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Workout Tips

This section of our health library is devoted to – you guessed it – workout tips! Learn about all things fitness in these articles that are designed to help you get up and get moving, regardless of your physical ability.

20 Minutes to Your Best Bikini Body



20 Minutes to Your Best Bikini Body

It’s officially time to bring your yellow polka dot bikini out of the closet, but you may have some reservations about showing off your swimsuit.

If you want to trim up and tone up just in time for bikini season, with only 20 minutes each day, here are some simple activities you can utilize in your workout, courtesy of our fitness expert.

Lunges

Most people target their abs when it comes to toning up for bikini season, but let’s not forget about your other muscles.

“What most people don’t realize is that lunges are one of the best all-in-one toning exercises you can do, especially if you are gearing up for summer,” says Sean Wells, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, and the fitness expert at BistroMD. “Different types of lunges can work your abs, butt, hips and thighs all at once.”

With a light pair of dumbbells (15-20 pounds total), do a typical lunge to strengthen and tone your legs and core. With your arms placed at your sides, grip the dumbbells in each hand, step out and bend at the knee, keeping your front foot flat, and remaining on your toes with your back foot. Push your weight down into the lunge, bending your knees and keeping your back straight.

Do 3 reps, in conjunction with the rest of your workout. To work your abs, butt, hips and thighs, try an extended lunge by participating in yoga. Yoga utilizes a lot of different warm-ups and advanced techniques that are great for working these muscle groups.

Cardio

“Cardio done about three days out of the week, for about 20 minutes each day can really help you tone up your arms and legs,” says Sean. “Your calves will also look more tone and fit.”

Using a treadmill? To help tone your arms during cardio, Sean suggests incorporating a light medicine ball.

“Making sure you are walking briskly at a more medium pace, hold the medicine ball in front of you, and slightly twist from side to side as you stride,” says Sean. “This works especially well if you are on a treadmill.”

The Mermaid

The mermaid is a traditional stretching technique that is used in Pilates. It’s also a very efficient and simple way to tone your abs and obliques, with little time required.

“The mermaid makes for a great warm-up before any activity,” says Sean. “By performing multiple reps, you can easily get a nice and effective, 20-minute abdominal workout.”

Here is a great example of how to do the mermaid stretch, courtesy of Fitness Magazine.

Start out by laying face up on the floor with your arms extended behind your head. Lift your torso about 45 degrees off the floor and bring your arms directly in front of you at shoulder level. As you are doing this, bend your knees 90 degrees and raise your legs together so that your shins are parallel to the floor.

Maintaining this position, rotate shoulders and arms toward the right, and rotate your legs to the left. Return to the center and repeat, for about 12 reps.

For more tips from our experts, please visit our healthy library section for more information.

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