Get Your Best Beach Body Ever in 21 Days

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8. Alternating-Leg Hip Bridge

Fitness Focus: Hamstrings, Glutes, Abs

  • Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor, hands on floor beside hips.
  • Squeeze your glutes and lift hips up in 2 counts until shoulders, knees and hips form a straight line.
  • Keeping hips lifted, straighten left leg, then lower hips in 1 count.
  • Return left heel to floor and lift hips again in 2 counts.
  • Repeat, extending right leg and lowering hips to floor. Switch legs with each rep.

Fast-Track Your Cardio

You don’t need to hit the gym for hours in order to blast fat. In fact, shorter, high-intensity interval-based routines can be more effective than longer, slow-paced ones, says trainer Joe Dowdell. “Because you are moving at a high intensity, you’ll not only burn more calories during the workout, but you’ll also rev up your metabolism for several hours afterward,” he notes.

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This interval program takes 30 minutes and can be done with virtually any cardio machine or outdoor activity. Use your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) — how hard you’re working on a scale of 1 to 10 — as a guideline.

Minutes Exercise
0:00–5:00 Warm up at an easy pace (RPE 2–3: You’re breathing comfortably)
5:00–6:00 Increase intensity to a fast pace (RPE 8–9: You’re breathing hard)
6:00–8:00 Lower intensity to a more moderate pace (RPE 5–6: You could hold a conversation with slight effort)
8:00–26:00 Repeat interval sequence 6 times, doing 1 minute of high intensity (RPE 8-9) followed by 2 minutes of recovery (RPE 5–6)
26:00–30:00 Cool down at an easy pace (RPE 2–3)
Note: Follow this workout by doing 10 minutes of light stretching, focusing on your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

RPE: Rate of Perceived Exertion. How hard you’re working on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the easiest.

Note: Follow this workout by doing 10 minutes of light stretching, focusing on your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

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