In conjunction with EBONY’s 90-day fitness challenge (see our March/April 2015 issue), a few staffers were given the pleasure of practicing an easy, efficient workout routine mainly focusing on getting the best toned butt and slimmed down gutt of your life. Who doesn’t want that? If you say you don’t—you’re lying!
Personal trainer and lifestyle coach Mark Brown advises to always begin by starting off with a good stretch and a quick cardio blast (such as jumping jacks) to wake the body up. Trust us: your glutes and tummy will be thanking you later. No equipment, no gym membership—only a “get it right, get it tight” attitude required!
Here are four moves we learned that really work, and can be executed in as little as 30-45 minutes.
1. Sumo Squats
Begin by starting in standing position with your feet four-six inches wider than your shoulders, and your hands together in a prayer position. Left and right toes should be pointed at about a 45-degree angle, pointing outward left and right. Slowly lower yourself by bending your knees and hips as if you were getting in a squat position while keeping your back straight. Continue to lower until the fronts and backs of your thighs are parallel to the floor. After lowering your body, press back upward to your original standing position. For added burn, try kicking outward rather than standing back to your original position. Repeat three sets of 10 reps.
2. Bicycle Crunches
Lie on your back on a mat with knees bent, feet on the floor, and hands behind your head (don’t clasp your fingers). Press your lower back into the mat and tighten your ab muscles to lift your head, shoulders and upper back off the floor. Simultaneously, move your right elbow and left knee toward each other while straightening your right leg without letting it touch the ground. Repeat the same movements with your left elbow and right knee. Repeat three sets of 30-second reps.
3. Mountain Climbers
Start off in a runner’s position with your right leg lunged forward, and the left leg extended behind. Quickly switch legs by bouncing your left leg to the front and sending your right leg back. Continue alternating as fast as you can. This exercise allows you to burn so many calories in so little time. Repeat three sets of 30-second reps.
End off your workout by aligning your body in a pushup position on the floor. Plant your forearms on the ground with elbows parallel to the ground. Your arms should be aligned about shoulder-width apart. Keeping your backbone flat, the body should be in a straight line from head to toe. All elements of your core should feel engaged. To really strengthen your abs and burn belly fat, hold for three sets of 30-second reps.