We’ve all read it before: “Summer abs in 5 days! Your best bikini body in just one week!” And, we’ve also all learned from personal experience, that ain’t no routine going get anyone summer abs in “just one week.”
Every summer we are bombarded with exercise tips that promise the impossible, and as the prime of July creeps closer, and that month long workout routine you had been planning to start in the spring slips further away, the more we want to believe in the impossible.
While we can’t guarantee Miranda Kerr’s abs in 5 days, we’ve recruited leading trainers from across North America to share expert tips to help you reach your summer fitness goals. Below, FILLER’s head-to-toe fitness guide with quick routines to squeeze into your hectic daily schedule.
The Coach: Eden Haugland has trained both as a pilates instructor and a professional dancer. Named the 2012-2013 Pilates Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica’s location in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood, Eden like the Lululemon brand, has a passion for working with athletes including professional figure skaters, marathon runners and boxers.
The Routine: Target arms, shoulders, waistline, and butt at home with Eden’s Pilates “Fun Summer Flow” exercises. No need for a gym membership, all you need is two small 2 lbs hand weights or a weighted ball. If you don’t have this, try a full water bottle in each hand.
Cat Stretch (no weights)
Start on all 4s, abs pulled in to spine, spine in one long nice line.
Breathe in to get ready; breathe out tuck the tailbone and round the back to flex the spine into a “C” shape; breathe in and hold the “C” and practice breathing into the back of your rib cage, while keeping your abs held in tight; breathe out as you return to the starting position. Repeat 3-5 times.
Leg and Arm Reach on All Fours (weights in hands)
Start on all 4s, extend the right leg out behind you until it comes straight and lift it to hip height or just below, tummy pulled into the spine to keep your lower back and rib cage from arching, don’t let your spine twist here!
Step 1: Straight arm lift. Lift the left arm up by the side of your hip without bending the elbow, lower it down half way keeping the arm straight and then lift again, making sure each time your lift the arm you feel the shoulder blade opening up and sliding down your back away from the ear. Breathe out every time you lift your arm. Repeat 10 times.
Step 2: Tricep Extension. Left arm lifted back up in line with the torso, bend the left elbow and straighten without letting the elbow drop to the floor. Breathe out as your arm straightens. Repeat 10 times.
Repeat on the other side!
Roll Back with Oblique Twist (weights in hands)
Sit flat on the mat, spine tall, with your knees bent in front of you and feet flat on the floor.
Take a deep breath in to get ready. Breathe out to roll off your “sit bones” rounding your back until you are half way back to the floor, bend your elbows to draw the weights into your chest.
Breathe in and hold this position. Breathe out to slowly twist your spine to the right without letting your hips or knees shift, and without letting your back arch as you twist — keep it round! Breathe in to return to the centre.
Twist to the left the same way. Repeat 5 times each way, then return to the starting position. Repeat the whole sequence 3 times.
Hip Lift (weights in hands and hands placed on fronts of hips)
Roll all the way back to lie flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on floor, feet in line with sit bones, spine neutral.
Breathe out as you fire you gluts to press your hips into the air to form one line between your knees, hips and shoulders. Don’t let your back arch here, and don’t let your knees get wider than hip-width.
Lower half way and press up again as you breathe out. Repeat 3 times with 10 repetitions.
Side Leg Lift (no weights)
Roll on to your side, bottom arm under ear, top hand supporting you for balance in front of chest. Body in one long line. Abs pulled in tight and flat to the spine.
Breathe in to get ready. Breathe out to lift both legs into the air by tightening the top side of your waist
Lower and repeat 3 times 10 repetitions on each side. Roll onto your back and pull your knees into your chest and breathe.
The Coach: Joey Gonzales — celebrity trainer and COO of Barry’s Bootcamp — prescribes a signature fitness routine to his A-list clientele including die-hard celebrity fans such as Jessica Beil, Amanda Seyfried, Elizabeth Olsen, Katie Holmes, the Kardashian sisters, Jessica Alba, and Olympic athlete Apolo Ohno.
The Routine: Fitness phobs need not try this one, this set of exercises is for those with motivation to spare. Targeting all those areas that sundresses highlight, tight abs, defined arms and sculpted legs are the end goal of these mat exercises.
In a standing position with soft knees, cross right knee to left elbow for 30- 60 seconds, then switch. Then, sideways bend right elbow to right knee for 30- 60 seconds and repeat on the other side. To continue the standing abs sequence, march in place or jump with high knees (if advanced) for 30- 60 seconds.
Laying on your back on a mat; perform “alternating bicycles” with the added resistance of the Barry’s Bootcamp Booty band for 30 seconds slow, then speed up for 30 seconds in double time.
Continue abs on your back with the “half jackknife” by extending the right arm and left leg and pull them towards one another meeting above the navel for 30- 60 seconds, then switch sides. Then, place hands under lower back, legs go straight up and alternate scissor kicks (working your legs and lower abdominals).
Another way to target abs, as well as arms, back and even legs is performing various moves in a plank position. You can do plank up on your hands with arms extending and twist right knee to left elbow and vice versa, squeezing the abdominals as the knee comes in and exhaling. Next bring those knees straight forward alternating and pulling them through the arms. Finally, pop those legs double time in a mountain climber.
Women often complain about “flarms” — flabby arms — and this is typically weak underdeveloped triceps. This Superset Tricep Blast, will help remedy flarms: do 10 overhead extensions, 10 bent over tricep kickback extensions, 10 tricep dips, and then switch triceps.
To work the biceps, use either free weights or a band and perform the following; 7 curls half way up, 7 curls half way down from the top, 7 full range curls.
Legs cannot be neglected when trying to achieve that bikini body. Strap on a Barry’s Bootcamp Booty Band and get on all fours and focus on one leg at a time. Kick back the right leg as you squeeze the glute for one minute. Then raise that same knee up to the side and complete 1 minute of side hydrant kicks. Repeat on the left side.
With these same bands attached, we can actually add weight and start working more basic moves. Grab a set of medium to heavy weights and begin alternating lunges around the room.
The Coach: Mark Hendricks is one of the most sought after instructors in New York City with not one, but two CIA fitness videos under his belt. His signature PureStrength classes are exclusively taught at Equinox NYC, a favourite amongst the city’s socialites and celebrities.
The Routine: Pencil in a quick mid-day workout with this “30-minute Power Lunch” routine. Move through the circuit 3 times, resting for 30 seconds between each move, and for one minute between each set. Do this routine 3-4 times per week on nonconsecutive days for best results.
Begin in a deep lunge, left foot forward, right fingertips on floor, left arm extended behind you. Push off left leg and jump to stand, driving right knee forward, foot flexed, as you swing left arm forward and right arm back. Go for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat for another 30 seconds.
Start in push-up position, weight in left hand. Engage abs to stabilize and lift left hand, bending elbow to 90 degrees, then extend left arm back. Bend elbow, then return to start for one rep. Go for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat for another 30 seconds.
Stand with feet together, knees bent, holding weight at either end at chest level, elbows bent. Push off left foot and jump to right, bringing left foot slightly behind right and lowering weight toward floor. Push off right foot to return to start for one rep. Go for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat for another 30 seconds.
From plank position with elbows bent and tight to sides (Chaturanga), push body back toward heels, bending and rotating knees to right. In one fluid motion, drive body forward back to start, then push body back toward heels bending and rotating knees to left for one rep. Go for 30 seconds.
Start with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, arms extended overhead, palms facing. Bending at waist, release arms behind you as you bend knees and jump (as shown). Return to start, then squat, keeping arms straight overhead for one rep. Go for one minute.
Begin on knees holding a weight at either end in front of you at waist-height, elbows slightly bent. Rotate torso bringing weight towards left hip, allowing head to follow, then rotate right, then left, then step right foot forward on slight diagonal, knee bent 90 degrees and swing weight overhead for one rep. Go for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat for another 30 seconds.Published June 28, 2013