Are you looking forward to summer? Or worried about getting into a bikini? You’re not alone – one survey found 82 percent of us feel the pressure to shape up before baring it all on the beach.
This summer, do things a little differently. We’ve found six ways to get bikini ready – from effective exercises to tone and tighten, to easy cheats that fake your way to beach beautiful.
All you need to do is book your ticket, pack enough sunscreen, and prepare your best-ever bikini body.
Get a flat stomach
Put those worries about your middle jiggle to one side and get going on creating taut, toned abs. Even if you do need to get a little creative…
Make it: Lie on your back, with your fingertips behind your head. Lift both legs off the floor, bend your right leg towards your chest and keep the left one pointing away from you. Bring your shoulders off the floor and twist your left elbow towards your right knee. Reverse this position by swapping your legs over and simultaneously twisting your chest (elbow to knee) in the opposite direction. Do 1-3 sets of 5-30 repetitions two to three times a week.
Fake it: Too much salt in your diet can cause water retention and bloating. Avoid adding salt to your food, and cut down on salty snacks. Also, try drinking coconut water; it’s rich in potassium, which helps balance out the amount of sodium (salt) in your body, reducing bloating.
For an extra body-confidence boost, go for a swimsuit with a control panel at the front, or ruching at the sides, to help define your waistline.
Tone your thighs
Our thighs and bottom are two of the toughest areas to shape up. But follow the steps below and you should see more definition in just one week.
Make it: One-leg burpees tone the thighs, blast bottom fat and build stamina too. They’re tough, but very effective! Start off standing on one leg. Jump up into the air, then place your hands down on the floor as you land, and jump back into a press-up position, staying on one leg. Jump back up to standing, remaining on that leg. Repeat 20 times, then switch legs.
Fake it: Caffeine is known as a classic anti-cellulite remedy, as it’s said to help tighten the skin. Rather than chucking out the used coffee grounds from your machine, massage them into your thighs and bottom instead. Add a little olive oil for extra-soft skin.
Tanned limbs also look slimmer, hiding lumps and bumps, so invest in a good self-tanning treatment a couple of days before your holiday.
Sculpt your arms
Resistance exercises are the only way to truly tone your upper arms, but if you’ve run out of time – or energy – you can still improve their appearance.
Make it: Incline diamond press-ups are a great way to firm up the back of your arms (triceps). Start in a press-up position with your hands on a bench or stable chair. Bring your hands close together, so the Tricep muscles have to work harder. Keeping your back straight, lower your chest towards your hands then push up again. Do four sets of as many reps as you can manage and your arms will feel firmer in a week.
Fake it: Dry brushing your upper arms a couple of times a week can improve the texture of your skin, getting rid of dead skin cells and boosting circulation. Brush upwards using long strokes to stimulate the lymphatic system and speed up the elimination of toxins, then apply a nourishing body lotion, like argan oil, to smooth the skin.
Looking for more bikini workout plans? See our sport and fitness section.
This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies