It has been a rough winter. Months of cold, dark days and too many snow storms make us crave warmer weather. The flip side of rising temperatures and sunny skies though is the fear of showing more skin.
My clients tell me they want a flat tummy, toned arms, and a firm ass for summer. That’s fair, and happy to say, totally doable. We have three months until summer, which is just enough time for our bodies to respond to a smart workout routine. Here’s the answer: a 12-week C3 Interval Workout program that gets us cut (muscle-building for definition) builds cardio (to shed fat that’s covering muscle) and strengthens core (yes, to give us rock hard abs, but more importantly, build a wall of muscle to help us stand tall, sexy and prevent back injury).
Here’s a sneak peak of some key C3 Workout moves to get us to spring.
To see your beautiful abdominal muscles, you must do two things. Build muscle and reduce fat. For the latter, we add cardio between every set. First, here’s a great exercise you can do to work your core muscles. To get into a routine, do this during commercials of your favorite show.
Lay on the floor with your knees raised directly over your hips and feet flexed. Lower your right heel to tap the floor. As you exhale, raise the right knee back the start position. Repeat on the left side. Keep your hands on the lower part of your belly to be sure your abs stay contracted and your back stays locked down to the floor. By engaging your abdominals this way, you’ll build muscle, gain definition, and protect your lower back from injury. Do 15 reps with each leg. Watch the video.
As you get stronger, raise both arms over your head, keeping them close your ears. Pull the arms in as you pull in each knee. Keep your focus on your lower back and be sure to exhale as you pull your arms and legs in. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions. Repeat 3 times a week to get that toned look. Watch out bikini!
You Got Guns
That’s the comment you’ll get when you do these upper body moves. There’s a reason you’ll notice people focusing on pushups, chest press, and planks in a weight room. Because when we focus on a large muscle group, smaller muscles assist. For instance, the pectoralis major muscle makes up most of the chest muscles and exercises that build this muscle also tone our triceps and shoulders. Bottom line: hit more muscles with fewer moves.
If you’re just starting out, do planks on your elbows. Be sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your palms are spread wide on the floor to give you balance. With your body in one line from head to heels, look down and count your fingers. When you get to your pinky, count the other way as you contract your abdominals. Your body will learn how to hold itself. From there, straighten your arms and hold the plank on your palms, again, keeping them directly under your shoulders, not under your head. After a week of practicing planks, bend your elbows wide and do 3 strong pushups. In a matter of weeks, you will be surprised how many you can do. Don’t worry if you do 3 and then plank and then do another 3. It takes time for your body to get stronger and even longer for you mind to believe you can do this. Watch the video. Watch the video.
Squats and lunges will get you far, but only if your form is correct. Don’t waste your time on positions that stress your knees and back. Try this exercise to help you perfect your form and get results.
Lay on your back with your knees bent and toes straight. Don’t let your knees shoot past your toes. This puts too much strain on your knees and won’t help firm your butt. Exhale as you lift your hips until you have a straight line from knees to shoulders, keeping your weight in your heels. Lower your hips just before your butt hits the floor and push up again through your heels. Watch the video.
The most important secret behind these moves is actually doing them. We’ve already laid out a to take the stress out of your day. More importantly, by commenting on blog posts, sharing your stories on Facebook andTwitter, and posting pictures to Instagram, you not only get support, but you can encourage other Groovers who may need a boost. It doesn’t have to be so hard. Follow these tips and you may actually be excited to try on bathing suits come June.
Ask questions below and report your progress.