Whether you are looking to fight off your winter spread or fine-tune your body in time for summer these three simple exercises are perfect for toning your abs, bum and legs. This workout is easy to start and is a great way to get your beach body on the go with the added benefit of not stepping foot in a gym.
- Full Squat
What you gain: shapes your bum, firms your thighs and stimulates flexibility in your legs.
How to do it: Start off standing upright with your shoulders pressed back whilst holding your hands behind your back. Then relax. This ensures good posture which is important for healthy and effective exercise. Place your feet just wider than hip width but not quite shoulder width and point your toes slightly outwards no more than 15 degrees.
Raise your arms above your head and in one motion move your hips backwards and down, lowering your bum past your knees as they bend and spread apart whilst moving your arms down 90 degrees. Hold the squat for a few seconds here to get some burn going. It is extremely important to keep your abs flexed throughout the move to ensure a successful path towards your ideal beach bod.
Start again by raising yourself on your heels, tensing your glutes firmly as you rise and returning your arms above your head, all in one fluid motion. Throughout the movement keep your back and neck straight, your weight on your heels and your knees outward. Repeat as required.
You should feel your bum, hips, hamstrings, quads (front of your upper leg) and abs burning. Try not let your knees past your toes which is usually done by leading the downward movement with your knees, rather use your hips and try not to rock. If you are a first time squatter or have trouble standing up try placing a chair behind you. Momentarily touch the chair with your bum, keeping your hands above your head, and return to the starting position as described above.
- Single-Leg Squat
What you gain: This one-legged move is great for toning and developing your bum and thighs which some might argue are the most important parts of the ideal beach bod. In addition to that, this move is also great for helping muscle growth in your abs, chest and back whilst improving your balance and boosting endurance in your legs.
How to do it: Start by finding a secure chair or bench, that won’t move or wobble, and place it behind you. Step forward from the chair and put your back foot, toe down, on the chair. Stand up with good posture keeping your leg on the chair. Use your hips to lower yourself downward whilst bending your knees, your hips should move back and downwards – during which ensure that your back and neck remain straight and your abs flexed. Ideally your hips should lower to the point where your front leg is bent at an angle slightly less than 90 degrees. Repeat this as many times as you can or are required to.
Try and alternate your legs equally. You should feel a burn in your bum, hips and thighs – slowing down is definitely the way to go for great results as a slower downward movement is more likely to tone and develop your muscles. Don’t let your front knee extend over your toe and keep your back straight. Maintaining your posture during moves is the key to avoiding injury or developing back problems in the long term; luckily if exercise is done correctly it can minimise the effects of strenuous activity on your back, like sitting at a desk from 9-5.
- Sky Humper
What you gain: This could be the most amusing exercise around but don’t let that get in the way of using this potent method for toning and developing your glutes – working out shouldn’t always be hard work anyway.
How to do it: Get on your back with your hands to your sides, palms down. Bring your feet near your bum keeping your knees slightly apart. Keep your shoulders and hands planted to the floor and lift your hips upward by tensing your glutes to create a straight line from your knees down to your shoulders. Lower down and repeat.
You should feel muscles in your abs, hamstrings and glutes at work. Sky humping also indirectly works the group of muscles that support your spine. It’s recommended that you go slowly, besides a potential injury from going too fast your muscles are worked harder when the movement is done slowly. To really get the most bum for your buck try using one leg at a time. Simply raise one leg upwards from the starting position and raise yourself whilst keeping your leg in the air. Repeat this movement and alternate between legs.
These exercises are great for getting your ideal body on the go with limited time and/or money – keep in shape and have fun without paying for gym membership!