Morgan Luzier, co-owner of Balance fitness studio in Minneapolis, designed this workout to get you looking toned in your bikini in just eight weeks.
-This bikini body workout will get you toned, slim, and ready to hit the beach. There are six strength training segments in the routine. Instead of resting in between the moves, do 60 seconds of cardio activity such as jumping rope or stair climbing. When you completed the 6 moves and 6 cardio bursts, repeat the entire circuit. Fitness model Kim Strother will demonstrate 3 phases of each movement. At first, you will do only phase 1. As you get stronger, you can try the modifications in phases 2 and 3 to make the exercises more challenging. Do this workout a few times a week and you'll be ready to slip into your skimpiest two-piece in no time. Squats with Dumbbells: You will need a set of 5- or 8-pound dumbbells. Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding the weights. Slowly squat down as if you were going to sit in a chair and then squeeze your glutes and stand up again. You'll repeat these squats for 1 minute. Keep your weight back over your heels. Don't let your knees pass in front of your toes and make sure to keep your shoulders rolled back. Over time, increase the weight until you can do the squats with 10-pound dumbbells. Then you should be strong enough to add a jump to the squat. As you're straightening your legs, jump up so that your feet come 2 or 3 inches off the floor. Land softly back in a squat position. It's important to land with your knees bent so your joints don't absorb the shock of the landing. When you're ready to make this move more difficult, add a 2-second pause to the squat phase. After landing, hold the squat position for 2 counts before jumping up again. Dumbbell Squats target your abs, thighs, hamstrings, and glutes. Push-Up Progression: Place your hands on a window sill, table, or bench with your toes on the floor. Keep your body in a straight line with your arms fully extended. Bend your elbows 90 degrees, then push back up. Remember to keep your abs engaged and your head in line with your spine. Continue doing push-ups for about 30 seconds. Next, hold yourself in the start position for another 30 seconds. Imagine energy flowing out of your head and your heels as you squeeze your inner thighs together, and exhale strongly through your mouth to contract your abs. When you're ready for a greater challenge, assume a full push-up position on the floor with your palms beneath your shoulders and your abs contracted. As in phase 1, do 30 seconds of push-ups. Then hold the push-up plank for 30 seconds, contract your abs and squeeze your inner thighs together. To make this more difficult, add an alternating leg plank. Do 30 seconds of floor push-ups, as in phase 2, and then hold the push-up plank position with 1 leg lifted off the floor. Keep your head and spine in a straight line and your abs engaged. After 15 seconds, you should switch legs and hold the position for another 15 seconds. Lunges with Dumbbells: You'll need a set of 5- or 8-pound dumbbells. Stand with your feet, hip-width apart, holding a weight in each hand. Lunge forward with your left leg. Then straighten your legs. When you lunge, your right knee should come to about an inch above the ground without touching it. Keep your torso perpendicular to the floor with your weight evenly distributed between your legs. Align your front knee over your front ankle and keep your weight back on your heels instead of on your toes. Continue these lunges for 30 seconds before switching sides and doing another 30 seconds on the other leg. When you're strong enough to progress to phase 2 of this exercise, hold the dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing front. Lunge forward with one leg, then bring your feet back together and lunge forward with the other leg. You should continue lunging on alternate legs for 60 seconds. Add a biceps curl in the final progression of this move. After each lunge forward, push through the heel of your forward foot while lifting your back knee in front of you to hip level. Do a biceps curl, then step back into a lunge. Repeat the lunge plus curl on one leg for 30 seconds and then switch legs for another 30 seconds. Shoulder Press Progression: You will need a set of 5- or 8-pound dumbbells. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with your elbows bent 90 degrees and your palms facing forward. Slowly press the weights together over your head, then lower them back down in a controlled motion. Repeat this overhead presses for 60 seconds. When you're strong enough to progress to phase 2, do only 30 seconds of the overhead press then lower the weights to your sides with your palms facing your thighs. Slowly raise the weights to chest level bringing your elbows out to the side. Lower your hand and repeat. Continue these upright rows for 30 seconds, keeping your shoulder blades pressed down as you lift the weights up. If you're ready for the most challenging variation of this exercise, do 30 seconds of overhead presses followed immediately by 30 seconds of lateral raises. Rotate your arms so your palms face each other then slowly raise your arms up and out to the side at shoulder height. Don't lock your arms. Your elbows should be slightly bent. You may need to switch to lighter dumbbells for the lateral raises. Hip-Lift Progression: Lie in your back with your arms at your side, your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Lift your hips toward the ceiling, hold for 1 count and then lower back down. You should repeat the lifts for 60 seconds, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings at the top of the range of motion. Be careful not to over-arch your spine. To make this exercise more difficult, extend 1 leg at the top of the lift. Keep your thighs parallel and hold the lifted position for about 5 seconds. Keeping your hips up, place your foot back on the floor and then lower your hips. You should repeat this exercise for 30 seconds. Then, switch sides and do the move for another 30 seconds on the other leg. When your leg is extended, remember to push strongly through your stabilizing leg and lift your hips. Don't let them drop. The most challenging variation of this move require you to assume the single-leg position from phase two and then lift and lower your hips while your leg is extended. You should repeat this motion for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat for another 30 seconds on the other side. Core Series: To prepare for these 3 core moves, lie on the floor with your knees bent and your arms at your sides. Toe-reach crunches: Lie on your back and extend your legs up toward the ceiling. Reach your fingers toward your toes and crunch up in a pulsating motion. Continue these crunches for about 1 minute or as long as you can maintain good form. Keep a small distance between your chin and your chest, as if you were holding a tennis ball in place. Initiate the movement from your abs, bringing your upper back and shoulders off the floor. If your neck feels strained, place your hands behind your head. Bicycle Abs: Lie on your back with your fingertips behind your head and elbows bent out to the side. Lift your feet up keeping your knees bent and chin is parallel to the floor. Extend 1 leg forward and rotate the opposite shoulder towards your bent knee. Rotate from 1 side to the other for 60 seconds without lowering your head or legs to the floor. Keep your elbows wide to the side. You should not see them in your peripheral vision. Initiate the movement from your shoulders and torso, not your elbows. The Plank: Place your forearms on the floor in a plank position, balancing on your forearms and your toes with your body parallel to the ground. Keep your abdominals engaged and your head in line with your spine. Imagine energy flowing through your head and your heels and keep your core engaged. After you've completed this core series, do 1 minute of cardio and then repeat the entire circuit starting with the dumbbell squats. Do this routine 3 times a week on nonconsecutive days. And within 8 weeks, you'll be loving your bikini body.
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