Today I am a year older and hopefully a year wiser, but my days of being able to skip the gym are numbered. I am not quite sure if anyone can relate, but this day comes once a year and in the past few years I am inundated with anxiety. Coincidentally, the weather gods must have gotten the memo because May gray has reared its ugly head and bought me some extra time to bust my hump in time for summer. Lucky for all of you, I am considerate, so I thought I would share four exercises that will without a doubt blast any butt and gut into shape a la Liz Arch. Here, in her own words, are her favorite anytime-anywhere moves for a shapely swimsuit body:
Butt Blasting Back Kicks
Tones your butt, thighs, and abs.
1. Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Position your shoulders directly over your wrists and position your hips directly over your knees.
2. Come down onto your right forearm.
3. Extend your left leg straight up and back. Flex your left toes and turn the toes out to the left side to externally rotate your hip.
4. Draw your left knee to your left shoulder on your inhale.
5. Extend your left leg straight up and back on your exhale. Gaze softly over your left shoulder to spot your target as you strike.
6. Repeat for 2 sets of 8. Repeat on the opposite side. Pull into a gentle child’s pose to stretch it all out.
Tones your abs, strengthens your core (which includes your abs, back muscles, gluteal muscles and hips) and creates strong, sexy shoulders and arms.
1. Start in a tabletop position on hands and knees.
2. Lower both forearms onto the mat. Position your hands shoulder-width distance apart. Keep your shoulders stacked directly over your elbows. Firmly press your forearms into the mat, while keeping your fingers spread wide and pointing straight ahead. Position your gaze softly between your hands, keeping your neck lengthened.
3. Step one foot back at a time to a plank position, with feet positioned hips-width distance apart.
4. Firm your belly and firm your quadriceps. Make sure your spine is in one long line paying attention not to sag or arch the low back.
5. Hold for 5-8 breaths. As your strength builds, eventually increase holding time up to one to two minutes.
Squat Round Kicks
Tones & strengthens your legs and butt. Whittles your waist by working your core and targeting your obliques.
1. Start in Horse Stance by stepping feet apart (about two shoulder widths). Slowly bend your knees, while keeping your feet parallel with toes pointing forward. Keep your back straight and firm your belly.
2. Assume a ready position by drawing both elbows toward the ribs and turn your gaze toward your target.
3. Step your left foot in toward your right and position it at least 45 degrees with toes out (heel pointing toward target).
4. Draw your right knee up into a chambered position, lining up your right shoulder, right hip, and right ankle. Point the right toes.
5. On your exhale slowly extend your right leg straight out of the hip socket keeping the toes pointed. Take the leg to your own height according to your own range of motion – targeting either someone’s knee (low strike), ribcage (mid-range strike), or head (high strike).
6. Re-chamber your right leg. Step the right foot down and step your left foot back reassuming a squat or horse stance position. Repeat 4-8 times slow until you feel comfortable with the mechanics of the technique. Once you feel comfortable, make it more dynamic by adding a skip rather than a step both as you move forward to kick and as you step back to a squat. Do two sets of eight, remembering to add a short, sharp exhalation on each kick.
Builds incredible core and back strength and tones the arms, while improving balance and coordination.
1. Start in a plank (high push-up) position with palms firmly planted on the floor fingers spread, shoulders stacked over the wrists and feet hip-width distance apart.
2. Firm your belly and firm your quadriceps. Make sure your spine is in one long line paying attention not to sag or arch the low back.
3. Begin to move forward contra-laterally (meaning opposite foot moves with opposite hand) by shifting forward onto the ball of the foot, while opposite arm and leg lift. Keep the legs and spine straight as you move forward.
Trust me do this three times a week and you will thank Liz and I when you are strutting your stuff and turning heads on the beach. Until next time my friends, visit www.raylenebartolacci.com. To health and wellness, Salute.