Get in Shape for SummerSarah Bregel
Get in Shape for Summer 1 of 12
Summer is almost here. Thats great news if youve anxiously awaited the warmer weather; not so great if, amid all the demands of being a mom, youve put off getting your body anywhere close to beach-ready. There is always the option of embracing your wobbly bits, buying a cute cover-up, and not taking it off for the next three months, but cover-ups are not nearly as awesome as feeling like a hot mama on the beach. Here are ten exercises that will burn the maximum number of calories and tone your entire body just in time for summer (and wont require leaving your little one at the gym daycare five hours a day).
Get in Shape for Summer 2 of 12
If there is one exercise you make time for, let it be the jump-squat. Its a great way to get your heart rate up and shed some calories quickly. (Ive been known to do it in the kitchen while making my daughters breakfast.)
1. Start in a low squat with your arms out in front of your body. Your heels should be pressing into the floor and your chest should be raised and open.
2. Jump up as high as you can, pointing your toes and swinging your arms out in front or behind you to help you get more height.
3. Land softly and lower back into the squat in one gentle motion. Repeat and continue for 30 seconds.
Get in Shape for Summer 3 of 12
2: Alternating lunge with shoulder raise
In this movement, you are working multiple parts of the body for a higher calorie burn in a short time — a great idea for parents who need a fast sweat session! So for this exercise you will need a pair of light dumbbells, about 3-5 pounds.
1. Begin standing with both feet together and a dumbbell in each hand.
2. Take a big step out with your right foot while raising your right arm in front and your left arm behind you to shoulder height and dropping your left knee to the ground.
3. Press off the ground with your front foot and come back to starting position, lowering your arms.
4. Start again with the left leg, raising your left arm in front and your right arm behind. Repeat for 1 minute.
Get in Shape for Summer 4 of 12
3: Mountain Climber with Knee Tap
This exercise requires you to engage your abs much more fully than in the typical mountain climber move. Its tough, but it works your whole amazing mama body.
1. To start, place both hands on the floor in front of you. Your left leg should be bent, with your knee just kissing the floor. Your right leg is extended behind you, supported by your toes, knee lifted high.
2. Keeping your hands pressed firmly into the ground, shoot your left leg out behind you (landing on your toes) while bringing your right knee toward your hands, tapping it gently to the ground.
3. Quickly switch legs and repeat for 1 minute. This should be a fast, controlled motion, abdominals fully engaged.
Get in Shape for Summer 5 of 12
4: Squat Tap with Shoulder Press
For this exercise, grab your 3- to 5-pound weights again.
1. Start with both feet together, arms up over head, palms facing front with one dumbbell in each hand.
2. Take a big step to the side with your right foot and come down in a low squat while bending your elbows and bringing the weights down to shoulder height.
3. Step your right foot back to starting position and raise your arms back above your head, tapping the left foot and quickly stepping out again. Repeat this series on the right side for 30 seconds, then do the opposite side for another 30 seconds.
Get in Shape for Summer 6 of 12
5: High-knees to butt-kickers
This move is a two-in-one deal, alternating between two different exercises for maximum benefit.
1. Start standing tall with your hands at your sides.
2. Quickly bring your right knee up in front of you as high as you can and then follow with the left (itll feel kind of like an Irish jig). Perform this movement quickly for 15 seconds.
3. Then switch to butt-kickers, bringing your feet behind you to literally kick your own butt. Go for 15 seconds and then switch back to high-knees. Keep alternating until 2 minutes is up.
Get in Shape for Summer 7 of 12
6: Low lunge with dumbbell row
Grab your dumbbells again (not shown here, but youll burn more calories than she will!).
1. Start in a low lunge position with your left leg in front in a deep, 90-degree bend, and your right leg extended behind you, balanced on your right toes, knee lifted and extended. Weights are in each hand on either side of your front foot. Your chest should be just above your front knee, back flat.
2. Stay in the low lunge and pull the weights back in a rowing motion, bending your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Stay low and repeat for 30 seconds before switching legs.
Get in Shape for Summer 8 of 12
7: High to low plank
This is a killer move for your arms, shoulders, and abs!
1. Start in a high plank position (or high push-up position). Your hands and toes are on the ground, feet are together and hands are placed directly underneath your shoulders. The key to this exercise is keeping your back flat and your abs tight.
2. Drop down onto your elbows, one at a time, then press back up to high plank. Repeat for 1 minute.
Get in Shape for Summer 9 of 12
8: 3-part crunch
This move is so effective because you are articulating each part of the movement and really targeting your abs without a huge range of motion.
1. Start on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hands should be behind your head (be careful not to strain or pull on your neck).
2. Crunch up slightly, then higher and higher again in 3 defined movements. Then come down slowly, again in three increments. Complete 12 reps.
Get in Shape for Summer 10 of 12
9: Leg lowers
1. Start laying flat on your back with your hands placed under your lower back for a little support.
2. Elevate your legs to ninety degrees and flex your feet.
3. Exhale and slowly lower your legs to sixty degrees, then thirty, then two inches from the ground.
4. Engage your abs and raise your legs back to starting position and begin again. (For extra resistance, try this with stability ball between your feet.) Repeat for 12 reps, or until you turn purple. Just kidding — dont forget to breathe!
Get in Shape for Summer 11 of 12
10: Plank to Chatarunga
This exercise is kind of like a push-up, but way more effective.
1. Start in high plank again, toes on the ground, hands directly underneath your shoulders, abs pulled in tight.
2. Bend your elbows, keeping them pulled in tight to the sides of your body, and slowly lower yourself down for a count of 5.
3. Once you are on the ground, press your hands into the floor and shoot back up to high plank position then slowly lower again. Complete 10 reps.
Do all 10 exercises daily and youll be beach-ready in no time!
Get in Shape for Summer 12 of 12