three times a week is key. Invest in a set of dumb bells or hand-held free weights. Simple weight-lifting techniques include biceps curls, triceps kickbacks, chest presses and chest flies (done lying on your back and holding the weights directly over your chest, not your face).
Try push-up and triceps dips where you’re sitting on the edge of a chair with your arms bent and hands facing forward, raising and lowering your body without moving your shoulders or core, work to keep your arms and back toned.
You can also try resistance bands, which are stretchy tubes that come in varying degrees of resistance, to work both your lower and upper body. Many come with workout tips. Try standing on the band, feet shoulder-distance apart and doing squats with your back straight, lowering yourself down as though you were going to sit in a chair, and then rising back up, using the handles of the band to do biceps curls at the same time. Or, tone your hips by standing on the band and pulling up on both sides, then moving from side to side with the band held taught. There are many DVDs and fitness shows on cable that will show you exactly how to use free weights and resistance bands as well as your own body weight to stay fit.
| || |
KEEPING YOUR SWIMSUIT BELLY FLAT
All that summer surfing and swimming kept your waistline in check, but when the weather drives you back inside, it’s time to do some good old-fashioned abdominal exercises to keep that belly flat. Regular sit-ups or curl ups, or bicycling your legs in the air are excellent core exercises. Do these exercises holding a plank position with your forearms resting on the ground, your body as straight as possible, with your weight pushing back into the ground. Start out by doing a plank for 30 seconds and work up to a minute or more.
MAINTAIN YOUR SUMMERTIME LEGS
Doing a series of squats and lunges (with or without weights) is one of the best ways to keep legs summertime strong. Start with one foot in front, knee over toe, and bend the other leg in 90-degree angle behind you. Squat, keeping your alignment, and then rise; repeat 12 times and then switch legs. Or, stand with your legs apart in a modified plié position, feet facing out, and slowly bend your knees, going down as far as you can without lifting your heels or bending your torso.
DON’T FORGET TO SWEAT
To maintain that bikini body, you’ll have to replace your outdoor aerobic workouts with some other way to boost your heart rate. If you still like to run or walk outside, invest in some high-quality workout gear designed to keep you warm such as fleece tops, gloves, and a headband or hat, and hit the trail. Otherwise, you can use an aerobics CD to get you in the groove to move, or put on some hot music and dance till you’re dripping with sweat. If you have the room, get a BOSO ball or step climber and step up and down; many of these come with a workout program. Staying buff in the winter may not be quite as much fun as summertime fitness, but having that sexy swimsuit body to show off at holiday parties is definitely worth the workout!
Article Written By: Julie Mitchell; Julie is an accomplished writer from San Francisco who loves ballet, yoga, walking, cooking and reading. Her experience as a wife and mother of two lend to her articles and blogs for DivaVillage.com and VillageMAMA.com in the areas of wellness, fitness, beauty, parenting and food.