Spring is upon us which means summer is just around the corner.
You are already working really hard at the gym, we know, but if you want to bust through your plateaus and get yourself ready to strut the beach in your bikini, here
are some tried-and-true tricks to get you looking and feeling your best.
1. Sculpt tank top ready arms
"I'm a big believer in 'old-fashioned' strength training," says Debora Warner, founder and program director of the Mile High Run Club, a NYC-based studio that teaches treadmill classes and endurance-based strength training for runners. If you're a runner, add strength training using high weight, low reps two to three times a week to you cardio. Doing so will build lean muscle mass and help you burn more calories.
2. Get your abs in gear
Our abs are usually one of the biggest concerns every year. Skip the crunches, says Jillian Lorenz and Ariana Chernin, cofounders of The Barre Code. Instead, try their go-to move: hold a 30-second plank each morning when you wake up and each night before you go to bed, adding 15- or 30-second increments each week. "As you hold an active position, like a plank, begin to visualize your body getting lighter, tighter, and stronger with each second that passes, developing a visual mind-body connection throughout the hold," the cofounders suggest. This move will five you more definition but also a little bit of Zen.
3. Treat yourself -- on the inside
So much focus on the outside of the body this time of year. Treat yourself from the inside out. Jumping around workouts from yoga to spin class to boot came is great but it can lead to a build up in lactic acid. "People think they're taking care of their bodies physically, but they forget about the internal things," says Natalie Uhling, Radius Fitness master trainer. "A sports or deep-tissue massage can help break down muscle tissue. You can't perform at your best and really get the most out of workouts if you're sore from lactic acid buildup." Can't swing a sports massage at the moment, foam rolling can also help sore muscles.
4. Add some spring to your step
With the increase in daylight that arrives in the spring, your energy level also increases. Grace Menendez, a trainer at Crunch Gym in NYC, recommends you channel that extra energy into a more intense, high energy workout. Plyometrics, or jump training, will give you more bang by adding an aerobic element to your strength training. The goal is to exert maximum force in short intervals of time, so combine a few plyometric drills (like box jumps or kettlebell swings) with weight lifting or bodyweight exercises for double the benefits.
5. Break out of your workout routine
Doing just one type of workout won't get you the summer body you are looking for. Cross-training is important to help build lean muscle and increase endurance for cardio activities, says Alex Isaly, Radius Fitness master trainer. This doesn't mean more hours at the gym. Instead, work three or four quick workouts that combine core work, agility training, stretching, and moves using five- to eight-pound dumbbells into your existing weekly routine to tone up all over.
6. Don't just show up
Obviously showing up is important, but so is telling your body. If your mind is off wandering white sandy beaches, it isn't focusing on your exercise. You can dream about your summer after the working. During, keep your mind focused on your short term goals. "Focusing on your breathing and connecting your breath to your movement is the easiest way to make sure you are getting the most out of class," says Jackie Dragone, director of FLEX Barre at FLEX Studios.
Anything here you can use to get that beach body? Anything you would add? Share with us!