Not ready to slip into that sexy summer dress yet? Follow these steps and you'll be toned in no time!
Find the bikini that suits your body shape!
Sweet, sweet summer. There's just nothing like it! It's the time for soaking up those precious summer rays (well protected with sunscreen, of course!), sitting out on patios with friends as the fresh summer air cools your skin, and slipping into sleek, sexy summer dresses that show off your best assets! Uh-oh! Have those best assets turned a little, ahem, soft over the winter? No matter – an easy regimen at the gym can have you back in top form in no time! We checked in with David Peereboom at Aiyoku a Cardio Lounge in Toronto for quick and easy exercises that'll turn that flab into ab-fab. Best of all, these routines only take 20 minutes each!
Before you get started
"We are bombarded with so many different exercises, sometimes we forget that there are basic fundamentals we have to practice with each exercise," says David. Some key things to remember when doing your exercises are:
Warm-up. Make sure to warm up at least 5 minutes before exercising. This will give your body the opportunity to get your muscles more pliable for work, allow for more synovial fluid for your joints to have better range of motion, allow for your body to produce more oxygen that your body needs in order for it to work better, core temperature of your body to increase for those intense workouts and most of all, mentally get focused on the workout ahead of you.
Breathe. Make sure to breathe in through your nose when the weight comes down with gravity and breathe out through your mouth when pushing the weight against gravity. You don't want your muscles to seize.
Stand tall and proud at all times! At no given point should you ever look defeated. Your shoulders should always be pulled back, back in neutral position, chest up and abs tight. This will always allow for better concentrated muscle contraction, especially when working your back, not to mention by practicing this in your everyday life, this will possibly add an inch or two to your height, and lose an inch in your waist by constantly working your abs. Alignment. Exercise is all about alignment. If you don't pay attention to your alignment when exercising, you will possibly injure yourself and/or make a bad posture worse and is a sure way to not isolate proper muscles that you're trying to work.
Stretch. Do not stretch before, during or right after exercise. Try to get your stretches in on your off day, where your muscles have had a chance to heal the small tears in the muscle fiber so that you don't cause bigger tares, which in turn cause more lactic acid to build up and you will be even more sore than usual.
Cool down. Make sure to cool down after the workout for about 5 minutes. This will allow for you to break down some of the lactic acid build up in your muscle and allow for your body to dispose of the extra oxygen your body created, which you no longer need.
"These circuits should be done 30 seconds per exercise, working your way up to 1 min, with 3 deep breaths in between,' says David. 'After the first set, take a break for 30 seconds, then go back to the beginning of the circuit and repeat two more times."
Gettin' to the good stuff
Whatever your problem area, there are simple exercises to target and tone them. Here, we focus on legs, arms and abs. David dishes up the straight goods on getting these areas toned for summer, with 20-minute circuits for each.