Sometimes it can be really tough to fit in a full workout, especially when you are under pressure to fit everything else into your hectic schedule. It is however possible to fit in a really effective yet short workout that will help get you bikini ready in time for Summer!
This workout is best done as a circuit spending one minute on each exercise. It combines fat burning interval training with abs exercises and also upper and lower body ones so that you target your entire body in ten minutes.
Rest as you need to but try build yourself up to complete the full circuit without breaks. If you have more than ten minutes to spare, simply repeat the circuit for a second or even third time.
Barbell back squat
The squat is the ultimate exercise for the lower body. A squat rack is the best place for this exercise, especially if you are using a loaded bar.
Set up the rack so that the barbell is positioned slightly below shoulder height and the barbell is loaded to the desired weight.
a) Step under the bar so that it is positioned behind the shoulders.
b) Hold the bar with both hands and using your legs, un-rack the bar and take three steps back positioning the feet so that they are shoulder width apart.
c) Allow the bar to settle and begin the movement by bending at the knees and hips while maintaining a straight back at all times.
d) Do not allow the knees to go beyond the toes and look forward throughout the movement.
Repeat this exercise for one minute, but focus on good form not the amount of repetitions.
This exercise focuses on the back.
a) Hold a barbell with your palms facing the floor, then lean forward at the hips so that you form a forty five degree angle; keep a slight bend in the knees.
b) Keep your arms extended so that they are in front of the knees (you should feel a stretch in your upper back). Breathe out as you pull the barbell towards your chest, pulling back the shoulder blades and flaring the elbows outwards.
c) Focus your eyes forward and keep the back straight throughout the movement as a rounded back is vulnerable to injuries.
d) Hold the barbell in this position momentarily, exhale and return to the starting position.
Repeat for as many reps as possible in one minute while keeping the movement controlled. Lower your body as far as your flexibility allows you to while maintaining good form throughout the movement. Use your heels to push your body back to the starting position.
Step in plank
This is a great variation on a standard plank that will really work on your abs and core muscles!
a) Begin with your hands on the floor and stretch your legs behind you in a push up position – raise your hips and squeeze your abs tightly – your body should now be in a straight line from your head to your heels.
b) Begin the movement by then lifting your right leg off the floor a few inches while maintaining the plank position.
c) In a controlled manner circle the leg so that it is forty five degrees from the body and touch your toes off the floor.
d) Raise the leg back into the air and return it maintaining control back to the starting position.
Repeat this on the opposite leg and when both legs have been trained this is one full rep. Repeat this movement for a minute and take rests as necessary.
This is a fantastic exercise for the lower body and abs; it also is great for burning fat as it gets your heart rate up.
a) Begin with your feet shoulder width apart in front of a bench slightly higher than the knees but at a position that is suitable for your own capabilities.
b) Hold a dumbbell in each hand or place a barbell across your back. If using dumbbells, allow the arms to hang by the sides – place your right foot on the bench ensuring the whole foot is supported for balance.
c) Push up through your right heel to lift your body onto the bench, allowing your left foot to hang just off the surface.
d) Return your left leg and then the right leg to the floor. This is considered one full repetition of the exercise.
Repeat for one minute squeezing the abs and glutes tightly throughout the whole movement.
Flat bench dumbbell chest press
This exercise focuses on the chest.
a) Begin by lying face up on an exercise bench – keep the feet shoulder width apart.
b) Using an overhand grip, grasp a dumbbell in each hand – your wrists should be above your elbows and your upper arms parallel to your shoulders.
c) Breathe outwards as you lift the dumbbells up and over your chest.
d) Breathe in as you return to the beginning position in a controlled movement.
Repeat for one minute.
One sided toe crunch
Image shows normal toe crunch
This is a great all round exercise for the stomach as it hits both the centre and the sides of the muscle.
a) Begin by lying on the ground looking towards the ceiling with both legs stretched out – lift both your arms up and behind your head so that the upper arms are at your ears.
b) Lift your left leg until your toes are pointing towards the ceiling.
c) Simultaneously, squeeze your abs to lift your shoulders from the ground and stretch both arms towards your leg.
d) Return to your starting position and repeat for thirty seconds before changing to the right leg and repeating the same movement for thirty seconds.
Ensure you perform the same amount of repetitions on each leg.
Stiff leg deadlifts
This is one of my favourite exercises for hitting the lower body. Stiff-leg deadlifts can be performed with either dumbbells or a barbell. If you use dumbbells, hold them so that they are in front of the thighs keeping the palms facing in towards your body.
a) Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart while keeping a slight bend in the knee –
b) Breathe in and push back the hips as you lower the dumbbells past your knees – hold this position for a second when you feel a deep stretch in the back of the thighs.
c) Breathe out and use your hamstrings to return your body back to the starting position.
d) Squeeze the glutes and abs through the entire movement as this has the added benefit of protecting the lower back.
Note: Maintain control throughout the whole exercise and repeat the movement as many reps as possible without rushing for one minute. Focus on form, quality is crucial with this exercise not quantity.
Alternating dumbbell curl
This exercise targets the biceps.
a) Sit on a bench keeping the feet shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing outwards from the body.
b) Keep your arms tightly beside your torso and pull the shoulder blades back.
c) Flex your left elbow so that you bring the dumbbell towards your left shoulder.
d) Hold this position for a second, and then slowly return the dumbbell to your starting position.
Repeat this movement with your opposite arm and maintain control throughout the exercise. Alternate arms for one minute.
This exercise is great for the triceps which are at the back of the arms.
a) Simply sit on a bench or even a chair with your legs stretched out in front of you so that your heels are touching the floor.
b) Position your hands so that they are at the edge of the bench or chair. Use your arms to hold your weight, and slowly push your hips so that they are no longer on the bench.
c) Bend your elbows and lower your body. Keep the downward motion going until your upper arms are in a ninety degree angle and parallel to the bench or chair.
d) Hold this position for a few seconds and keep your muscles tight throughout the movement, then push yourself up to the starting position.
Repeat this exercise for one minute for as many repetitions as you can while maintaining good form and control throughout the movement.
This is another great exercise for the abs.
a) Begin lying face up on the ground. Keep your arms in line with your shoulders to assist with balance.
b) Raise your legs so that they form a ninety degree angle keeping your knees above your hips and squeezing the abs tightly throughout the whole movement.
c) Drop your knees to the left side of your body and then the right in a controlled movement.
d) Leaving only a few inches between your calves and the ground. Continue this movement for one minute and maintain control throughout the exercise.
Note: Ensure you train each side equally.
Take home message
This routine will provide a great short session to get you moving while being really effective for building that bikini body.
Remember to stay hydrated and don’t forget to stretch after your workout!