By Pete Cerqua
Author of The 90-Second Fitness Solution
Getting nervous about swimsuit season? Don’t be afraid. Here are my simple yet effective exercises for toning any problem area, from thighs to triceps.
What are some moves that will sculpt my booty and get my body bikini ready?
You need to hit that in two different ways:
1) Super Woman (hyperextension exercise)
–Lie face down on floor on a pillow.
–Extend your arms and legs so that everything is off the ground, except your pelvis, which is on a cushion.
–Hold the position for 30 seconds, rest, take a breath and do it three more times. You’ll feel it in your lower back and glutes right away. Do this three times a week.
2) Squat Exercise
–Stand up, put your feet shoulder width apart.
–Cross your arms across your chest, reach your arms straight out for counterbalance.
–Squat all the way down and only come halfway or 3/4 of the way up. Now you’re engaging those muscles again, but you’re not giving them a rest.
–I’d like you to do three sets of 30 seconds. The amount of time you spend is more important than the reps, so get a stop watch. My reasoning is that if I told you to do this 10 times, I know you’re in a rush and you’ll do them in less than 10 seconds. It takes 30-90 seconds of stimulation to make a difference on a muscle. You need to actually work them. Take a few breaths in between if you need. This is about three minutes of total workout time. That’s the booty call right there!
My skin seems to get saggier as the years go by. What type of workout will help tighten my physique?
It’s not just exercise, it’s diet and supplementation. If your skin is sagging, strength training is going to help. Cardio is going to burn more muscle and leave the skin sagging. With strength training you’re going to build muscle and lose fat. For healthy skin, stay hydrated. People don’t drink enough water. I like to steer people toward drinking more water. Third, I like fish oil supplements to promote skin, heart, joint and brain health.
VIDEO: Take 90 Seconds to Get in Shape with Pete
How can I get rid of “bat wings,” that flappy skin where my triceps should be?
This is the most common question I get. You have to take care of the back of the arms. I have an intense solution: push-ups. Except you don’t DO any push-ups! The best part of the push-up is the lowering, or the negative portion; this is the more intense part and we want to emphasize that movement.
–Get into form for the top of the push-up and try to lower yourself for 30 seconds, pausing every 1/4 inch.
–Try to make it the entire 30 seconds. use your stop watch.
–Push yourself back up and try it again, doing three 30-second lowerings, pausing whenever you want to hold the position.
You’ll feel it in your chest and triceps the next day — and you’ll notice a difference right away. Most women do little weights with a lot of reps which makes the situation worse. Anyone can do a plank, which is just lowering and holding. If you do 10 seconds today, you can add a second more each day. You’re getting the tools to be successful.
Do women really need to lift weights? Don’t they add bulk?
Yes, yes yes, and yes! You have to lift weights because it’s great for bone health. Even if you do cardio, you need strength to keep your muscles and bones in check. You don’t want to become “skinny fat,” which is horrible. Strength training is also good for your cholesterol. There are many ways NOT to add bulk. You have to know how to add bulk to avoid it–pumping your muscles with high reps and light weights will do that. If you don’t want that, do heavier weights with slow, lower reps. That’s almost like doing yoga with weights — look at yoga fanatics. They’re not bulky, they’re lean. That’ll tighten your body, fast.
Which type of workout should I do to tone my thighs?
The first workout with the squats will also hit the thighs very directly (and you can do it at home). Another version I like is the wall sit. Put your back against the wall and slide down it, slowly, about 18 inches until it’s like you’re sitting in the chair. Now hold it for 90 seconds. People all over the world do this move: There’s no sweating, no changing your clothes, and you can do that every day if you want. Strength training is also great to prevent injury.