Health & Fitness

The 20-minute bikini challenge!

Author: Elle Canada

Health & Fitness

The 20-minute bikini challenge!

Before starting any exercise or fitness program you should consult a fitness professional or your doctor, especially if you are new to strength training. Warming up 5 to 10 minutes before your workout is essential to help increase blood flow to the muscles and prepare you for your workout. Jump on your bike, climb some stairs or simply go for a walk around the block. By the end of the 10 minutes you should feel warm. A good warm up doesn't only prepare you for your session; it also helps reduce muscle soreness following the workout. Feeling sore after a strength training routine is very normal especially if the exercise or activity is new or if you've increased the weight of a particular exercise.

Equipment needed:

Two 5 lb (2 kg) dumbbells and one flat bench. (If you're at home, find yourself a sturdy chair and a broomstick.)

Let's begin!

Step 1: Shoulder raises

Arms dropped to either side of your hips with a 5 lb dumbell in both hands.

Raise both arms above your waist over your head and touch the dumbells together at the top.

As you press, do step-ups on the bench/chair: Place one foot on the bench/chair and step up. Repeat 6 times and then switch to the other leg (for another 6 repetitions).

BIKINI TIP: This combination of step-ups with a shoulder press works the anterior deltoids (through the shoulder press) and the legs (from the action of stepping up on the bench/chair). You elevate the heart rate and contract the abdominals.

Step 2: Dips

At the end of your bench/chair, place palms with fingers facing away from the bench/chair. Extend your feet in front of you by placing your heels to the floor and toes facing the ceiling. To dip, bend your elbows to 90 degrees and press up as high as you can without locking your elbows. Do 12-15 repetitions.

BIKINI TIP: Works the triceps area (back of your arms) and abdominals.

Step 3: Push-ups

Immediately after your dips, drop to the floor (hard, I know!) and do 5-10 push-ups. Depending on your ability, you can do these push-ups on your knees or toes.

BIKINI TIP: Push-ups are a great way to make those arms and chest look lean and toned!

Step 4: Abdominal crunches

On your back with your legs propped on the bench/chair (at a 90 degree angle), place your hands behind your head for support, look to the sky and give me 20!

BIKINI TIP: The more repetitions of these, the better!


Connie Benedict is co-owner of Toronto-based Berkeley Gym, a certified personal trainer and a certified nutrition consultant. For more information, please check out www.berkeleygym.com.

Photo courtesy Marcio MadeiraStep 5: Leg lifts

Move your legs off the bench and place them straight up in the air without locking your knee joints. Lift hips up and down in one smooth motion.
Note: If you have any back issues, place hands (palms down) behind the lower back for additional support.

BIKINI TIP: 20 repetitions or until your abdominals are screaming for Janet Jackson's six-pack!

Why this workout works:

This is a time-friendly exercise program for the urban woman who is constantly on the go. It promotes an increase in muscular strength as well as stability!

For beginners, take 45 seconds to rest after each circuit.

Intermediate: 30 seconds rest

Advanced: Go for it! No break.


Connie Benedict is co-owner of Toronto-based Berkeley Gym, a certified personal trainer and a certified nutrition consultant. For more information, please check out www.berkeleygym.com.

Photo courtesy Marcio Madeira
Comments
Share X
Health & Fitness

The 20-minute bikini challenge!