10 In LIFE/ WELLNESS

All-Time Best Exercise Move to Get Swim Suit Ready

I can’t believe bathing suit season is around the corner. If you live in Florida or a warm weather climate like me, you likely feel like it never left (truth) but we’re about to go to defaulting to weekends by the beach or pool. And, I know my desire to look and feel my best dramatically increases when I know I’ll be nearly naked in front of a mix of my closest friends and family, and complete strangers.

I’ve been working out for nearly a year with Bell (we shared our six ways for losing 5 pounds fast here). When I get into a consistent groove, I see such a dramatic positive change in the shape of my body in such a flattering, toned muscular — yet non bulky, way. She’s best working with women — really knows how to tone and lengthen — so I asked her if she would share with you some of her favorite, most effective moves that you can do in your home or in any open space. #noexcuses

You do not need a fancy gym class, lots of time or some expensive equipment.  For reference, we work out together in my small clubhouse gym, and rarely use any equipment at all beyond weights (usually between 3-8 lbs), yoga mat (try Amazon or Target) and bench.

 

WHAT YOU NEED

Small towel (kitchen towel works well)

A 6’ by 6’ tiled, laminate, or wood floored space

 

This is a multi-step move to target your entire body all in one. Let’s get to it.

 

STEP ONE: Starting Position

Kneel down and place both feet together on folded towel.

Bend forward to put both palms flat on the floor. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart with your fingers facing forward away from your body.

Lift yourself into a push-up/plank position.

Shift your hands around if necessary to correctly position your shoulders directly above your hands.

NOTE: Squeeze your glutes and engage your core by drawing your belly button into the spine. This contraction of your abdominal muscles will prevent any arching in your low back or hiking up of your hips toward the ceiling, plus will really help firm up those ab muscles fast. 

 

Step 2: Inverted “V” or Pike Phase

Start in high plank position with both feet on the towel and with fully extended arms, shoulders over elbows; make sure elbows are over your wrists. Engage your core muscles by sucking in your stomach while still breathing.

While maintaining a stiffened torso, exhale and shift your body weight backwards by pushing your hips backwards and upwards toward the ceiling.

Continue moving until your body forms an inverted or upside down “V” keeping your arms and legs extended and a maintaining a flat, neutral spine.

Pause for a moment (say your name out loud or recite the names of your children), and then slide your feet back to your starting position.

Note: You can allow a slight bend in the knees if that’s necessary to achieve the inverted “V” position.

 

Step 3: Lower Down

Inhale and return your body to the starting full-plank position, maintaining hands and shoulder alignment. 

As you can see from my position above, I’m starting the rotation you’ll see on the next step.

 

Step 4: Time to Rotate

While in the plank position fully extended with your core engaged, exhale and draw both knees upward toward the chest area by bending both knees and flexing at the hips.

(Don’t let your hips and low back pitch upwards or downwards toward the floor while you are in this tuck-knee position.)

As you draw your bent knees upwards toward your upper body, rotate your hips to move your bent legs across your abdomen. Continue to move until your hips can’t rotate any further.

Your head and shoulders should remain level, parallel to the floor throughout the exercise. Pause briefly while in the diagonal tuck position.

For a better visual (and seriously, check out her abs!)…

 

Step 5: Back to the Full-Body Extension & Rotate to the Other Side

Reverse out of the tucked diagonal position and return to the plank.

Now, exhale and draw both knees upwards toward the chest area by bending the knees and hips and rotate in the opposite direction.

Rotate in the opposite direction this time. Rotate your trunk until your hips can’t rotate any further without movement in your spine. Your head and shoulders should be level relative to the floor throughout the entire series of these movements above.

 

Step: Finish it Up

Inhale and return your body to the starting full-plank position, maintaining hands and shoulder alignment.

Feel good because you are getting stronger by the move! This series so effectively hits all your muscles for an all-over body tone fast.

GOAL: Aim to complete 10 of this series.

So what do you guys think; do you like seeing my workout moves here? What else can I share for Wellness Wednesday that would be helpful to you? Comment or ask questions below! 

Professional photos by Erica Dunhill

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  • Reply
    Jessica
    April 10, 2018 at 11:35 AM

    Heard so many good things about the benefits of plank. I do incorporate it in my workout from time to time, and I absolutely love it. It works the entire core, and really pushes you. I feel better doing it than situps.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  • Reply
    Heidi
    April 6, 2018 at 4:13 PM

    Yo look great Alyson! I need to get my butt back to the gym-I’ve been sidelined with injuries and this is great motivation!

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

  • Reply
    Jackie
    April 4, 2018 at 11:09 PM

    Thank you for sharing these great moves!! You and your trainer both look great! I would love more workout tips and maybe some nutrition tips for slimming down. I know I’ll have to give up Swedish Fish and Coke, but you have inspired me!

    • Reply
      Alyson
      April 5, 2018 at 4:10 PM

      Thank you and SO happy you found this helpful! I’m excited that we’re planning to share more workout moves and I can definitely integrate more nutrition tips as well. And, I mostly gave up soda a few years ago (I can never give up swedish fish or sour patch kids, lol!), and it really made a difference. Not totally the same, but I love drinking Spindrift — I find it at Trader Joe’s. Definitely go back and read this post about the six ways to lose five pounds: https://themodernsavvy.com/2017/07/11/six-ways-drop-nagging-five-pounds/.

  • Reply
    Beth
    April 4, 2018 at 5:01 PM

    This looks amazing; i’m totally trying this! I need to firm up my mid-section for sure!!!! You both look great!

    • Reply
      Alyson
      April 5, 2018 at 4:19 PM

      This is an excellent way to trim your midsection… really focus on engaging your core for maximum impact fast.

  • Reply
    Cory
    April 4, 2018 at 10:36 AM

    Love this. You look great and I am having serious ab envy with your trainer. 🙂

    • Reply
      Alyson
      April 5, 2018 at 4:20 PM

      Thanks so much, and right?! She motivates me whenever we work out.

  • Reply
    Joy
    April 4, 2018 at 7:35 AM

    Thank you for this total body workout tip! Love it! I love new and interesting ways to change up & add to my daily workouts. This ones a keeper!

    • Reply
      Alyson
      April 5, 2018 at 4:27 PM

      Same here… this one is such a good full-body move to tone everything at once… my kind of exercise!

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