You spent winter on the couch, but it’s still not too late to get strong, lean and sexy…
It happens every year: you’re all gung ho in the beginning of winter, adamant to keep active and beat the bulge. But by July, hot chocolate, muffins and long evenings next to the fire become more appealing than gym – and before you know it, it’s spring and your gym bag’s gathered dust.
But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to spending summer wrapped in a sarong. The key to scoring a hot body? Committing to a plan that’s easy to fit into your busy schedule (we’re talking 30-minute workouts here) and lasts exactly 21 days. Why? Experts say you can start to form a habit in as little as three weeks, and as anyone who’s ever been hooked on something knows, habits are hard to break. In other words, once you complete this programme (which has built-in days for rest and recovery), you’ll be motivated to keep going.
Each week, you’ll do six workouts: two total-body toning routines, two fat-blasting interval workouts and two easy, results-enhancing recovery sessions. It doesn’t matter what order you do them in, as long as you do them. (The goal is to get used to penciling in a little exercise each day, which helps you form a workout habit.) The remaining day is your no-excuse-needed day off – enjoy it!
These fast-paced strength circuits are designed to target multiple muscle groups at once so you can build lean muscle, rev your heart rate and torch a ton of kilojoules in a short amount of time. Best of all, you’ll fire up your metabolism and continue to burn kilojoules 24 to 48 hours after your workout is done.
Do the first pair of exercises as instructed, resting for 30 seconds between each move. Continue until you’ve finished all three pairs. During week one, complete one set of each pair. During weeks two and three, complete two sets.
This is your cardio fix. These interval-training workouts utilise high-intensity body-weight exercises to get your heart rate up, burn kilojoules and supercharge your metabolism. Do these three moves back-to-back, completing as many reps as you can in the prescribed amount of time. Rest for one to two minutes, then repeat. During week one, do each move for 20 seconds and complete five intervals. In week two, do six intervals of 30 seconds each, and in week three, do seven intervals of 40 seconds each.
The key to seeing results: push yourself as hard as you can while keeping good form. Each time you do the routine, try to increase the number of reps you complete in the amount of time given.
This quick, stretch-focused routine is designed to balance your high-intensity strength and cardio days and help create that enviable long and lean look. These four moves will stretch your chest and strengthen your upper back (to improve your posture), as well as activate your glutes, engage your core and stretch your hip flexors (all of which help to correct postural imbalances and flatten your belly). Do these moves two or three times in the following order.
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