Unfortunately, along with the lack of things to occupy my time post university and exams, I also have a depleting amount of excuses for why that bikini perfect body is so hard to come by. It is difficult for girls to get that washboard stomach and perfect abs, we carry more fat naturally in the tummy area then guys so the temptation to throw my hands up in the air and wail that i'm destined to have a jelly belly for ever is strong. But, I am no quitter and I have a bunch of free time on my hands right now! So for the next few months my focus is all about the abs.
Bikini Body Action Plan
(Disclaimer: all these exercises and nutrition information come via my pt Danny Dogget-Short website referenced below)
Macros Macros Macros
The first step of getting that perfect body is nutrition! Admittedly, i've been slacking in this area with the stress of exams taking my full focus. But now, post exams, hitting those macros has to be high on my priorities. At the end of the day, if you want muscle, and abs ARE muscle, you need to be hitting your calories. A lot of us female fitness wannabes are pretty bad at this and it can be really easy to associate increasing your calories with increasing your weight. The trick is to eat lean calories, not to binge on Maccy Ds and pizza! Fish, Chicken (oh god chicken, I love chicken!), nuts, vegetables and complex carbs like brown rice. To get that perfect bikini body you need to perfectly achieve your protein, carbs and fats. Skimp out and the journey is going to be a lot more difficult!
I've put together some of my favourite abs workouts (all of which can be done from the safety and anonymity of your home!) that i've learnt over my sessions with Danny.
The old traditional favourite, everyone knows that crunches are a must for getting that fat free tummy. A little technique Danny taught me is to hold your legs in the air whilst your crunching so that your engaging all of your ab muscles. Make sure you really squeeze and tighten those muscles throughout the workout.
Like crunches but, you guessed it, in reverse. The idea is that your bring your legs so that their bent at 90 degrees with your knees at your chest and curling your hips up off the floor. Then lower your legs back down ensuring you maintain the control and tension and that your legs don't touch the ground in between. This exercise is brilliant for targeting that lower tummy pudge which is a nightmare to shift!
(Image taken from http://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/workouts/stronger-abs-in-fifteen-minutes-00000000022852/page8.html)
Plank Up and Downs:
These were a new addition I learnt at the end of my session with Danny yesterday. He suggested we do something fun before throwing this into the workout. Now me and Danny clearly have a different definition of fun because these were lethal, I felt like I was going to die. However, saying that, I have fallen in love with this little exercise and will be utilising it to my full advantage in my quest for a perfect bikini body. The idea of the activity is that you hold your body in a planking position for 20 seconds before coming up onto your hands and back down into the plank 5 times, after the 5 up and downs you resume the plank for another 20 seconds and you do it three times before you're allowed to collapse in a heap, muscles crying! The great thing about this is it doesn't just work your core but your arms as well so the pain is totally worth it.
V Ups are an old military style workout which impact both the upper and lower abs. Lying on your back, with your legs straight in the air, you attempt to touch your toes. This is a high intensity exercise so the movement needs to be fast for optimum effect.
I have a genuine hatred for squats. I look like an idiot when I attempt them and i'm forever fighting my body's desperate attempts to throw me on the floor under the weights. But, horrible as they are, squats are a brilliant all round workout. Not only will they give you toned thighs and a peachy bum for in that bikini but amazingly they also work your core and help to build those abs that we're so desperate for. I refuse to do squats in the gym without Danny to hide behind but they're certainly an exercise I cannot avoid in my home workouts if i'm serious about getting that bikini body!
(Image taken from http://fitnesswithjlee.com/2014/02/07/day-26-love-your-body/ as no one needs to witness me attempting squats!)
So there you go, some of the key elements in my mission to get that bikini ready body! If you have any other must dos for getting the bikini body, or are on your own mission for the perfect summer body, tweet me at @a_life_on_fire or drop us a line in the comments! I'd love to know about everyone else's fitness journeys this summer!