yesterday was the OFFICIAL first day of summer! So officially, HAPPY SUMMER…Never mind the fact that the past week here in the ATL was sweltering in the triple digits, that simply means we are in for one HAUGHT season. AND that means many trips to the pool, vacations and/or stay-cations and a little less clothing. Here’s a great time-saving workout, you’re sure to be pretty excited to pull out the tank top and shorts after a few rounds of these body shaping moves.
Long and lean legs:
Stand tall with your feet hip width apart and your hands on your hips. Square your shoulders and lift your chest. Step your right foot back a stride’s length and bend your knees until your right thigh is perpendicular to the floor and your left thigh is parallel to it. Press off your right toe and lift your right knee up in front of you to waist level. Lower to the start. Alternate left and right lunges.
3 sets of 15
Stand tall with your legs a few inches more than hip-width apart and your toes angled slightly outward. Round your arms in front of your chest and keep your fingertips touching. Squat low so that your butt drops below your knees. Do not allow your knees to move in front of your toes, and keep them slightly bent as you come back up to the start position. Perform 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps. Beginners: Keep your butt level with your knees during the squat. Advanced:Hold a dumbbell up at chest level, grasping the center of the bell with one end facing the floor.
3 sets of 15
Adopt a standing position with your toes pointing out, abdominals tucked and shoulders back. Slowly inhale as you squat down until your hamstrings (the back of your legs) are parallel with the floor. Exhale as you press through your heels and concentrate on squeezing your glutes (your rear end) as you lift. Don’t let your knees go beyond your toes.
3 sets of 15
Strong & Strapless arms
Bend over and rest your left hand on a bench, stool or sturdy chair about 2 1/2 feet high. Extend your right leg behind you so that you’re far enough away from the bench that your back is flat and not rounded Take a dumbbell (or water bottle) in your right hand and bring it straight up toward your hip by bending your elbow and bringing it up behind you towards the ceiling. It should be almost like you are starting lawnmower in slow-motion. When the weight is about at hip level, lower it back down until your arm is hanging straight down.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on a bench with back support. Plant your feet firmly on the floor about hip-width apart. Bend your elbows and raise your upper arms to shoulder height so that the dumbbells are at ear level. Pull your abdominals in so that there’s a slight gap between the small of your back and the bench. Place the back of your head against the pad. Push the dumbbells up and in until the ends of the dumbbells are nearly touching directly over your head, and then lower the dumbbells back to ear level.
Sit on the edge of a chair, step or exercise bench. Place your palm on the bench at your sides with the fingertips pointing away from your body. Lift the hips off of the bench and walk the feet out away from the bench until your body is at an incline. Bending the elbows straight behind you; lower the hips down toward the floor keeping as close to the bench possible without sitting back down. (Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and avoid shrugging into your ears.) Press down into your palms and straighten the arms lifting the body up into your starting position incline. Repeat 12-15 reps for 3-4 sets.
Compliment this balanced strength training workout with 30-60 minutes of cardio which includes walking, running, aerobics, dancing etc.