Back to the beach
Swimsuit weather is just around the corner-fingers crossed!-so we're getting back in shape with these moves from three local gym classes.
The class Kimmy Carlson’s Basic Cardio at East Bank (500 N Kingsbury St, 312-527-5800) revolves around four circuits of cardio and strength training to blast away winter pudge.
The move After warming up with 15 push-ups, escalate your heart rate with 45 seconds of mountain climbers.
How to do ’em Keeping your hands stationary on the ground, position your butt at a 45-degree angle and flatten your back. Alternate bringing one bent knee into your chest at a time at a rapid pace, maintaining your form. Stand up and do 30 seconds of high knees, driving your knees up past your belly button. Don’t stop for longer than five seconds except between sets, and repeat each set three times.
The class Union Station FFC’s (444 W Jackson Blvd, 312-627-0444) group fitness manager Dominick DeFranco, who teaches Butts & Guts, suggests toning your backside, as well as your inner and outer thighs, for a slimmer figure.
The move Standing leg squat
How to do it Stand with legs hip-width apart. Direct your weight to the heel of your left foot and position your right leg directly behind you as if you’re about to sit in a chair. Flex your hips forward, and flatten your back at a 45-degree angle. For an added challenge, work your biceps at the same time. Grab a gallon jug of milk or a can of soup (depending on how much weight you can handle). Hold your right arm bent at a 90-degree angle; then bring your arm, still bent, across your chest as you squat. Extend your left arm straight out to your side for extra balance. Repeat on the other side of your body. Do three to four sets of 8 to 12 reps.
The class Beach Body at Crunch (38 E Grand Ave, 312-828-9777), taught by group fitness director Lois Miller, focuses on a different body part (including biceps, pecs and calves) each week so the whole body is summer ready.
The move Pelvic tilt
How to do it Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet off the floor and hands behind your head for support. Your head, neck and shoulders should be off the floor. Lift your hips off the floor, focusing just below your belly button. Hold for 60 seconds, and repeat as many times as you can.
Want more moves to get ready for beach season? Try these bonus exercises from Crunch:
Bicep Curl - Stand with feet hip width apart, shoulders relaxed body bar in hands. Curl the bar up bringing hands to shoulders keeping elbows in. To increase the intensity change the tempo of the lift from slow to small pulses and add in 15 seconds of an isometric hold (elbows bent at 90 degrees). Mix up the tempo changes and isometric holds for a total time of 2 minutes.
Triceps press - Stand with feet hip width apart, shoulders relaxed and hold the body bar behind you, palms facing outward. Keep arms long with no bend in the elbow. Shoulders should be down and chest lifted (perfect posture). Press the bar away from you for 30 seconds, then do an isometric hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3 cycles.
Multi-directional Lunge - This can be done with or without weight. Start with feet hip width apart, (if holding weight do so at the shoulders) the working leg is the stationary leg. Begin with a forward lunge (right leg stationary), side lunge then back lunge. Remember to keep your body weight over the stationary leg and focus on pushing with the stationary leg. Repeat the sequence for 2 minutes then switch legs.
Standing Leg Lift - Hold one end of the body bar in the left hand and rest the other end of the bar on the outside of your right shoe. Proceed to lift the right leg keeping the leg straight and toes pointing forward (inward rotation of the hip). This will target the hip abductor and incorporates balance and stability. Continue the lift for 60 seconds and switch to the other side.
Push up/side plank - Begin with hands slightly wider than hip width apart and feet together. The glutes and quads should be completely contracted and the legs straight. Keeping the abdominals tight lower yourself to the floor. As you begin to push back up bring the right arm off the floor and point to the ceiling (the body should be in a side pose position T shape), repeat that alternating arms 10 repetitions each side. Hint: to make the exercise easier open up the width of your feet.
Lateral Raise - Standing feet hip width apart, shoulders relaxed, dumbbells in hand. Lift the weights laterally to shoulder height keeping palms down. Be sure to soften the elbows a bit especially if you are double jointed. Continue the lift for 60 seconds. Hint: if you are feeling pain in the shoulder joint turn your palms up to alleviate the stress.
Calf Raises - Standing feet together, raise up on the balls of your feet articulating through your entire foot. Keeping glutes tight hold the lift squeezing the calves. 60 seconds.
WIN THIS WORKOUT! E-mail email@example.com a brief description of your favorite summer workout routine by Wed 6 at 10am, and one lucky winner will get a six-month membership to Crunch!