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Tone up for swimsuit season in 8 weeks.
When you know bikini season is right around the corner, if you are like most women, you start to worry about how you are going to look in that swimsuit this year. However, in as little as 8 weeks, with a simple plan, you can make sure you are ready to rock that bikini and feel comfortable and confident.
Burning some extra fat is going to be key to improving that hour-glass shape. In order to burn fat, there needs to be a calorie deficit, which you can accomplish by burning more calories than you take in. Incorporating high-intensity interval training into your cardio sessions two to three times per week for the first 4 weeks is a very effective way to burn more calories and hopefully fat, if you get that deficit. During weeks five through eight, you can add one more weekly high-intensity interval session to your weekly plan; this can help you blast through any fat-loss plateau you might hit. The simplest way to do interval training is with running. Start with a 5 to 10-minute warm-up before any cardio exercise - just a few minutes of walking will loosen up your muscles. After your warm-up, rotate back and forth from an all-out sprint to an easy jog or walk. Running intervals burns an average of 10 percent more calories in the 24 hours following your workout compared to steady running at an average pace. So if you are trying to burn the most fat in an 8-week period, this method of cardio can speed up your results. You can also accomplish this same effect by performing intervals with cycling or plyometrics.
The more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn. Our bodies will only build muscle if there is a need for that muscle. The primary method of letting your body know it needs more muscle is by overloading your muscles to the point where they need to respond and build. This is done through strength training with a challenging weight. This doesn't mean you have to be a massive body builder, it just means you have to make your muscles work to the point that they are fatigued. Incorporate a challenging full-body weight-training session at least once a week and two other days of training your upper body and lower body on separate days. This should help you increase those muscles. Do this every week for the full 8 weeks. Increase the weight you are lifting after the first 4 weeks if you want to up the challenge.
The secret to having a nice-looking stomach is not in how many crunches you do, rather it's more about your diet and losing the fat around your middle section. However, to improve your appearance in that bikini, having some muscle definition in your abs will help. You can accomplish this by performing moves with your entire core muscles. Some of the best abdominal moves are planks, crunches, bicycles and scissors, or leg lifts. Complete two sets of 20 to 25 reps of each exercise three or four days every week during your 8-week plan and you will tighten and tone your abs to look great in that bikini, as long as you have low body fat.
The other half of looking great in a bikini is having a nice backside. Traditional lunges, squats and step-ups will do wonders for your buttocks. You can also incorporate side lunges, backward or walking lunges, plies or sumo squats, and step-ups with 8 to 10-pound dumbbells for added intensity. Basically any move where you are flexing and tightening your hamstrings and buttocks are going to get you a better booty for that bikini. For your booty workout, pick at least five of your favorite moves and complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps of each move, resting for 60 to 90 seconds in between each exercise. For your first 4 weeks, do these exercises at least twice per week and increase to three days per week during the next 4 weeks.