Toning up in a hurry for summer!
We all know that feeling of casually glancing at the calendar, and suddenly realising that months have flashed before our very eyes! How on earth did January become September?! If you’ve neglected your gym routine all winter and summer is sneaking up on you in a hurry, here are three tips and three moves to get you beach-ready in no time.
Choose quality over quantity. Make your time in the gym count by upping your intensity, replacing long, medium intensity workouts for short bursts of hard training. HIIT is your ticket to results! 20-30 minutes can be all it takes to really change your body, and you’ll spend less time waiting for equipment. Getting your heart rate up appropriately means you’ll burn calories after your workout as well.
Make your cardio count
If cardio for you is usually a steady run or cycle, you need to switch things up. Skip the moderate-intensity workout and include intervals of sprinting and recovery to get you into your fat-burning zone. Uphill sprints are also great for added resistance. Including your upper body in your workout will also boost your overall calorie expenditure. Aerobics classes or rowing and elliptical machines will help you practise full-body cardio workouts.
Get heavy with the weights
It’s hard to add much to our frames without heavy supplementation, so there is slim chance of the dreaded ‘bulking’. Building lean muscle takes up far less space than fat, and keeps our metabolism burning much higher. Build and maintain lean muscle by lifting heavy and aiming for failure by the end of your sets. For quick results, compound exercises are key. These are exercises that target more than one muscle group at once, and are responsible for greater calorie burns during sessions as well as increasing lean muscle tissue at a greater rate, meaning a faster metabolism overall. This is the best way to burn more calories in a shorter space of time.
Here are three killer compound moves to work the whole body. Aim for 3 sets of 10-15 reps of each move, include rests of 20-40 seconds between each set, and…. Repeat!
Plank with row:
Targets: core, arms, back
Start in a plank position, holding onto a dumbbell in each hand. Rise into a pushup, pause for a moment, then pull one arm back into a row. Return to your starting position then repeat with the opposite arm.
Lunge with press:
Targets: quads, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, arms
Start with one foot behind the other and a dumbbell held at shoulder height in each hand. Sink into a lunge, hold for a moment, then rise back to your starting position, pushing your hands up into a press as you do so. Pause, then return to your starting position.
Squat with side reach:
Targets: quads, glutes, hamstrings, core, chest, shoulders
Stand with feet hip-width apart and dumbbells in each hand. Slowly sink into a squat, pause for a moment, then rise up. As you do, raise your arms up above your head and out to one side, swivelling your torso slightly as you do. Pause for a moment then return to your starting position and repeat, this time raising your arms to the opposite side.