As its time to show off your best side at the beach get that body toned, sculpted and ready to strut at a sandy beach in an itsy-bitsy two piece. The two greatest concerns for a woman’s beach body should be the legs and glutes.
One Leg Squat: This is one of the most effective sport specific resistance conditioning exercise available.
- Stand straight, with your body weight supported on your right foot, which should be flat on the floor. Tuck your left heel up behind you, with your lower leg roughly parallel to the ground and your left knee aligned with the right. Balance;
- Look straight ahead and don’t arch or curve your back but maintain neutral spine position;
- Keep arms by your sides.
- Flex your knees and hips to ‘drop’ your butt towards the floor. Keep your chest lifted;
- Lower to the point where it becomes difficult to maintain your balance, pause and flex your knees and hips to return to the start position. Make sure you do this in a controlled fashion;
- To prevent knee injury:
- Ensure that your knee hinges in a straight line, with lateral movement kept to a minimum;
- Make sure your knee does not travel beyond your toes when lowering and rising;
- Don’t lock your knee out – i.e. completely straighten it – at the top of the movement.
One-Legged Toe Touch: tone your butt
- Stand on your left foot with right leg off the floor and extended slightly behind you.
- Shift your weight onto the back of your foot and, keeping your back as straight as possible, bend at the hips and reach toward your left toe with your right hand (if you’re inflexible, place a water bottle or upright dumbbell on the floor and reach for that).
- Squeeze your butt and stand back upright, making sure to keep your leg and back as straight as you can (don’t lock knee).
- Perform 12—15 reps and repeat on the other leg.
- Advanced exercisers may hold a single dumbbell in their reaching hand; beginners may hold a wall for balance.
Lying Ball Raise – Sculpt the glutes
- Lie face down on a mat with legs stretched and turned out, toes pointed and holding a small stability ball between the ankles.
- Rest the forehead on the hands.
- Keeping legs stretched and squeezing the ball between the ankles, contract the glute muscles to raise the ball off the ground as high as possible (most likely a few inches).
- Try not to use the upper body at all.
- Focus on allowing the lower body to perform the movement.
- Breathe out as you lift the legs and in as you lower. Raise the ball slowly and lower to ½ an inch off the ground.
- Perform 15 repetitions, rest and repeat.
Plank — Sculpts the full body with an emphasis on the core.
- Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
- Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
- Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
- Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle.
- Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
Lying Side Kick: When balancing on the smaller surface area of your side, your core stabilizer (abdominal) muscles and your hip muscles are forced to work harder. The following exercise is a movement that targets the top hip joint, and strengthens the muscles of the outside and back of the hip. It can be conducted in sets of 8 to 10 repetitions for each side.
- Lie on your side with your bottom leg bent forward and forming a 90 degree angle. Your top leg should be straight and directly below your hip.
- While breathing in, keep the top leg straight and rotate it clockwise as far as you can move it. Hold this position.
- While breathing out, point your top foot and sweep the top leg back into its original position, without distributing the position of your pelvis and spine.
Full Body Extensions: Firms lower back and glutes
- Lie facedown with hands at sides. Keeping head and neck in straight line, lift chest 2 to 4 inches off ground. Hips and tops of feet should stay anchored. Hold for two breaths, then slowly lower. Do 8 reps.
- With toes pointed, contract glutes and hamstrings and lift and extend both legs 6 to 12 inches off ground. Hold for two breaths, then slowly lower. Do 8 reps.
- Lift chest and legs simultaneously, balancing on pelvis. Hold for two breaths, then slowly lower. Do 8 reps.
Beach Ball Squeeze: Slims inner thighs
- Lie on back with arms at sides.
- Place large, firm beach ball (or exercise ball) between legs and raise legs until perpendicular to body.
- Feet should be flexed and legs bent slightly.
- Using inner thigh muscles, slowly squeeze into the ball for a count of 4.
- Pause, then slowly “unsqueeze” to a count of 4, without completely releasing tension.
- Do 10 reps.
Ball Hug: Sculpts chest and shoulders
- Hold large, firm beach ball (or exercise ball) between hands.
- Lift breastbone, contract chest muscles, and squeeze ball as firmly as possible for a count of 5.
- Release ball slightly, then squeeze again.
- Do 16 reps.
The Reverse Lunge: The most effective and safest variation of lunging is the Reverse Lunge. Unlike a forward Lunge, taking a step backwards rather then forward completes a reverse Lunge. The effects on the muscle are the same, but the reverse Lunge places less stress on the knees because the knees cannot extend beyond the toes.
- Begin with your feet shoulder width apart, torso erect. Take a slow, controlled step backwards.
- When the ball of your foot touches the floor, continue the movement by lowering your hips so that your forward thigh becomes parallel to the floor. At this point your forward knee should be positioned directly over your ankle or foot slightly behind. Your front foot should be pointing straight ahead, and your trailing knee should be extended to stretch your hip flexor muscles.
- After reaching the most comfortable bottom position, shift your balance forward and then push off with your rear foot while straitening your forward leg. When you have returned to the starting position, repeat the movement with the other leg.
- During the reverse Lunge your weight is primarily centered upon your forward leg, which remains stationary, making it easier to maintain your balance.
Dips: firm up those flabby arms
- Line up flat exercise bench or raised surface wide enough apart so that when you lean on with the palms of your hands, the heels of your feet just fit on the edge without falling off.
- Curl your fingers around the edge of the bench, holding your hands outside of your hips.
- Slowly lower your body as far down as possible (until your upper arms are parallel to the floor) by bending your upper arms. Keep your forearms and elbows stationary throughout the exercise. Raise yourself to the starting position by pushing up with your triceps. Flex your triceps as you raise to the top.
- Try doing 20 repetitions of your own weight for 3 sets. If this is not difficult enough, you can always hook weights around your waist with a belt.
Muscle tone is critical to looking good at the beach. In order to perfect the beach body, incorporate 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise into your daily workout plan. A low-fat diet is also critical, as consuming less saturated and trans fat will make you appear leaner and more toned.