Here are 3 fabulous exercises to tone your abs, arms and legs keeping you bikini-fit this summer. Enjoy!
Begin the Move:
Lie prone on the mat, your legs together, arms by the sides. Engage the abdominals in and up to hollow out the abdomen. Inhale and slowly extend the spine, shoulders and hips a few inches from the mat while keeping the pubic bone and hip markers rooted to the floor. Exhale and start to flutter-kick the legs beneath the pelvis, maintaining shoulder, trunk and pelvic stability. For an advanced challenge, externally rotate the arms and bring them straight forward in front of the shoulders. Then try to flutter both the arms and legs simultaneously without wiggling or jiggling the spine. Try 15 to 20 flutter kicks. Then sit back on the heels and round the spine in child’s pose. Repeat the swim.
Tips: Make sure to inhale and exhale rhythmically throughout, and keep the abdominals engaged to protect the lower back. The legs should kick straight underneath the hips, the arms straight forward from the shoulders. To enhance results, visualize yourself swimming across a pool, pushing and pulling your arms through the water's resistance.
Begin the Move:
Lie on the back with knees into the chest, hands gently interlaced, holding the back of the head. Engage the abdominals in and up and slowly curl the head, neck and tops of the shoulders off the mat. Inhale and twist the spine left, anchoring the right hip and extending the right leg long about 60 degrees. Exhale, and twist the spine to the right, lifting the whole left side from the waist to the armpit while lengthening the left leg. Continue to alternate for 10 to 15 repetitions. Rest, and repeat again.
Tips: Keep the action rhythmic and fluid, no jarring or snapping of the knees, or swaying or swiveling of the pelvis. Connect the breath to the twists, inhaling deeply to twist one way and exhaling wringing out the lungs to twist in the opposite direction, or inhale for two complete twists and exhale for two complete twists. The twists can get deeper and the legs can lower to 45 degrees if one can maintain trunk and pelvic stability. Twist only the spine-not the hips! To ensure pelvic-leg stability, visualize a smooth plane of glass held gently between the legs. As you twist and alternate the legs, keep the legs gliding smoothly along the surface of the glass. Don't let the glass drop and break!
Side kick Up and Down
Begin the Move:
Lie on your right side with the shoulders and pelvis vertically stacked. Bring your legs slightly
forward on a diagonal without letting your pelvis tuck under. Prop yourself up on your right upper arm, your right hand holding the back of your head. Your top left arm comes to the floor with the hand in front of the navel, fingers pointing up. Pull the navel to the spine, and lengthen up through the crown of the head. Turnout your top left leg and inhale and reach the leg out and up toward the ceiling, pointing through the toes. Exhale and flex the foot, and lengthen and control the leg as it glides back toward the floor without letting it touch the bottom leg. After 4 or 5 reps, reverse and flex the foot up and point on the down. Repeat 8–10 times with each leg.
Tips: Make sure the spine doesn’t collapse forward and that the top hip doesn't hike up or fall back when the working leg goes up. Makes sure the leg comes down slowly with control-no crashing down! Bend the bottom leg for a broader base of support. For longer, sculpted legs, visualize your working leg anchored firmly into the hip socket with a buoyant spring attached to your foot. Let the spring take you up with control, but then you must pull it down slowly, creating as much length in the thigh as possible while keeping the leg integrated into the hip socket.