Be Bikini-Ready: 4 Toning Exercises to Blast Fat

Before you know it, the winter is gone, spring has sprung, the weather begins to warm up, and you know that bikini season is just around the corner.  Before the summer months are upon us, or if you are jetting off somewhere warm for a vacation, try some of these great exercises that are designed to melt away fat and make you look great on the beach.

1. Squats

Contrary to what you might think about these, women do not have enough naturally recurring testosterone in their bodies to end up looking like a thick thighed bodybuilder. Squats are possibly the best all round compound exercise there is for burning calories, as they are exhausting to perform, and they build shapely, firm legs and buttocks.  The extra muscle you gain will in turn require more calories from you to function properly, so it’s a win-win situation.

If you are a complete beginner, start by simply standing on a flat surface with your feet shoulder width apart and arms held out in front of you.  Slowly squat down until your  thighs are parallel to the floor, hold for 2 seconds, and slowly return to the starting position.  Try 3 sets of 10 repetitions every day, and you will feel the benefits in a week.

2. Steps

Burning fat is going to take more than lifting lots of weights or hundreds of crunches. Aerobic exercise is very important in helping to burn calories, and should be an integral part of your workout. Stepping is a simple and effective way to exercise, and can be done in the comfort of your own home with minimal equipment. Find a sturdy box that can hold your weight, or get hold of a set of steppers that are designed for this exercise. Standing a couple of feet away from the box, step onto it with your right foot, bringing your left up beside it. Then, step back with your right foot, and then the left. Keep this up for at least 10 minutes, or longer if you can. To add more motion to this exercise, try raising your arms from your sides up above your head when you step up and down, or hold some light weights in your hands.

3. The Bicycle

This is a great way to tone up your tummy and upper thighs; simply lie on your back with your hands raising up your butt a little behind you. With your legs straight out in front of you, lift them up and pretend you are riding a bicycle, remembering to fully extend your legs on each rotation. Count 25 forward rotations before reversing the move and do 25 in reverse.

4. The Plank

Although this is an unusual one, in that the object is to stay as still as possible, it is a great way to tone up muscles and never fails to get a sweat going!  

Lying face down on the floor, raise yourself up on your forearms and toe tips, keeping your back as straight as possible. Straight as a plank, hence the name. Hold this position for 1 minute if you can, and don’t let your butt sag towards the floor or raise up – keep your body in a straight line.

If you can manage a full minute, make it more challenging by immediately rolling onto your right elbow and point your left arm straight up to the roof, keeping your body straight. This will target the oblique muscles at your side. After a minute, roll onto the opposite side for another minute.

This is a lot harder than it sounds, and is a great exercise for firming up your core muscles, as well as hitting the shoulders and thighs.

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