Summer is fast approaching.
What does it represent? Swimsuit season.
Whether you plan to take your kids to the pool, the beach, or set up a kiddie pool in your backyard, you are sure to find yourself donning a swimming suit at some point.
What’s the best way to get yourself ready to face the water? Exercise.
These three boot camps will help get you in great shape in a short amount of time. They can all be done at home, so you can fit it in whenever you have a few minutes to spare. They’re also high intensity, meaning you’ll see great results in a short amount of time.
As shown in Fitness, this exercise focuses on toning your upper body. In just 10 minutes (I told you it wouldn’t take long), you can sculpt and slim your arms, ensuring they’re ready to sport a suit or tank top.
1. Start with a propped push-up, which requires a four- to eight-pound medicine ball. This exercise will target your shoulders, back, chest, triceps, and abs.
- Start on all fours (knees under hips, back flat), both palms pressing into ball directly below chest, fingers pointed toward floor. Extend your legs behind you and balance on your toes so that you form a straight line from head to heels, with feet about 2 feet apart.
- Bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the ball, keeping arms by your sides, abs engaged and back flat.
- Exhale as you push back up, straightening arms.
- Do eight reps. Rest 60 seconds, and repeat.
2. Next you’ll move into the smash-down, which focuses on your shoulders, back, triceps, and abs.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the ball with both hands in front of your thighs, keeping your abs engaged.
- Keeping your shoulders down, swing the ball up and slightly behind your head, bending your elbows, as you lift your heels off floor and stand on your tiptoes.
3. It’s the star pass next – you’ll focus on your shoulders, back, abs, obliques, and glutes.
- With your ball in your left hand, extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder level, palms up.
- Lift your right leg straight out to the side and lean to the left while maintaining your balance.
- Lift arms overhead as you lean back to the center, passing the ball to your right hand and switch legs. Lower arms to shoulder level and lean to the right for one rep.
- Do 10 reps. Rest for 30 seconds; repeat.
4. Time for the curl and toss. Expect to feel this in your shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, and abs.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding your ball in your right hand, arms by your sides.
- Curl the ball up to your right shoulder, keeping your elbow by your side.
5. Next you’ll do the ball flye, a move that focuses on your shoulders, chest, and obliques.
Extend your arms straight up, directly over your shoulders. That’s it for that one!
The best part about this workout is it’s so short, you can truly fit it in anytime – during the kids’ naps, before they wake up, during a playdate, or once they’re asleep.
This bootcamp’s name says it all. The bikini-belly bootcamp requires you to do it three or four nonconsecutive days per week, per Shape.
Set aside about 20 minutes for this one.
1. Elbow Plank Pike Taps.
- Start in a plank position with your forearms on the floor, elbows directly beneath your shoulders, feet hip-width apart. Brace your abs in tight so your body forms a straight line from head to toe (imagine you have a tight corset around your waist during this entire workout).
- Next, pike your hips up higher than your shoulders as you lift your right foot off the floor and tap it in by your left. Step your right foot back to your start position and lower your hips back to plank (don’t allow them to sag below your shoulders). That’s one rep.
- Repeat 20 times total, alternating legs each time.
2. Cardio Blast: One-Arm Burpees.
- Start standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart (or just outside the edges of your mat if you’re using one).
- Squat down to the floor and place your right hand on the floor just under the center of your chest, your left arm reaching behind your body.
- Brace your abs in tight and jump both of your feet back and out into a full plank position.
- Quickly jump your feet back in toward your hands, landing back in a squat and stand up. That’s one rep.
- Repeat 20 times total, as quickly as you can, changing arms each time.
3. Squat Cross Crunch.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands clasped behind your head. Lower down into a squat. As you stand up out of it, bend and lift your left knee across to your right shoulder and rotate your torso so that your right shoulder moves in toward your lifted knee (keeping your elbows open to the sides as you twist).
- Step your left foot back down to your start position and repeat to the other side. That’s one rep.
- Repeat 20 times total, changing legs each time.
4. Cardio Blast: Power Squat Chops.
- Stand with your feet together, arms extended overhead, hands clasped.
- Quickly jump your feet out wide and land in a squat position as you chop your arms across your body to the outside of your left hip.
- Quickly jump your feet back together and raise your arms overhead again. That’s one rep.
- Repeat 20 times total as quickly as you can, alternating sides with your arms each time.
- Lie on your back with your legs extended and together, toes pointed, and your arms in close by your sides. Brace your abs in tight and sit up, lifting your legs off the ground and reaching your arms toward your toes (so that your body looks like the letter ‘V’ at the top).
- Hold for one count and then slowly lower all the way back to the floor. That’s one rep.
- Do 20 reps total. Try not to use momentum to sit up, and if you need to, bend your knees to make it easier.
6. Cardio Blast: Ski Climbers.
- Start in a full plank position. Step your right foot off to the side of your mat, bending your left knee and bringing your left foot into your body, with the ball of your left foot off the floor (sort of like you are about to take off in a sprint diagonally).
- Keeping your arms strong and your abs tight, quickly push off the ground with your legs, lifting your hips up in the air, and switch your feet, landing with your left leg extended out to the side and your right knee bent. Push off again and switch legs. That’s one rep.
- Do 20 reps total.
7. Kneeling Cross Crunches.
- Start kneeling on your mat, hands on your hips, and step your left foot forward so you’re on one bended knee.
- Place your right hand behind your head, elbow out to the side. Brace your abs in tight and do a cross crunch, bringing your right elbow across your left knee. Open back up to your start position. That’s one rep.
- Do 20 reps on this side, 20 on the other.
8. Cardio Blast: Skater Crunch Cross.
- Stand to the right side of your mat. Bend your left knee and cross your right leg behind your left, crouching down toward the floor slightly. Bend your arms into your chest and rotate your upper body to the left.
- From here, quickly push off the floor and jump out and over to the left side of your mat (try to make it all the way to the other end), reaching your arms out in front of your chest as you leap. Land on your right leg, crossing your left leg behind, both knees bent, and rotate your upper body to the right. That’s one rep.
- Do 20 reps total, moving back and forth each time.
9. Bicycle In-Out.
- Lie on your back with both knees bent into your chest, hands clasped behind your head. Lift your upper back and head off the floor and lift your legs up into a 90-degree angle, knees together, feet flexed.
- Turn your left shoulder to the right, opening your elbows to the side and turning your chest and torso to the right (your pelvis should stay square and centered on your mat). Hold the twist and then extend your legs straight out over your mat as low as you can without arching your back (if you feel this in your lower back, don’t extend your legs as low).
- Bend your knees back in, holding the twist through the upper body. That’s one rep.
- Repeat 20 times on one side, 20 times on the other
10. Cardio Blast: Windmill Switches.
- Stand on your left leg with your right leg extended out to the side and your right heel lifted off the ground.
- Bend down into a crouched position and reach your right hand to the floor in front of you, twisting through your torso so that your left arm is extended behind the back of your body, bracing your abs in tight.
- Push off the ground with both legs and jump up and to the left, keeping both arms extended, landing in a crouched position with your weight on your right leg, left heel lifted, and your left hand touching the floor in front of you with your abs pulled in tight as you rotate to reach the floor. Quickly jump back the other way. That’s one rep.
- Do 20 reps in total as quickly as you can.
20-minute boot camp
Here’s another boot camp, from Women’s Health and Fitness. All you’ll need for this one is a little space and your own body weight. If you feel up to it, you can also add kettle balls and medicine balls to certain parts of the workout. Good luck!
1. Prisoner squat.
- With your feet slightly wider than your shoulders place your fingers behind your head. Keep your elbows back, bend at the hips and knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position.
- Complete 15 reps.
2. Elevated push-up.
- In push-up position, elevate your hands – place them on a block or thick book. On your toes or knees, inhale as you bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the floor. As you exhale, straighten your arms.
- Complete six reps per side.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and step your right leg out diagonally – your foot should be positioned wider than your right hip. Bend your knees to lunge position, drive up and return your foot to the starting position.
- Complete 10 reps per side.
4. Sumo squat.
- Take an extra wide stance, point your toes out, and slowly bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold, and slowly return to the starting position.
- Complete 15 reps.
- Want more of a challenge? Add a kettlebell.
5. Vertical jump.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees slightly – not as low as a squat – swing your arms back and up as you straighten your legs and jump.
- Complete six reps.
6. Spiderman climb.
- In the push-up position, bring your right knee toward your right elbow. Straighten your right leg back to the starting position, and repeat with your left leg.
- Complete five reps.
- Up for a challenge? Add a medicine ball.
7. Side-to-side jump.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees slightly and jump to your right. Use your arms to propel your body up, keep your shoulders back and your tummy pulled in, and repeat on your left side.
- Complete eight reps per side.
8. Regular push-up.
- Position your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and rise up onto your toes or knees. Inhale as you bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor. Exhale as you push back up to start position.
- Complete 12 reps.
And, that completes our at-home boot camp routines. The truth is, these workouts don’t need to be done just because swimsuit season is on the way. You deserve to take a few minutes out of your day to look and feel your best.
These boot camps are hard, but so what? You’re a mom – if anyone can handle it, it’s you.
Until next time, Kirsten