Stephanie Says…. Get Beach-Body Ready (The EASY Way)
Alright ladies (and gentlemen) suck in your tummy, squeeze and really feel the burn! In America, the big kick off to summer is Memorial Day Weekend (MDW) which is at the end of the month. For us Jersey Girl’s that means picking out the perfect house down the shore, getting our bodies in shape, and packing the perfect beach outfits.
I know in the UK you all just had two long weekends… I’m sure that Easter dinner and all of those chocolate bunnies did not help your waist line. I know it’s cold and we are all ready for summer, but let’s stop day dreaming about it and become proactive!
Over the weekend I found a great 30 day challenge from www.30dayfitnesschallenge.com that is going to really work on your abs and butt. It is called the 30 Day Ab and Squat Challenge. Pair this with their 30 Days Arms Challenge and you are beach ready!
I have done their 30 Day Squat Challenge. You seriously feel the burn and get a great workout so I can only imagine how these two challenges are going to be. I am excited to be doing these exercises! Personally, I think the 30 Day Fitness Challenges are great if you are starting to work out. I know when I did their 30 Day Squat Challenge I thought “sounds easy enough, why not try it and get my booty looking like Kim K?” BOY was I WRONG (but I was happy to be wrong). These exercise (for me at least) got my heart rate up, I felt the burn and was sore in my legs and butt, and didn’t even take me 10 minutes! I know we all have 10 minutes to spare. When you read the challenge, don’t psyche yourself out and thinking you cannot do it, BECAUSE YOU CAN! Break up the workout… for example: the last day on the Abs and Squat Challenge is says to do 40 sit ups/ 100 crunches/ 100 squats. Turn it into 2 or 3 mini work-outs. Do 20 sit up, 50 crunches, and 50 squats- then repeat. That is the only way I got through the 30 Day Squat Challenge. Now I can probably bang out 100 Squats without a problem because of that challenge!
Starting today, for the next 30 Days I pledge to do the following: 30 Days Abs and Squat Challenge and the 30 Days Arms Challenge. I am going to do the whole sha-bang. I will take before and after pictures and post my measurements. I hope you guys get up and moving. If even you get up off the couch during the commercials when you are watching your favorite show, at least you are up and moving! If you cannot do what the first day calls for, cut it in half and work your way up… the point is that you are up and moving! Good Luck and HAVE FUN!
Follow me on Instagram @pmpstephaniesays to see my before/after and in-between pics!
DISCLAIMER: I am in no way shape or form a personal trainer, nutritionist, dietitian, doctor, nothing! My job isn’t even remotely close to being in the medical field. This is just my personal opinion. DO THESE EXERCISES AT YOUR OWN RISK. If you are unsure if you can perform these tasks, consult with your doctor first! Trust me, you do not want to get hurt… it’s not fun!
If you do not know how to do a workout move please read the below instructions:
Doing sit-ups is a quick way to get stronger abdominal muscles. Start off with the basics and then try some modifications to the traditional sit up when you get stronger.
- Have your knees bent and the balls of your feet and heels placed flat on the ground.
- Place your hands on opposing shoulders, so that your arms are crossed over your chest, or behind your head. This allows you a central rising point.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles gently by drawing in your belly button to your spine
- Keeping your heels on the ground and your toes flat to the ground, slowly and gently lift your head first, followed by your shoulder blades. Focus your eyes on your bent knees, all the while gently contracting the abdominal muscles. Pull up from the floor until you’re at a ninety-degree angle, or when the elbows are on, or past, the knees.
- Hold the position for a second. Slowly bring the torso back to the floor but try to keep it slightly elevated off the ground. This means not to place your back flat to the ground but to keep a slight, yet relaxed, arch.
The squat is an excellent upper and lower body workout that primarily targets your thighs and butt, but also works the hamstrings and lower back.
- Plant your feet flat on the ground, about shoulder-width apart.
- Point your feet slightly outward, not straight ahead.
- Never let your knees extend beyond your toes.
- Look straight ahead. Bend at your knees as if you were going to sit back in a chair, keeping your heels on the floor.
- Pull in your abs, and keep your lower back in a near neutral position (a slightly arched back might be unavoidable).
- Tighten your whole body when you perform the squat.
- Lower yourself. In a controlled manner slowly lower yourself down and back so that your upper legs are nearly parallel with the floor. Extend your arms for balance.
- Keep the upper body tight at all times.
- MODIFIED: ***** In you have poor balance or need to do a modified version try doing a squat and actually sit on the chair.
Want six-pack abs? Try crunches. They’re a lot like sit-ups, except that instead of lifting your entire back off the floor, you only lift your upper back. This isolates (“crunches”) the ab muscles without engaging muscles in your hips.
- Lie on your back on the floor. Using a mat or carpeted surface is more comfortable, but make sure it doesn’t have too much cushioning.
- Bend your knees. Your feet can be flat on the floor, or you can keep them suspended in the air during your crunches for a little extra crunch.
- Cross your arms in front of your chest. You can also place your hands behind your neck or head, but many people tend to pull their head or neck up during the exercise, which can place extra strain on the spine. Your head and neck should be resting on your hands.
- Lift your shoulders towards the ceiling using your abdominal muscles and pause at the peak. It is very important not to lift your entire back off the floor, as this can cause back strain, and the extended movement does not help you develop six pack abs any faster. When your shoulders are off the ground, pause and hold that position for a full second (or more).
- Ease back down slowly as you inhale. Don’t just “plop” back down. Your control on the way down works your ab muscles as well.
Toning your triceps — the muscles that run on the backside of your upper arm, from your shoulder to your elbow — is one way to easily prep your arms for tank tops. A basic body-weight exercise, triceps dips don’t require much equipment: if you don’t have a bench, you can always do them on the ground.
- Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair.
- Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you.
- Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
- Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench.
- Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep.
- Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body. You can bend your legs to modify this exercise.
Mountain climber is one of the plyometric exercises which strengthen multiple muscle groups in addition to the cardiovascular system. To this exercise, you must activate the core abdominal muscles in addition to those in both the lower and upper body. How to do mountain climbers exercise properly for optimum results?
- Start the exercise by lying face down on the floor.
- Straighten out your arms and then touch your knees down to the ground or floor.
- Now you are ready to lift yourself up into position. When doing this, be sure that your hands are directly under your chest at a width that is slightly more than your shoulder length distance.
- Once you have settled into position and checked the position of your hands you should be sure to keep your legs stretched out, ensuring that they are properly lined up with the rest of your body. Pay special attention to your knees as many people tend to create a gap here but that should be avoided. If the recommended position is uncomfortable for you, it is alright to modify it slightly as long as you maintain the correct posture.
- Now you should stretch out your left leg for stability. Bend your right knee and bring it up in the direction of your right hand. At this point, you should be in a similar position to the one you would be in if you were climbing a mountain or tree (hence the name) except horizontal instead of vertical.
- After bringing your right knee up, return it to the original position and do the previous step with your left leg. (Once again, bend the left knee and bring it up towards the left hand mimicking the actions of a mountain climber)
- After you have done various repetitions, if you would like a challenge try placing your hands on a slightly raised platform or a step as this will make the mountain climber a bit more difficult.
- When doing this exercise, you should do at least three sets with between 12 and 15 repetitions per set.
Push-ups—we’ve all done ‘em, but sometimes they just don’t look so pretty. Fear not! We’ve got the guide to get it right. Push-ups are a total-body functional move that are great for increasing strength, much like bench-pressing, and have the added benefit of engaging the core and lower body (thanks, gravity!). The bodyweight exercise can be done just about anywhere—with a ton of variations to liven things up. So let’s drop down and do the perfect push-up.
- Get into a plank position with hands planted directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder width apart). Ground the toes into the floor to stabilize the bottom half of the body. Engage the abs and back so the body is neutral. In other words, flat as a… plank (ah, now we get it!)
- Begin to lower the body—back flat, eyes focused about three feet in front of you to keep a neutral neck—until the chest nearly touches the floor. (Note: Some experts say a push-up isn’t a push-up unless the chest actually grazes the ground). Don’t let the butt dip or stick out at any point during the move; the body should remain flat from head to toe all the way through the movement. Draw the shoulder blades back and down, while keeping the elbows tucked close to the body, so the upper arms form a 45-degree angle at the bottom of the push-up position.
- Keeping the core engaged, exhale as you push back to the start position as explosively as possible without leaving the ground (pow!). That’s one! Repeat for 10-20 reps or as many as can be performed with good form (no sagging those hips, ya heard?)
- MODIFIED: **** If you need a modified version, try bending your knees instead of doing a normal pushup.