With less than two weeks left in the term and sunny days warming our moods, balmy breezes, days at the lake, and more revealing outfits are headed our way with the arrival of summer. If you are one of many who have been stressing over projects or eating easy instead of healthy, you might be a bit nervous about that bikini bod. But with a couple simple moves—so much so you can do them from home—you can tone up in time to sip margaritas by the river in that summer dress you’ve been dying to wear all year.
Push-ups are one of the quickest ways to tone your arms and back. Instead of the standard push-up, bring hands closer together and prop your feet at an incline on a couch or chair. Bring chin from this position to an inch away from the ground and repeat 12 times.
Many household items can also be used as weights. Use laundry detergent as a dumbbell and proceed as you would with normal weights. Try a routine of 20 bicep curls, 20 dumbbell swing-throughs (squatted with bottle between legs to standing with bottle above head), and 20 tricep extensions.
Fire-hydrant leg rises, though quite silly looking, will definitely get you feeling the burn in your quads and glutes. Position yourself on the ground on your hands and knees, shoulder width and hip width apart. Raise your right leg up to ninety degrees, allowing your leg from the knee down to point backwards. Raise and lower ten times, repeat on the left, then eight times, seven times, six times… with each leg until one.
Most likely the simplest position, wall-sits will get your heart rate up as well as tone up those buns and thighs. Place the small of your back against a wall and slide down until you are in a seated position. Make sure your thighs and shins are at a 90-degree angle. Turn up the music and hold your sit for a minute. Repeat three times.
Luckily for most abdominal exercises, all you need is your body. This routine, which is roughly fifteen minutes, will get those core muscles engaged, and you on your way to summer skin!
First begin with 25 standard crunches. Next do 20 cherry-picker crunches. Begin with legs crossed at a forty-five degree angle and twist to the left as your legs move to the right. Reverse the motion to the right, which is one crunch. Lie on your back and bring knees to a 90-degree angle. Bring arms straight up parallel with your thighs. Lower your left leg down to about three inches from the ground and do the same with your right hand, all while keeping your core engaged. Switch and repeat on the right side. Do 20 on each side. After, you will do a 3-second side plank on each side.
Repeat. Lie on your stomach and raise arms and legs for forty-five seconds in a “superman” pose. Finish with a plank pose with elbows to the ground and a flat back (this is most important). Hold plank for two minutes.
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Rebecca Gibson is a University of Oregon junior studying photography and journalism. Her career goals include writing, design, and multimedia production for magazine. Due to growing up in the beautiful mountain town of Bend, Oregon, Rebecca values staying active and healthy and the beauty in simple things. She is addicted to online shopping, the feeling after a great workout, traveling the world, and eating delicious food. Her role models include Audrey Hepburn and Lauren Conrad, and any other woman who can be classy and maintain a healthy dose of sarcasm at the same time. She is a lover of all things original, creative, chic, and fashionable. Visit her website!