If you are determined to wear a bikini to the beach this year, stretching will be an important part of your fitness routine. Not only is stretching an integral part of keeping muscles loose and limber, but it also helps to tone and tighten some key bikini body areas. Here are 5 simple stretches that will help you get the bikini body that you always wanted.
1. Waist and Arms
The waist and arms can be stretched simultaneously to tighten and tone critical muscles that are exposed in a bikini. This simple stretch targets three key zones: the arms, shoulders and waist. Begin in a standing position with feet about hip width apart. Raise the right arm over your head and bend it so the hand falls behind the shoulder. Grasp the elbow with the opposite arm. Pull the elbow gently to the left and slowly lean to the side. The stretch should be felt through the triceps, the shoulders and the waist. Hold for 20 seconds, stand and then repeat on the other side.
2. Upper Leg and Calf
The lower leg is among the most visible body parts in a bikini, and therefore needs extra attention. Start by standing and facing a wall, leaving approximately two feet between your toes and the base of the wall. Step forward with your right leg, placing your toes just at the base of the wall. Lean forward, cross your arms and place your head against the wall. The stretch should be felt through the upper left leg and calf. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, stand and then repeat on the other side.
3. Lower Leg and Calf
Another toning stretch for that bikini body can be done in the seated position. Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you. Bring the heel of your left leg in and place it on the right inner thigh. Lean forward and grasp your ankle. Advanced stretchers may be able to grasp the toes or even the heels. The stretch should be felt through the lower right leg and calf. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
The thigh is a large muscle that is in full view when wearing a bikini. Stand facing a wall, just a few inches away from it. Raise your right foot toward your left buttock, and grasp your toes or ankle with the left had. The stretch should be felt through the front of the thigh. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
5. Inner Thigh and Groin
This area needs special attention for the bikini season. Start by standing with your feet spread just a little more than shoulder width apart. With your hands on your hips, bend the right knee and simultaneously move the left hip downward toward that knee. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, stand and then repeat on the other side.
These 5 stretches will help to tone and shape muscles in preparation for hours of fun in the sun.