You’ve booked the holiday, scheduled in a salon fake tan and then you pull last year’s bikini from the wardrobe. "Aaargh!" Trying it on in front of the mirror causes you to scream in fright. With little time to prepare before you jet off to a beach in the sun you need a quick fix shape-up plan.
But don’t fret. It will only take 15 minutes three times a week to gain yourself a fab beach body. The emphasis is on short, sharp and effective workout sessions, with exercises to target those swimsuit troublespots, including tums, thighs, butt, chest and upper arms.
The exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home and if you want to increase intensity simply hold a bag of sugar or a tin of beans in each hand.
Of course, it’s important that you also pay attention to your diet. Stick to a healthy balanced eating plan and try to cut out the snacks.
Cardio and toning workout for bikini get fit plan
Cardiovascular exercise will help to burn the fat, too. Try to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of walking or swimming three times a week. One way to do this is to go for a brisk walk at lunchtime or walk the kids to school or an after-school club instead of jumping in the car.
Remember it’s never too late to make a difference to your shape – and you should see good results in as little as four weeks.
15-minute bikini workout
Warm up (five minutes):
Light to moderate aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, jogging on the spot, jumping jacks, arm-to-knee lifts or skipping.
Opposite arm to knee lift:
Stand on the spot, lift left knee and bring right elbow to meet it, twisting body slightly. Return to a standing position and switch sides. One minute.
Start in normal standing position, with arms by sides, jump feet apart and lift arms into the air. As you jump bring feet back together and arms back down. Repeat for one minute.
Strength and tone up
Do a set of each of these toning moves once before moving on to the next exercise. Keep rest time between exercises to a minimum to maximise calorie burn.
Perkie pecs press ups:
Kneel down on floor and place hands shoulder-width apart in front of you. Adjust body position so that your knees are as far away from hands as you can tolerate. Make sure your backside is tucked in and tummy muscles are pulled in tight. With weight on hands, slowly lower yourself towards the floor, before pushing back up to start position.
Repeat 10 times
Shapely thighs squats:
Stand with back against a wall and step feet slightly forward. With feet planted in front, slowly slide down the wall stopping when thighs are parallel with the floor. Hold this position for as long as you can. Start with 30 seconds twice over. Build up over the weeks to holding for 60 seconds.
Repeat: once or twice.
Banish bingo wings with a dip:
Sit on a sturdy chair and place hands either side of hips with fingers pointing in the same direction as you are facing. Slowly lower yourself off edge of chair, bending from the elbow to support body weight. Come down until your elbows are bent at right angles and then push back up. Start with feet fairly close to the chair and progress by taking them further away.
Repeat 15 times
Bootylicious glute raises:
Lie flat on the floor with knees bent and feet close to your body. Drive hips up into the air, focusing on using the muscles in butt to lift body weight. Hold for a second before lowering to the floor. To progress, try lifting one leg into the air and focusing on each side individually.
Repeat 20 times
Jump squat for luscious legs:
Take it easy with this one to start as it can be tough. Start in a squat position, with feet hip width apart and hips lowered, bound into the air in an upwards direction, landing in the same position as you started. Repeat, making sure to land with knees bent to reduce impact. It it’s too much for you then go for more jumping jacks in the allotted time.
Repeat: 5 to 10 times
Core factor with the plank:
Lie face down on the floor and align elbows under shoulders. Slowly lift body off the floor, supporting weight on elbows and toes. Aim to maintain a straight body position, making sure your lower back doesn’t sag towards the floor. Hold for as long as you can. Aim for 30 seconds initially, building up to a full minute. If all this is too much then start with a plank on your knees.
Crunches for abs of steel:
Lie flat on back on the floor with knees bent and feet fairly close to body. Place a rolled up towel or cushion between knees. Take hands behind head and squeeze tummy muscles to lift upper back and shoulder blades off the floor. As you curl upwards, squeeze knees together to intensify the “crunch”. Don’t worry about how far you are coming up – focus instead on a small, yet intense movement to activate the muscles of the abdomen fully. Keep a gap between your chin and chest (don’t lower your chin) and keep elbows wide as you come up. Aim for controlled crunches.
Repeat 15 to 20 times
Kneel on all fours, making sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips. Elevate your left arm and your right leg simultaneously, extending the limbs fully and keeping your back as flat as you can. Aim to create as much length through your body as you can, reaching your hand forward and stretching toes back. Slowly lower and switch sides. Do 10 repetitions on each side.
Repeat 5 to 10 on each side
Cool down (three minutes):
Finish your workout with some gentle stretches – holding each one for 10 – 15 seconds. Include calves, glutes, quads, arms, back and shoulders.
Note: Always check with a doctor before starting a new fitness regime if you have any doubts about your health. Start slowly and at your own level. This work out is for someone who will already be doing some exercise a few times a week.