It’s always a great time to start taking care of your body, especially now that jumping into bikinis has never been closer! Following you have a full body workout to strengthen, tone up and burn that extra fat, all while keeping a great posture that gives you confidence. All you need is a mat and a little bit of your time. Our certified fitness and personal trainer Martina suggests one more factor as very important – discipline when it comes to what fuels your body- if you remove unhealthy fats and excessive carbs from your diet, results will come so much quicker for you. Make sure you warm up a little before the workout and stretch afterwards (you can find tutorial videos on Martina’s Instagram page). Let’s kick it!
Start standing tall with your gaze forward, chest up and your feet slightly apart. As you inhale, drive one foot behind while maintaining the torso upright, slowly bend both of your knees and lower your hips until your knee almost touches the ground. Exhale as you bring the leg back into the starting position. Alternate the legs and make sure to engage your core in order to keep your balance. Avoid driving the front knee past your toes – the heel stays on the ground.
If you can’t find your balance, start with a Split squat; instructions stay the same, only this time the exercise is static instead of dynamic – starting position is a split stance, drive the hips down, and then go back up to the split stance position. Repeat 10-12 times per leg.
2. PRONE UPPER + LOWER BACK
For this variation lay prone on the mat with your elbows bent and heels slightly apart. As you inhale, lift your chest and your legs off the ground while keeping the shoulders down and back, squeeze your butt, and then exhale by extending your arms and trying to reach as high up with your thumbs. Bend at the elbows with your next inhale squeezing the shoulder blades together, and then exhale and lay face down on the mat to finish the movement. Try keeping your knees locked (quads engaged), and your gaze gently in front of you.
If you’re experiencing lower back pain, do this exercise with your forehead resting on the mat, without lifting the legs up, only moving in your upper back. Repeat 12-15 times following the breathing instructions from above.
Standing tall, position your feet just a bit wider than your hip width with your toes slightly pointing outwards. Start by bending at your hips and your knees at the same time, slightly leaning forward with your arms parallel to the ground (that should keep your back straight). Try getting your hips in line with your knees before you go back up. An important thing to do in order to properly finish the squat is tucking your tailbone at the very top. Squeeze those glutes to get the most of the exercise.
If you’re new to squatting, you can use a box or a chair, start by standing in front of it and slowly squatting down until you touch it (not sit on it), and then quickly get back up. Remember to drive through the heels and to keep the knees in line with the toes.
Start on your knees and your palms. Place your elbows right under your shoulders and gently tuck your tailbone. As you exhale, extend your legs, squeeze your abs and your glutes, and maintain that straight line all the way from your shoulders, through your hips, to your heels. Keep your neck in line with the spine. The goal is to maintain perfect posture for 45-60s. As you get stronger, you can progress by elevating the legs, or lifting the leg/arm off the floor for a couple of seconds to make it more challenging.
If you find it hard to maintain the right posture, stay in it for a few seconds, get back on your knees and repeat that for as long as you want until you get stronger. Either way, make sure you land on your knees after you’ve finished, and not on your stomach, as that can have bad effect on your lumbar spine.
5. GLUTE BRIDGE
This variation of a glute bridge is a Single-leg glute bridge. If you find it hard to execute, just start by keeping both feet on the ground. Instructions will stay the same. Lay on your back with your knees bent and your elbows close to your body. Lift one leg up – your knee is bent and the foot is flexed. Before you start lifting your hips up, tuck the tailbone, pull your rib cage in and squeeze your butt. That way you will benefit most from the exercise. After tucking the tailbone in, drive your hips up through your heel, push away from the ground and squeeze those glutes for a few seconds. Lower with an inhale, and repeat the movement. Each time you lower the hips, I want you to touch the mat with your lower back, so no arching. Repeat 8-12 times per leg.
If you have knee pain doing this, try driving the heel away from your hips and see if that helps. Also, the further away the heel is from the hips, the more work for your hamstring, and the closer it is, the more work for the quads. Find what works for you.
6. SIDE PLANK
The best way to align for this exercise is to place your palm, hips and your heels on the edge of your mat. After that you can put one leg in front so the toes and the heel are touching – that will make it a bit easier to balance through the movement. Start by lifting your hips up and stretching the upper arm above the head, keeping it in line with the shoulder. Then, as you exhale, lower your hips towards the mat resting your arm on the side. Repeat 10-12 times per side.
If you have wrist issues, or this is simply too hard for you, you can start on your forearms. You can even start on your knees (keeping them in line with the shoulders and hips too), or with a simple hold in the Side plank position. Whatever works for you, as longs as you keep doing it for yourself!