No more excuses! Try these last-minute ways to get yourself bikini ready
Holiday departure date looming and you still haven't managed to tone up? There is still time! Get going quick on these four emergency measures and within a fortnight you will see a difference...
To tone the muscles in your bottom (the glutes) and tops of the legs (quadriceps), lunges are a great exercise. There are a number of alternative ways to lunge, but do make sure the lower part of your forward leg remains vertical as you lower yourself and do not let your front knee protrude forward over your toes.
The most obvious lunge, the forward lunge, is where you bring one leg forward, as if to take a step but with a much longer stride, and then with your back straight squat down by bending both knees. To return to standing push up on the heel of the front foot. Repeat this exercise on alternate legs.
Work up to 3 sets of 12 or 15 repetitions and try to do this three times each week. Best lunges to tone your butt and thighs.
Squats target the same muscles as lunges but can be better for toning the bottom specifically. When you squat do not over-stretch as this will actually engage different muscles - you want to bend from the knees into an imaginary seated position where your bottom is aligned just above your knees forming almost a right angle. To intensify the workout try holding dumbbell weights with your arms bent so that the weights are about chin height.
Attempt 3 sets of 12 or 15 repetitions every other day to notice an improvement. Or, rather than count how many you do, you can also try doing them in the advert breaks of your favourite soap on TV - if you aim to keep on until the break ends you may just manage 40 or more.
Shape up your bottom with these squats exercises.
It's free, it's convenient, it works your leg muscles, bottom and arms and gets your heart moving more than stretches. Running is also a great opportunity to breathe in some fresh air, develop a base tan (remember to slap on the suncream) and grab some undisturbed me-time.
Or rope in a pal and use it as a catch-up time - this also helps prevent boredom and may well encourage you to run further than you would otherwise.
Make sure you're wearing the right running shoes to prevent injury. Take a look here for running shoes advice. Walking as many places as possible in toning sandals or shoes can also help to tone the calf muscles - check out the Reebok Easytone range for some great girly sandals and shoes.
See here for our reviews of toning sandals.
Want a flat muscly tum? Sorry, but there's really only one option: stomach crunches. They do hurt, they are a pain, but they are the most effective and quickest way of toning that tum. Get down to them either first thing in the morning or just before bed, but whenever you do them, make sure it's daily for visible results. Always allow at least 2 hours between eating and exercising or you may experience cramps.
Try this flat stomach move for five minutes a day and you'll see results before the fortnight is out.
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