There’s no getting around it: swimsuit season is here. Don’t worry, it’s not too late to get toned and there are many workouts online that can (hopefully) get you beach ready in no time. Here is one daily fitness routine (30 minutes only, don’t fret) that takes 3 weeks and can be done in the comfort of your own home — i.e. no expensive gym memberships or splurging on trendy workout gear. If this doesn’t work for you, try walking regularly or jogging (without permanently damaging your knees) and co-opt a friend to make sure you stick to it. Most importantly, you are not going to tone up anything by rewarding yourself with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s afterwards!
3 Week Fitness Routine
This high-energy, ultra-effective cardio, sculpting and strength plan will boost your metabolism, melt fat, and discharge calories giving you sexy arms, thighs, abs, and glutes (butt muscles). The best news is that the whole routine can be done with virtually any cardio machine or outdoor activity and takes 30 minutes: warm up (5 minutes); increase intensity (1 minute); lower intensity (2 minutes); repeat interval sequences 6 times, doing 1 minute of high intensity, then 2 minutes of recovery (18 minutes); and cool down at an easy pace (4 minutes).Follow the workout with 10 minutes of light stretching, focusing on your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
If you do the strength moves in the below order, alternating muscle groups, you won’t need to rest for more than 60 seconds between each exercise — sorry, no time for a coffee and cigarette break. Do 10 to 12 repeats and two or three sets of each move. Add in the cardio interval workouts on alternate days, follow a healthy diet, then rush out and buy your dream bikini.
Maximize your results by following this detailed three-week plan. On the weekends, take one day of rest or do a moderate-paced exercise of your choice (like walking) to up your weekly calorie burn.
Monday Strength Workout
Tuesday Cardio Intervals
Wednesday Strength Workout
Thursday Cardio Intervals
Friday Strength Workout
Mon-Friday As Above
Saturday Cardio Intervals
Sunday Run/Walk 1 Hour or Rest
Mon-Sat As Above
Sunday In-Line Skate for 1 Hour or Rest
1. Bulgarian Split Squat with Stability Ball
Focuses on quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes
- Stand a stride’s distance facing away from a stability ball.
- Place the top of your right foot and shin on the ball.
- Bend your left knee 90 degrees in 2 counts (keep knee aligned over ankle), then straighten left leg in 2 counts.
- Add to the challenge by holding a 4- to 10-pound medicine ball (that’s its name, Google image it) or dumbbells in your hands.
- To modify, place the ball against a wall for support.
2. 1 and 1/4 Push-Up
Focuses on Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders
- Get into a full push-up position, forming a straight line from head to heels (you may want to use an exercise mat for this one).
- Bend your elbows to 90 degrees, lowering your body toward the floor in 3 counts; push one-quarter of the way back up from the floor, then lower chest back down without touching.
- Push all the way back up to starting position in a count of 3.
- For a change, place knees on the floor.
3. Back Extension on Stability Ball
Focuses on Lower Back
- Lie face down over the stability ball with your hips resting on the ball and feet on floor.
- Bend elbows, placing hands on either side of your head.
- Lift your chest off the ball, keeping your lower body still (don’t strain your back); lower to starting position.
- To alter, place feet against a wall (don’t kick off or you’ll land up in the pool or your neighbor’s garden).
4. 1 and 1/4 Medicine-Ball Pullover
Focuses on Back, Triceps, Abs
- Lie face up on a bench (exercise one, not hobo park bench) with your feet on floor, holding a 4- to 10-pound medicine ball with your arms extended over your chest.
- Lower the ball towards your head in three counts until your arms are parallel to floor.
- Return the ball towards your chest, stopping one-quarter of the way up.
- Lower the ball until your arms are again parallel with the floor; return all the way back to starting position in 3 counts.
5. Prone Torso Twist on Stability Ball
Focuses on Abs, Obliques, Lower Back
- Start in a full push-up position with palms on the floor aligned under your shoulders, feet on the stability ball (takes some balance).
- Lower your feet until they’re grasping the sides of the ball (takes some practice).
- Keeping upper body stationary (more practice not to roll off), rotating your legs and hips to the left in 2 counts; return to center and rotate to the right in 2 counts.
- To modify, place your knees on either side of the ball (pretty much like giving birth).
6a. Standing Dumbbell Curl
Focuses on Biceps, Shoulders
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold a 3- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand, arms straight at sides with palms facing forward, and bend dumbbells to shoulders.
- Put your elbows out to sides with your palms face forward so your elbows are bent at 90 degrees.
6b. Military Press
Focuses on Biceps, Shoulders
- Push dumbbells overhead until arms are nearly straight; turn your palms to face inwards.
- Return weights to shoulder level, elbows out to the sides, then lower to starting position.
7. Alternating Calf Raise
Focuses on Calves
- Stand on a step (not the step of your favorite junk food hangout) with heels off the edge, holding on to a wall or bench for balance.
- Press up onto balls of feet. Lower right heel toward ground; hold for 1 count.
- Switch feet and repeat, lowering left heel toward ground, and hold for 1 count.
- Repeat, switching legs with each repetition.
- For a challenge, raise one foot off the step and balance on one leg. To up the intensity, hold a 4- to 10-pound medicine ball or dumbbells in front of you.
8. Alternating-Leg Hip Bridge
Focuses on Hamstrings, Glutes, Abs
- Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor, hands on floor beside hips.
- Squeeze your glutes and lift hips up in 2 counts until shoulders, knees and hips form a straight line.
- Keeping hips lifted, straighten left leg, then lower hips in 1 count.
- Return left heel to floor and lift hips again in 2 counts.
- Repeat, extending your right leg and lowering your hips to floor. Switch legs with each repetition.
So, no need to hit the gym for hours on end. Shorter, high-intensity interval-based routines can be more effective in burning more calories during a workout than longer, slow-paced ones, because you are moving fast. You’ll also rev up your metabolism for several hours afterward!