FITNESS

Bikini Body Guide

Tips and exercises to help get your body ready for that swimsuit!

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By Maddy Bond

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Getting fit and healthy for the summer can be exhausting. Most people don’t know where to start and usually give up before they even begin. It can seem like a complicated process but it’s actually pretty simple. Try not to feel overwhelmed; it simply comes down to what you do and what you eat. Here are some tips and exercises to help get your summer body looking awesome.

Calorie deficit

Losing weight requires an energy deficit — which means more energy is going out of your body via exercise than is coming in from food. First of all, our bodies require a certain amount of energy to function. Everyone is different, but a safe base is 1500 calories a day, and you should not go below this. If you eat too few calories, your body will use existing stored fat as energy, but it will also use the muscle. And to have the toned look you’re after, you need to have muscle. So eat plenty of food and supplement it with exercise instead of fasting.

Weights cardio

Weightlifting vs cardio. Funnily enough, you don’t need one or the other to get that summer body. You need both. If you are trying to lose weight and get toned, weightlifting and cardio work extremely well together. Cardio will help you burn a little extra to get that calorie deficit, while weightlifting will build the muscles to help you look more toned and tight.

Knowing what weights to lift and what exercises to do is the tricky part, so the next three exercises can be done individually or all together as a full body workout. Try them during your next session and see how it goes!

Curtsy lunge and curl to press

The curtsy lunge is a great way to tone your legs, and a curl to press is going to tone your arms, so why not combine them? Start standing with dumbbells held to your side. Step your left leg back and behind your right leg so your left foot lands at a diagonal angle from your right foot. Bend both knees and lower down as far as you can, then do a bicep curl and keep the weights at your shoulders. Squeeze your right glute as you stand and put your feet back into the starting position, then finally press the weights up above your head, bring them down to your side, and repeat for the other leg. Enjoy the burn!

Plank row

Plank rows involve your core and back muscles and are an excellent full body workout to get you toned in no time. Start in a straight arm plank position with both hands holding dumbbells. From here drive your right elbow back as if you were pushing something away with it, and lift the weight till it reaches your side. When you lift your arm up, your body will want to shift your weight and turn your hips. Squeeze your core to prevent this. Lower the weight in a controlled manner back to the ground and then repeat with the other arm.

Mountain climber push ups

Mountain climbers are a perfect exercise for the whole body. Get into a straight arm plank position, then march your knees forward one at a time and return them to the plank. Speed up so you’re almost running, and try to do 20 per leg or more. Remember to keep your hips flat so your core is engaged in that plank position.

Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow.  She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.

Main Photo Credit: solominviktor/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: kudla/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Gorodenkoff/shutterstock.com