Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, one thing is certain: We’ll all be seeing ourselves in swimwear a lot more frequently as we enjoy the first few weeks of summer. To help you really make a splash at the pool this season, The Voice-Tribune caught up with renowned fitness instructor Jeff Howard to learn a quick and easy workout you can do at home to get your body totally beach-ready.
Grab your timer and a towel. Do all 12 exercises for 1 minute. Then repeat all 12 exercises for 30 seconds.
Photos by Ryan Noltemeyer.
Works: Butt and abs
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. From this position, squat straight down and sit on a chair. Push through your heels (try to get your toes of the floor) and stand back up. For a more difficult modification, do these with your arms straight up, or to make it easier, do them with your hands resting on your quads.
Lunge Kick (left)
Works: Butt and abs
Bring in a chair to hold on to for support if you like. Put your hand on the back of the chair and assume a lunge position. Bending your knees, slightly pulse down three times quickly and then kick your left leg in front of you. That’s one rep.
Lunge Kick (right)
Works: Butt and abs
Bring in a chair to hold on to for support if you like. Put your hand on the back of the chair and assume a lunge position. Bending your knees, slightly pulse down three times quickly and then kick your right leg in front of you. That’s one rep.
Inner Thigh Outer Thigh (left)
Works: Legs obliques
Grab a canned good or other household item with moderate weight. Stand with your legs wide and toes pointed out. Start to shift left to right bending the knees. Pick up the item, shift your weight and then drop it off. Pick it up, drop it off.
Inner thigh outer thigh (right)
Works: Legs, oblique
Grab a canned good or other household item with moderate weight. Stand with your legs wide and toes pointed out. Start to shift right to left bending the knees. Pick up the item, shift your weight and then drop it off. Pick it up, drop it off.
Deadlift (“the butt lifter”)
Works: Butt, back
Assume a wide stance (better for people with lower back issues) and bring in a bag of rice or other household item with moderate weight. Just like Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde,” bend and snap by bending your knees keeping your back straight and lift the bag until you’re standing straight back up again
Works: Butt, legs, abs
Lay on a rug or yoga mat on your back with your knees bent. Pushing through your heels and squeezing your butt, lift your pelvis straight off the floor before lowering it back to almost touching the floor. To make this more difficult, lift your arms in the air and have only your heels touching the floor with toes pointed to the sky.
Works: Total upper body, abs
We all remember these from gym class. Lay face down on the floor with your arms reaching out to the side like an airplane. Then place palms flat alongside your chest. Push through your arms to lift your chest off the ground keeping your toes on the floor. To make these easier, try doing it on your knees.
Works: Back, arms, abs
Grab two bags of rice or other household items with moderate weight. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart then take only one leg slightly behind you and tilt forward leading with your chest toward the floor. Start with your palms together by your belly button, then take the arms away from each other upward and slightly back (never higher then your shoulders) and then lower them back to the belly button area. When lifting, imagine you are squeezing a grape between your shoulder blades
Works: Arms, abs
Sit on the floor as if you’re going to crab walk with your feet flat, knees bent and palms flat behind you. Bring your toes off the floor so you’re only on your heels and palms, and then lift yourself off the ground and slowly dip until your elbow is at a 90-degree angle. Then push yourself back up.
Seatbelt Sit Up
Works: Obliques and abs
Sit on the floor knees slightly bent. Lean back and lift your chest to the sky then lift one arm up to the ceiling, and with the other hand, imagine you’re pulling your seatbelt over your waist. Do 10 on the right and then 10 on the left. Repeat. To make this harder, add a bag of rice or other household item with moderate weight.
Works: Lower abs
Sit on the floor with your legs bent and knees and feet together. Let the knees fall open so that the soles of the feet touch. Try it with your arms behind your head to do small crunch progression. Lay flat with your arms overhead and then do a full sit-up reaching forward.
Jeff’s Bonus Nutrition Tips
Don’t eat any food after 8 p.m.
The biggest meal of the day should be either lunch or breakfast as you’ll burn it off for the rest of the day.
Use only one condiment with any meal: either butter, mayo, cheese, but never all of them.
20-minutes Rule: eat your meal and wait 20 minutes before eating another serving.
Don’t confuse being hungry with thirst. When you feel hungry, try drinking water and see how you feel.
Lastly, don’t have those unhealthy indulgences in your house. But if you crave something and you have to get in your car to go get it, then you deserve it! But get the smallest quantity there is and see if it quenches that craving.