by Vanna Belt
Most moms have hectic schedules and some days it’s just impossible to fit in a trip to the gym or a run around the block. If you’ve let your workouts slide a bit over the winter, don’t despair. With a regular routine of a few shaping and toning exercises, you’ll be ready to hit the beach with confidence during your next family vacation!
How to Strengthen and Tone Your Body
Getting your body bikini-ready is about more than just weight loss. It’s important to add strength training and toning exercises, and you’ll want to focus on working your behind, legs, abs, and arms. Here are some exercise suggestions for these key areas:
Kickbacks and hip raises are good exercises for toning your bum. For kickbacks, start on your hands and knees and kick one leg back, angling your heel towards the ceiling. Hold for a few breaths and then switch legs. Do at least 10 on each side.
To do a hip raise, lay on your back with your knees bent, feet on the ground. Raise your hips slowly, squeezing your glutes tightly. Hold for 45 seconds or a count of 5 breaths and then lower and repeat.
Lunges and squats are very effective leg toning exercises. As an added bonus, you’ll also work your glutes. To add intensity, use hand weights and try jumping to switch legs between each deep lunge. Here are two more lunge variations I recommend that also work the obliques.
Plank position is fabulous for strengthening your abs, shaping your core and strengthening your lower back. Raise your body up straight and don’t let your hips sag. Hold the position until you can no longer keep a good form.
Pushups are a great way to strengthen your arms. If you can’t do the full version at first, there are many variations and adaptations that will still give you a workout. You’ll also want to do reps of bicep curls and overhead drops to work your triceps. Invest in a set of hand weights or check out my V-Bands for the same benefit in a more portable form.
Don’t Forget Cardio!
Constant toning won’t be as effective if you are not also combatting fat. Aim for 30 minutes of cardio five times per week while you’re in intense mode getting ready for family vacation season. If you think treadmills are boring, get outdoors and go swimming, hiking, jogging, or biking. Cardio workouts raise metabolism, so you’ll burn more calories all day long.
Your ideal swimsuit body is within reach. Visualize your goal and how fabulous you’ll look on the beach this summer. Once you get started, the progress you see will help you stay motivated.