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Get bikini ready with strength training

Posted Apr 03 2012 7:00am


We’re getting closer to summer! The days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising. Have you begun to get bikini ready? Last month I discussed the first part of the plan cardio (read the post, here ). If you’ve been doing that, great! Let’s move on to part II strength training. Strength training helps to tone and firm all your muscles. You want to feel confident and strong while wearing shorts, tank tops and a bikini this summer. Strength training is where it’s at!

My strength training plan calls for supersets. You’ll be performing two different exercises back to back. With no rest in between sets, your heart rate stays up therefore burning more calories and upping the intensity.

Before you begin the plan, warm up at an easy pace for 5 to 10 minutes with light cardio such as walking. For the weighted exercises, chose a weight that will be challenging enough that the last repetition is almost unbearable. Rest 60 to 90 seconds in between each superset.

Superset No. 1: Alternating Lunge Jump to Plank
Alternating Lunge Jump: Start with a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with your right leg and lower down into a lunge. Front leg is at 90 degrees and knee is not over your toes. Jump up off the ground and quickly switch your legs so left leg is forward in a lunge. That’s one rep. Continue at a fast pace for 15 to 20 reps.

Plank: Get in pushup position. Legs straight, up on your toes. Lower forearms down to the ground, hands flat on the floor. Your body is in a straight line from toes to head. Think of pulling your belly button to your spine to contract your abs. Hold position for as long as possible. Your goal should be to increase your time each time the exercise is done.

Superset No. 2: Bicep Curl to Overhead Shoulder Press
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Palms are facing up, elbows are tucked into your sides. Curl the weights to your shoulders but don’t let the weights touch your shoulders. With palms of your hands facing you, press the weights up overhead ’til arms are straight. Slowly return to the starting position. That’s one rep.

Superset No. 3: Chest Press on Stability Ball to Bent Over Row
Chest Press: Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit on a stability ball. Walk your feet out so your back is resting on the ball. Bring weights to chest level and arms are out at 90 degrees. Press weights up till arms are straight but elbows are not locked. Slowly lower down to starting position. That’s one rep.

Bent Over Row: Stand with feet apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lean forward slightly from the waist. Bring both arms forward. Pull your elbows straight back as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Slowly return to starting position. That’s one rep.

Superset No. 4: Curtsy Lunge to Triceps Dip
Curtsy Lunge: Stand with feet hip width apart, dumbbell in each hand. Take a step back with your right leg crossing it behind your left. Bend your knees and lower to your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep upper body upright and facing forward. Return to start. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.

Triceps Dip: Find a bench or a chair to sit on. Place your hands shoulder width apart on the bench. Move your feet out as far as you can in front of you. Straighten your arms but don’t lock out the elbow. Slowly lower your upper body toward the floor, keeping your elbows tucked into your sides. Once you reach as low as you can, slowly raise up pushing through your hands and triceps.

Do these exercises 2 to 3 times each week, heart pumping cardio at least 5 times each week, follow a healthy diet and you’ll be bikini ready before you know it!

Angela Bekkala is a Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist who lives in New Hampshire with her husband, twin toddlers and a crazy Lab. Follow her as she blogs about her love of fitness and healthy eating at Happy Fit Mama .

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