Want a Bikini Body? Try These Tummy Workouts

These workouts will help you get a bikini body

These workouts will help you get a bikini body | Source: iStock

Don’t worry, there’s still time to get a bikini body. All you have to do is grab your favorite 2-piece, slip it on, and ta-da! — you’ve got yourself a bikini body. Now if you’re looking to amp up your beachfront or poolside game once you’re in that swimsuit, well, we’ve got 3 core strengthening workouts that will tone the tummy in the process.

When I think beach day, I think: sprinting to the shore, jumping waves, and a sweaty game of volleyball. All fun-in-the-sun activities that call for a strong core and solid cardio endurance. As a personal trainer, when developing a core workout for myself or a client, I like to pair abdominal strengthening exercises with cardio bursts. We’re not talking just any ‘get the heart rate elevated’ burst (increased heart rate equals increased calorie burn). We’re talking a movement in which core activation is a must. The more you activate those abdominal muscles from isometric holds to concentric contractions (think crunches, twists, .etc), the better your tummy toning chances.

Fill up your water bottle, roll out a mat, and let’s get sweating!

Circuit 1: Top to Bottom

a woman doing crunches

A woman doing crunches | Source: iStock

Recommended reps:

  • Beginner: 12
  • Intermediate: 15-20
  • Advanced: 25-30

Upper Ab Crunches:

Target: Upper Abs

  1. Lie on your back, raise your legs bending at the knees to create a 90-degree angle and cross your arms behind your neck. This is starting position.
  2. Take a deep breath, brace your core, and lightly contract through your upper abdomen (right below the ribcage) as you slightly crunch upward rounding the shoulders inward. Pause at the top of the movement for two seconds as you exhale.
  3. Slowly lower shoulders  back to starting position. Continue for recommended number of reps.

Jumping Jacks:

Target: Cardio

  1. Stand with arms at your sides, legs positioned hip width apart, and chest high, shoulders back. This is starting position.
  2. Take a deep breath, brace your core, and swiftly jump through your toes while laterally kicking your feet out and laterally raising your arms above your head. Pause at the top of the movement for half a second as you exhale.
  3. Quickly lower the arms back to starting position as you jump your feet back into starting position. Continue for recommended number of reps.

Reverse Crunches:

Target: Lower Abs

  1. Lie on your back with arms at your sides and legs fully extended, heels resting on the ground.This is starting position.
  2. Take a deep breath, brace your core, and draw your knees toward your chest, slightly lifting the hips as you exhale.
  3. Slowly lower back to starting position and continue the movement for recommended number of reps.

Circuit 2: Oh My Obliques

plank

Plank | Source: iStock

Recommended reps:

  • Beginner: 12
  • Intermediate: 15-20
  • Advanced: 25-30

Spider Plank:

Target: Obliques

  1. Come down into a low plank position, with elbows aligned under the shoulders, chest parallel with ground, hips level, and feet extended out all the way behind you. This is starting position.
  2. Take a deep breath, brace your core, and squeeze your glutes as you lower your hips and draw your left knee toward your left elbow, creating a crunch through your right oblique as you exhale.
  3. Slowly bring the right leg back to starting position and continue the movement for recommended number of reps, before performing on the other side.

Elbow to Knee Standing Side Crunch:

Target: Cardio and Obliques

  1. Stand with arms at your sides, legs positioned hip width apart, and chest high, shoulders back. This is starting position.
  2. Raise your right arm up and over your head as you straighten out your right leg, placing weight onto your left leg, allowing for a stretch through your right oblique.
  3. Take a deep breath, brace your core, and quickly drive your right elbow down to your left knee, which is being brought up towards the elbow, creating a crunch through the active oblique. Pause at the bottom of the movement for half a second as you exhale.
  4. Quickly bring the arm back to starting position as you lower the leg to starting position. Continue for recommended number of reps, before performing the movement on the other side.

Seated Russian Twist:

Target: Obliques

  1. Sit on the ground and recline back to about a 45 degree angle, as you tilt your pelvis and raise your legs bending at the knees to create a 90 degree angle and cross your arms over your chest. This is starting position.
  2. Take a deep breath and in a controlled, swift manner begin to twist to the right through the abdomen tapping your right elbow on the ground. Exhale and twist back to the left, now tapping the left elbow on the ground.
  3. Continue for recommended number of reps.

Circuit 3: The Complete Package

woman doing Jump squats

Jump squats | Source: iStock

Recommended reps:

  • Beginner: 12
  • Intermediate: 15-20
  • Advanced: 25-30

Bicycle Crunches:

Target: Upper, Lower, Obliques

  1. Lie on your back, raise your legs bending at the knees to create a 90 degree angle and cross your arms behind your neck. This is starting position.
  2. Take a deep breath, brace your core, and lightly contract through your upper abdomen as you slightly crunch upward bringing your left elbow to your right knee, as you kick the left leg out. Pause at the top of the movement for a half second as you exhale.
  3. Keep the contraction in the upper abdomen as you kick the right leg out and draw the left knee in bringing the right elbow towards it. Continue for recommended number of reps.

Jump Squats:

Target: Cardio

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and toes pointed slightly out so that knees track in line with toes. Extend arms in front of you with hands at shoulder height. Sit back and down into a squat, placing your weight in your heels as you get a stretch through your hamstrings and glutes. This is starting position.
  2. Take a deep breath, brace your core, position your chest high with your back straight and exhale as you explode out of the squat driving through the heels, extending the hips and squeezing through the glutes.
  3. Softly land back in starting position and repeat for recommended number of reps.

Plank with Rotation:

Target: Upper, Lower, Obliques

  1. Come down into a high plank position, with hands aligned under the shoulders, chest parallel with ground, hips level, and feet extended out all the way behind you. This is starting position.
  2. Take a deep breath, brace your core, and squeeze your glutes as you exhale and twist through the hips bringing your left hand off the ground and raising it above your head to create a T-form. Hold for 5 seconds.
  3. Slowly bring the arm back down to starting position and perform the rotation on the other side continuing the movement for recommended number of reps.

Ellen Thompson is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer at Blink Fitness in New York City, where she serves as head trainer at the Penn Plaza location. Ellen’s approach to training is that “anything is possible.” Endurance, strength, and stability/agility training are at the core of her fitness programming. She holds a master’s degree in New Media Publishing and Magazine Editing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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