Many people often get the misconception that doing hundreds of crunches will get that flat, sexy stomach. Not true. Crunches do, however, work the core endurance and will obviously help. Fat and muscle are two different types of tissue. You need to burn the fat tissue in order achieve the so-called “bikini belly.”
Diet and cardio are the most important ingredients in loss and toning. Weight training is the third ingredient. In order to be successful, you need a combination of all three of these.
Your diet is the biggest part of what you need to focus on for the next couple weeks. Cut the calories, carbohydrates, fat, and the sodium. Don’t skip eating, but keep your portion sizes under control.
Cardiovascular training is anything that gets the heart rate up for an extended amount of time. Pick your poison, but try to keep the heart rate up for at least 30 to 60 minutes, four to six days a week. I recommend performing cardio first thing in the morning to jump start your metabolism, which will burn more calories throughout the day.
Weight training is also very important. The core and bra line are two of the most common problem areas, and the exercise routine below will help you target these areas.
The core consists of several different muscles that stabilize the spine, pelvis and run the entire length of the torso. These muscles provide a solid foundation for movement in the extremities (arms and legs). The muscles that make up the core are rectus abdominis, erector spinae, multifidus, internal/external obliques, transverse abdominis, hip flexors (which consist of several muscles as well), and the glutes. Training the core muscles corrects postural imbalances that can lead to injuries. But, the biggest benefit of core training is to develop functional fitness, essential to both daily living and regular activities.
The bra-line area consists of a few main muscle groups. I am going to discuss the main two.
First, the latissimus dorsi (side of the back, or wings) is the main muscle group and pretty much the focus of the exercises below. This muscle is used for just about everything. If you ever go bowling and the muscle close to your arm pit is sore, that’s the latissimus dorsi. Second, the rhomboids (shoulder blade muscles) play a huge role as well. This muscle is used primarily for retraction or pulling something into your body; rowing for example.
Bikini Beach Body Workout:
Cardio: 30 to 60 minutes
Lat Pull-Downs: Do three sets of 12. These work the latissimus dorsi and target the bra-line area.
Push-ups: Do three sets of 12. These hit the chest and triceps.
Lunges: Do three sets of 12. These target the hamstrings and glutes. Great for lower body strength and endurance.
Elbow Plank: Do three sets of 30 to 60 seconds. These help improve the entire core strength and endurance.
Elbow Side Plank: Do three sets of 30 to 60 seconds. These target your obliques.
One Arm Dumbbell Row: Do three sets of 12. These target the rhomboids and latissimus dorsi.
Triceps Rope Extension: Do three sets of 12. These focus on your triceps.
Body Weight Squats: Do three sets of 25. These target the entire lower body, as well as increasing your heart rate.
Bicycle Crunches: Do three sets of 100. These hit the entire core region, including the upper and lower abdominals.