Make the most of your summer wardrobe and get those legs and arms in shape. Our specially designed workout tones and trim your whole body till they’re beach, pool or party ready. Fabulous!
Top three tips for getting your body bikini ready?
- Cut down on refined sugar, eat more fibre and drink more water. Almost all of us consume too much sugar and salt when compared to what our bodies actually need meaning that we put on weight and retain more water.
- Plan your exercise sessions and do them with friends. Exercising with friends is a great motivator and you can all support and encourage each other. If your mates don't want to go to the gym, join in a class and you'll meet lots of other people there who have similar goals to you.
- Exercise 3 times a week and include resistance training in at least 2 of these sessions.
Four key exercises for toning natural curves?
Natural curves are good, learn to love them! They make you womanly and it's much more appealing to have curves rather than to be all skin and bones. But bursting out of your usual jeans is not a good look. So to get rid of those excess fatty bits it's best to do exercises that incorporate the whole of your body. Try these:
- Squats or Squat jump (to target your legs and core; stand tall with feet just wider than hip distance apart. Bend your knees and sit back into a squat. Take the majority of your weight back into your heels but remember to keep your chest lifted to avoid leaning forwards too much. Push your heels into the ground as you straighten your legs and return to the start position. To make this harder, add in a jump; from the bottom of your squat, push off the floor and jump as high as you can. Land softly through your feet as you go back into your squat.)
- Walking lunges (to target your legs and core; start standing tall, draw your shoulder blades back and down and aim to keep your torso in this good posture throughout. Take a big step forwards with your right leg and bend both knees into a lunge. Aim to make a right angle at both your knee joints at the bottom of your lunge. Take a big step forwards with the left leg into your next lunge and repeat.)
- Press ups (to target your chest, shoulders and core; there are lots of options for all levels of fitness. For an easier option, begin on all fours. Progress to a ¾ position or half plank position and for a tough option, start in a full plank balancing on the balls of your feet and hands. Which ever position you start in, aim to keep your back straight in it’s natural curves, avoid your lower back sagging or dipping too much. Take your hands wider than shoulder width and take the weight of your body through your arms and hands. Bend your elbows out to the sides of the room and lower your chest towards the floor so that it is in line with your hands (not behind your hands!). Breathe out and push your self back up to the start position straightening your arms keeping your elbow off lock.
- Sky Diver (to target your back; lie on your front with arms outstretched. Squeeze your butt and engage abdominals. Lift both legs, both arms and shoulders off the floor as if you were skydiving, then lower back down).
For each exercise:
- Beginners: 12 - 15 reps, 3 sets with 45 second break in between each set.
- If you’re active already: 8 – 10 reps, 3 sets with a 30 second break in between each set
- For a challenge: perform the exercise explosively for 20 seconds, take 10 seconds break and repeat 6 – 8 times.
- Make sure you have warmed up before doing these exercises and stretch at the end of your workout.
No quick wins. You have to earn your beach bod!
How much should you exercise in the run-up to beach season?
New to exercise? Do 3 sessions a week of cardio for 30 minutes and for 2 of the sessions add in 20 minutes of resistance exercises. Always make sure you have at least one rest day a week.
If you are already exercising but have reached a plateau, change your routine and try different types of activity to give your body a new challenge.
Be careful not to go crazy by exercising a lot more than you are used to all in one go as you could risk getting injured or burnt out.
What are the secret fat-busting exercises to combat problem areas like bum and tums fast?
There are no secret fat busting exercises. The best thing you can do is to change up your exercise selection. Swap the resistance machines for TRX suspension exercises or the ViPR. Replace the treadmill for an Aqua class or swim. Give your body a new challenge.
Best classes to boost your summer workout plan?
- Cardio Based Classes - Cardio exercise is a great way to burn fat and raise metabolism. Classes such as Body Attack and Zumba involve high-intensity exercises that work the whole body. With a mixture of high and low impact moves, your heart rate will rise, body temperature rises and you will start to burn calories. The harder you push yourself in cardio based classes, the better your results will be. The calories burnt will be a mixture of calories from carbohydrates and fat stored in your body. The harder you work the more calories you will burn overall.
- Pilates - Pilates focuses on toning the muscles of the core and in classes, exercises are performed on a mat using your own body weight as resistance to strengthen and tone your body. You are taught body awareness and how to maintain a good posture with exercises that will improve your posture and muscular balance. By creating balance through your body and building your core strength through Pilates, you are generally able to perform other exercises in the gym and in other classes much better making them more effective and giving you better results.
- Puma Faas and Fast classes - Fast classes are Virgin Active’s express Group Exercise and usually take place in the gym. During a Fast Class and also during our Puma Faas class, you workout at a high intensity but just for a shorter amount of time than other traditional classes. Classes are similar to Circuit training but just for 20 or 30 minutes and involve exercises that target your whole body. These classes are high in intensity with small periods of rest in between exercises, this interval training technique will speed up your metabolism and help you to burn more fat as compared to some other lower intensity activities. Many different types of exercises and equipment can be used within Fast classes e.g. Power Plate®, Kettlebells™, ViPR™ and TRX. Our Puma Faas class involves speed, agility and quickess drills to give you a great cardio workout as well as body weight exercises and resistance work using weight plates or cords to strengthen and tone all over. Anyone from new exercisers to experienced athletes can take part in these classes, you push yourself to your own capabilities and instructors will make sure that you progress each week to get you closer to your fitness goals.
So there you have it. Nobody said it was going to be easy. But with our expertise and foolproof plan and your hardwork, you'll soon be ready to show off your new beach body!
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