Best Summer Workout for a Strong and Lean Body
Let's be clear: I don't believe in the perfect bikini body OR that you should work for a perfect bikini body. Why? Because a perfect bikini body doesn't exist. You have a body? Perfect. You have a bikini? Great. You have a perfect bikini body. What I want for you is to feel happy and healthy and that is different for each person. BUT, the workout I designed below will make you strong and lean and you don't need anything beside yourself. You will use your own body weight in all of the exercises, which requires you to have good form and balance.
Perfect form is important, so that you engage the right muscles and don't hurt yourself. Balance is great because you engage tiny muscle groups that you wouldn't normally work and you will most likely use your core in order to stay balanced - and who doesn't want a tight core?
The Sweat Party portion of the workout is High Intensity Training, which you have heard me talk about quite a bit because I believe (and science supports me on this) that it creates optimum results. You spike your heart rate and work intensely for a minute or so, then cool down for a period of time, before you spike your heart rate again.
The Bendable Body part of the workout creates strong but lean muscle, because you stretch and extend yourself. Just think if you worked your core and legs very hard, your muscles tighten and "bulk". Stretch and extend, to create space and length.
Gently stretch the connective tissue and muscles on both the front and the back of the body. Take a deep breath and find a rhythm that feels good to you. Here's how: as you breathe in, stretch your arms upwards and back while you bend your legs in a half squat. Make sure you stretch up and back, so that you extend the front of the body. Then exhale while moving your arms forward, rounding your back and extending the back of the body. Then inhale again and swipe up your arms to start over. Work in line with your breathing and repeat for 5-8 breaths.
2. Side Stretch
Improves mobility of the ankle joints and hips while stretching the back. Take your time and change it up, keep turning your body to stretch out in all different ways by reaching with your arms. We rarely move symmetrically in the day, so it is useful for the body to stretch out in ways that feel new and maybe a bit hilarious. Here's how: Stand wide and sink into a side lunge but keep your feet facing forward without lifting your toes or heels. Rotate outwards and diagonally with your arms and upper body to access new places. Then change legs. Repeat 5-8 times per side.
3. Side Angle Lunge and Dip
Stretches the hips and the long back muscles and provides deep breaths. Here's how: Position yourself into a deep lunge, one foot forward, one foot back, both hands placed on the inside of your front leg. Then extend the arm closest to the front leg straight up into the sky. Breathe. Come down with the same arm, bend, and touch your elbow to the floor. Repeat 5-8 times and then switch sides.
4. Frog Squat
Opens chest and hips. Here's how: Sit in a deep squat with your heels to the floor and arms stretched out in front of you, elbows to your knees. Rotate your upper body to one side and stretch the opposite arm above your head, look up over your shoulder. Change side. Repeat 5-8 times per side.
5. Flip the Dog
Extends the back of the leg, stretches your spine and entire front. Here's how: Stand in a downward facing dog, extend one leg to the sky. Open up the hip of the extended leg so far that your foot reaches the floor behind you. Place your foot on the floor, then lift your opposite arm upwards and back for a deep stretch of the chest, stomach and hip. Rotate back and switch sides. Repeat 3-4 times per side.
6. Three Legged Bridge
Extends the chest, shoulders, biceps and increases mobility in the back. Here's how: Stand on all fours with your butt on ground and face up. Push through one arm and your legs. Press the hips and chest toward the sky while stretching the free arm backwards to increase the stretch. Repeat 5-8 times per side.
7. Front Leg Stretch
Extends the front of the foot, thighs and knees. This increases mobility of your ankles and extends the fascia of the shin that is often stiff. Here's how: Sit on your knees with your feet under you, tows to the ground. Shift your weight gently to one side, then lift the knee on the opposite side and feel how it stretches the front of the foot, the ankle and the lower leg. Hold for a few seconds and then lower the leg again. Repeat 3-4 times per side.
Each block consists of a strength part and a flush part: first you built up strength and therefore lactic acid, then you flush it out.
Strength: First work through two strength exercises, 60 seconds each. High tempo!
Sweat Push: After that, work with two flush exercises for 15, 30 and 45 seconds - rest 15 seconds between each exercise. Do this: exercise Nr. 1 for 15 sec (rest 15 sec), exercise Nr. 2 for 30 sec (rest 15 sec), exercise Nr. 1 for 45 sec (rest 15 sec), exercise Nr2. for 30 sec (rest 15 sec), exercise Nr.1 for 15 sec (rest 15 sec).
Strength Nr. 1:
Take a big step to the side and sink into a side lunge with your feet facing forward, while rushing your elbows backwards. Squeeze your shoulders blades together properly. Step your feet back together and then take a big step to the other side. Keep going at a high pace.
Strength Nr. 2:
Stand in plank position and lower yourself down, hold just before the ground. Press yourself back up and lift your butt as in downward dog. Lift one arm and touch your hand to the same side knee. Shift your weight forward, lift one leg and step it forward into a deep lunge. Step the leg back so that it puts you into plank position. Then repeat the exercise from the beginning. Switch legs each time.
Sweat Push Nr. 1
High knees in place. Lift your knees as high into your chest as you can. Work fast but diligent. Move your arms in the rhythm with your knees.
Sweat Push Nr. 2
Stand with your feet facing forward, hip distance apart and legs bent into a squat. Place your right hand to the ground. Push through your feet and jump, make yourself long and tall, land with your left hand to the ground. Repeat. Always keep your chest lifted. Jump at a high pace and switch sides at every jump.
Strength Nr. 1
Stand on one leg. The other leg is lifted off the ground, knee forward and at a right angle to the floor. Gently kick your leg back, letting your upper body move forward in to a Warrior 3. Extend your arms straight forward from your head with your palms facing each other, thumbs t the sky. Then lift your upper body while moving leg back to the starting position. Repeat 5 times before switching sides.
Strength Nr. 2
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend and place your hands onto the ground over to one side. Push through your hands and jump to the side while lifting your feet and butt up into the sky, like trying to make a hand stand. Land back on your feet in a deep squat. Then push through your feet explosively and jump high. Do another one like this in the same direction before switching.
Sweat Push Nr. 1
Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Take a deep breath and bend knees, pushing your butt as far back as possible. Then jump explosively and pull your knees up to your chest as much as you can. Land back into the squat position and repeat immediately.
Sweat Push Nr. 2
Stretch your arms over your head. Then bend over and put your hands to the ground, then jump your feet back to plank. As soon as your feet in the ground behind you, jump back into a squat and stand tall. Repeat immediately.