Summer is just around the corner, and those sexy bikinis are already staring at you from across the store as if to say, "You know you can't wait to wear me." The long, lazy days stuck indoors during the winter months have contributed to a serious decline in physical activity, and the holiday goodies haven't helped either. You know you want to wear that cute bikini, and frolic around the pool looking fabulous, but joining a gym just isn't within budget or may not fit into your current schedule. Before you give up on your bikini dreams, realize that you don't need to join a fancy gym in order to tighten-up, look and feel amazing! We've compiled some basic exercises that help tighten up the most important parts of your body, and assist you in your mission to look bikini ready by summer!
1. Leg-Elevated Crunches:
Something as simple as doing crunches a few times a week will help tighten up those abs, and blast the squishy from your stomach. One of the most popular kind of crunches involves keeping your legs elevated.
*Lay on the floor, and rest your calves on a chair or a coffee table.
* Bring your head, shoulders and chest off the floor toward your knees, hold briefly, and then recline back.
2. Oblique Crunches:
Yes, crunches again, but these crunches target a different part of your body.
* Lay on the floor with knees up, and twisting your upper torso as you raise the top half of your body toward your knees.
*Twist by bringing your left elbow to your right knee and then reclining back down.
* Repeat the process, switching knees every time.
While this process may seem redundant after completing the crunches previously mentioned crunches, oblique crunches will target one of the biggest problem areas for women, the love handles!
3. Fire Hydrants:
This move is definitely one you will want to do within the comfort of your own home, but is an excellent way to get your buns tight!
* Assume a position on all fours.
* Lift your leg keeping the leg in the bent position, hold, and bring your knee back to the floor.
Though it probably feels as though your emulating a dog peeing on a hydrant, while it may look or feel funny, no one will be laughing at your tightened bikini bottom!
4. Plank-Style Push-ups:
Instead of doing a traditional push-up to tone up your arms, try doing a variation. Plank push-ups are wonderful for really targeting both arms and shoulders!
* Start by getting into the plank position, legs and arms straight, hands below shoulders. Make sure to not allow your middle to dip toward the floor, keep your back as straight as you can.
*Keeping yourself straight, bring your right elbow and hand to the floor, followed by your left.
* Hold the position, then take your right elbow off the floor and re-straighten your arm, following with your left, returning to plank position. Repeat.
5. Bridge Lift (or Butt Lift):
Another great exercise for firming up those glutes, and you will certainly feel the burn with this one!
*Lay down with your knees up and feet flat on the floor, keeping your head down, and arms to your sides.
*Lift your hips towards the ceiling while squeezing your glutes tightly, hold, and lower back to the floor. Repeat.
It's typically recommended to begin repeating these exercises in series of ten, and increasing from there as you become stronger, and more used to them. The key to any exercise regime is making a commitment to workout regularly, anywhere from 3-5 times per week. These exercises are easy enough to complete while watching your favorite programs, and only take a short time to complete. Start toning those arms, abs and glutes, and feel ready when the pool opens for summer!