Half way through our challenge! How are you feeling? We have spent the last two weeks together getting fitter and trimmer. After the abdominals (which I’m sure you are still working on daily), buttocks and legs (I hear this was quite an intense challenge 😉 ), it is now time to tackle the trio: shoulders + arms + dorsals.
We shall target biceps and triceps for beautifully toned arms to show off in strappy dresses and short sleeve t-shirts. We will also work on our shoulders as nothing beats sexy shoulders to complement your body and showcase a nice bikini top. And, last but not least, the dorsals to say bye bye to back pain and helloo sexy back in new swimsuit!
So, this week, we keep doing 4 min abs each day as well as 5 min quads’n glutes and we fit in these new exercises. Yes, yes, it is possible, take your coach’s word for it! Of course, continue sharing your efforts and results on social media as I have many really nice presents to give away
Right! let’s see what our lovely Alexa, who’s been our fitness coach over the last 2 week, has in stock for us!
Begin on all fours, back neutral (bottom left picture). Straighten your legs and point your hips up (top picture), in this position the intention is to bring the torso and thighs closer together maintaining straight arms and legs, hold for 10 seconds. Then, relax in child’s pose (bottom right picture). Repeat 5 times
For 1 minute, ideally 3 minutes.
Very easy to perform, you will need a pair weights, one in each hand. Keeping your arms slightly bent, lift them up to shoulder height and turn them to have your palms facing forward. Close your arms in front of you as if you were… hugging a tree as you breathe out and open them as you breathe in.
Maintain your arms slightly bent the whole time, be careful not to drop your elbows and to keep you back neutral, no arching.
For 2 X 30 seconds (at least ) –
Start off lying face down on a swiss ball. Only your tummy is in contact with the ball, arms and legs are stretched out and will be for the entire duration of the exercise. Raise one arm and the opposite leg at the same time. The intention is as much to reach forwards with the arm and backwards with the foot as to lift them off the ground, avoid arching your back. Return to the floor and lift the other arm and leg in the same way. The ball is there to ensure good posture and protect your back. Make sure you pick the right size for you, unless you are very tall 45 or 55 cm diameter should suffice.
PS. if you are super fit and the exercise is too easy, you can add ankle weights.
for 3 X 30 seconds (no more).
Lie face down, lower abdomen resting on the swiss ball, legs straight and spread out, toes on the floor, elbows out to the sides and the back of the hands against the forehead, neck long.
The aim of this exercise is to raise the torso contracting your dorsals and your glutes whilst maintaining our feet on the ground, be very careful not to arch your back. No need to lift very high, as you can see Alexa is only going as far as forming a straight line from her ankles to her shoulders.
I know, I know, we don’t like them! That is why I kept them for the end
I think I can easily say that they are my least favourite exercise, BUT they produce fabulous results! So, they are worth having a go at.
Start in a plank “shoulders-waist-ankles” aligned, your back is straight and your shoulders low to avoid any tension in the neck. Bend your elbows, always keeping your shoulders above your wrists and lower yourself without losing the body’s alignment. Repeat until your arms shake. Stop as soon as you start to arch your back.
Here is a bonus for those of you who, like myself, prefer to do push ups on your knees. Follow the pictures below and the guidelines are the same as for normal push ups.
You can do this exercise using a bench, the edge of a bathtub, an armchair or even a step in a staircase.
Start out like in picture 1: back straight, knees arms straight, wrists turned away resting on the edge of the stable support of your choice, tummy in, knees half bent resting on your heels. Using the strength of our triceps, lower yourself bending your elbows until they form a right angle. Be aware to keep your shoulders low the whole time to avoid tension in your trapezius muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and rise slowly. I insist upon the word “slowly” so you avoid using momentum instead of gravity to perform the exercise. The more you master the speed and stay in control the faster you will see results.
As triceps are very hard to tone, we target them again with this very classic exercise, classic but oh! so efficient!
You can use a dumbbell or a water bottle between 1 and 2 kgs (2-4lbs)
In the start position (top left) you are on all fours arms shoulder width apart, knees hip width apart, back neutral and the weight (or water bottle) in one hand. Lift the weight off the ground and tuck the elbow against your waist and extend your arm backward keeping the elbow by your body and weight to your hip. Then, bend your arm back until the weight is by your shoulder elbow still tucked in. Control your movement, no swinging. Do 25 reps before putting your weight down and switching sides.
We have exercised our back hard, it is now time to stretch them out with this sequence.
Perform the next moves slowly in the following order: flat back, arched back, rounded back, flat, arch up, round, flat, arch up, round …
You can do several successive sequences deepening the movement a little more each time but never straining the movement.
Flat back: arms straight wrists below the shoulders shoulder width apart, knees hip width apart below the hips, the gaze is between the hands the back is flat.
Arched back: arms straight, gaze ahead, shoulder blades drawn together, the back arches without compressing the lower back, the pelvis is pointing up.
Round back: arms are straight, head and neck relaxed, shoulder blades pulling away from each other, the back is rounded, the pelvis is turned in.
Lets finish off with the session with an arm and shoulder stretch. This is a very simple exercise that will stretch both. Of course we could do a dozens of different stretches but as your time is precious we try and do the minimum number of moves for the maximum amount of results!
Sitting cross legged, back straight, raise your right arm up, take it across your chest and pulling you right elbow with your left arm without twisting your torso. No need to strain, we aren’t looking for pain but a pleasant stretch in the shoulder. Hold the position for 45 seconds, release and change sides.
Voilà! you have now got a smashing program to make this week the one where your shoulders will gain definition, your arms will get toned and your back get stronger.
It’s up to you! And don’t forget to share your achievements using the hashtag #bikinifitnesschallenge on Instagram (tag me with @valerieorsoni), on Twitter (@lebootcamp), on FB on our various pages, and of course by leaving comments on this page.
And together we will get closer to achieving our dream body!