For many, New Year’s Day kicks you into get-in-shape gear. For some, the possibility of having to don a swimsuit in just a month or two gets you motivated to move. Summer may be just around the corner, but there is still plenty of time to tone up before you hit the pool. Plus, these five exercises from Michael Martin, a personal training manager for Equinox Fitness San Francisco, are good any time of the year!
Lie on your back with your hands under your glutes, palms down, and legs pointing straight up. While tightening your abs, lift your rear several inches off the ground. At the top of the lift, twist your legs and hips to the right. Lower and repeat, twisting to the left. Continue to perform three sets of 10 reps, resting between sets.
Lie with your back on a stability ball with your feet flat on the floor while holding a 3- to 8-pound medicine ball (optional). Raise the ball until your arms are positioned straight over your chest. Twist your body as far to the right as possible, rotating from your hips. Then rotate to the left. Do three sets of 10 reps, taking a quick breakbetween sets.
Position yourself with your hands shoulder width apart and your legs on top of a stability ball in a plank position. Lift your hips into a pike position, rolling the ball in toward your arms, rising onto your toes. Return to the starting position and repeat three sets of 10 reps. (FBG note: Erin swears by this move and gives it credit as the one that gave her the strength to get into crow pose.)
Overhead Side Bend
Hold a dumbbell over your head while standing with your feet hip width apart. Slowly bend to one side as far as is comfortable. Hold. Then return to your starting position. Repeat, bending to the other side. Perform three sets of 10 reps.
Holding a cable or resistance band secured to a stable object in front of you, stand with the cable or band in your right hand in front of you and your feet hip width apart. If you are using a band, make sure it is taut. Twist your upper body to the right, making a rowing motion with your arm. When your elbow passes your torso, twist back and straighten your arm. Do three sets of 15 on each side, resting between sets.
Do these exercises just three times a week on non-consecutive days to see results and hit the pool with confidence. You’ll gain strength and be beach-ready in no time. As with anything we recommend here on FBG, do these moves at your own risk and remember to work to your comfort level. Always listen to your body! —Erin