The summer is a memory and fall is just a week away. It's time to put away the bikinis and short shorts. Are you ready to squeeze into your skinny jeans? If not, don't fret: Here's a simple plan that can help you slip into your jeans in no time:
Sumo lunge, Plie Toe Squats, Side Plank, Oblique Crunches:
Sumo Lunge: Stand with your legs shoulder length apart. Lift your right leg from the knee and move it in a circular roundhouse. Land out to the side, wider than you started, and immediately squat down, channeling a real sumo wrestler. As you come out of the squat, lift your right leg and kick out, leading with your heel. (Each element should flow smoothly into the next. There are no breaks in a sumo lunge!)
Plie Toe Squats: Start with your feet wider than shoulder-width distance apart and turn your toes out. Keeping your weight in your heels and your knees turned out, squat down and then up. Repeat. Turn it up a notch by lifting your hips us as you squat.
Side plank: Lie on your stomach. Clasp your hands together and raise your body so that you are balancing on your forearms and the balls of your feet. Your body should be parallel to the floor and your abs tight. Suck your abs in, and don't drop your butt or curve your back. Lift into a side plank on your right side by bringing your right hand forward so your forearm is perpendicular with your body and your left hand is on your hip. Return to the plank and then lift into a side plank on your left side.
Oblique Crunches: Lie with your back on the floor. Bend your elbows out to the sides and place your fingertips behind the back of your head. Bend your knees and lift your feet until your shins are parallel with the floor. Exhale as you crunch your knees in toward your right shoulder as you simultaneously lift your shoulders. Lower and repeat by bringing your knees in toward your left shoulder. Continue alternating left and right.
Reverse Crossover Lunges, Single Leg Deadlift, Pushups/Knee Tucks on a Stability Ball, Forward Plank on a Medicine Ball:
Reverse Crossover Lunges: Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms down at your sides. Take a large step diagonally forward with your right foot, planting your foot at the 11 o'clock position. Sink down until your thighs form right angles. As you bend your knees, curl the dumbbells toward your upper arms. Extend your legs, then lift your right knee and bring it in toward your chest as you lower your arms. Step back with your right leg, this time lunging behind your torso and stepping back to the 8 o'clock position. As you sink down into the reverse lunge, complete another biceps curl. Repeat 15 to 20 times with the right leg and then switch to lunging with the left leg, stepping forward to the 1 o'clock position and back to the 5 o'clock position.
Single Leg Deadlift: Holding a body bar, dumbbells, medicine ball, or even a broomstick in a pinch, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Bend forward, hinging at the waist. Keep your knees soft and back flat. Come back to starting position. (Make it easier: If you're feeling shaky, hold the back of a chair or the edge of a table for balance. Make it harder: If you're feeling great, try lifting your alternate leg as you go down.)
Pushups/Knee Tucks on a Stability Ball: Begin in an all-fours position with your torso on the ball and hands and feet on the floor. Lengthen your legs and stretch your heels to the back of the room. Your hands should be under your shoulders. Once you have established your abdominal engagement, slowly walk your hands forward until your feet come off the floor. Continue walking out until the fronts of your thighs or knees are resting on the top of the ball in a plank position. Exhale and slowly bend your knees toward your chest. The ball will roll forward as your knees tuck under your torso and your hips lift toward the ceiling. Inhale and straighten your legs, rolling the ball back the plank position.
Forward Plank on a Medicine Ball: Lie on the fitness ball on your stomach, with your feet touching the floor behind the ball. Lean forward until you touch the floor with your hands. Walk your hands away from the ball until you feel the ball reach your upper thighs. Your feet will be suspended above the floor, and you'll be balancing on your hands and the ball. Keep your shoulders directly above your hands. Tighten your abdominal muscles, and hold for three deep breaths or as long as you can maintain your balance and form. Then return to the starting position.
Lateral Lunge to Reverse Lunge, Stability Ball Scissors, Plank Rotations on a Stability Ball:
Lateral Lunge to Reverse Lunge: Start with your hands on your hips in your start position. Step your left leg out to the side, landing on your heel, keeping your right leg totally straight. Return to start position. Repeat on the opposite side.
Stability Ball Scissors: Start by sitting on the floor with legs straight in front of you, back straight and abdominals engaged. Place your feet on either side of the stability ball at its widest point, then flex your toes and squeeze the ball with your ankles for a 10 count. Release and repeat. Do pulse scissors, squeezing for a second or two in rapid succession, to create variation.
Plank Rotations on a Stability Ball: Kneel with chest or waist on exercise ball. Dive over top and place hands on floor with arms extended down, supporting upper body. While keeping body horizontal, walk hands further away from ball until thighs are positioned on top of ball. Bend knees so feet are up above knees. Rotate hips so thighs roll over top of ball to one side. Rotate to opposite side and repeat.
Follow this routine and you can be looking sassy and sexy by Halloween or sooner!
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