Summer is right around the corner and you may, or may not be ready for it. The following is four of my favorite fat loss exercises to help you get your beach body. Adding these advanced exercises, along with a healthy diet and consistently working hard will have you feeling, moving and looking better this summer.
How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart, and place a kettlebell between your feet. Hinge at the hips with slightly bent knees to lower your body down to grasp the kettlebell both arms. Start with an explosive upward movement to swing the kettlebell, returning to a standing position, do not arch your back, and squeeze the glutes. Allow the kettlebell to swing until the arms are parallel to the floor. Remember that this is not a shoulder exercise, but an exercise to generate explosive force in the hips. Repeat 10 times.
The kettlebell swing involves the powerful muscles of the hips to generate force and mimics the same athletic hip movement that is so important in sports. This hip movement burns a lot of fat too. A study by the American Council on Exercise examining kettlebells found that, “In terms of calorie burning, these results are equivalent to running a six-minute mile pace, or cross-country skiing uphill at a fast pace”.
Single Leg Deadlift
How to do it: Stand holding a dumbbell in front of you thigh high. Place your left or right leg out behind you. Toes can be touching the floor behind you or be lifted completely off the floor to make the lift harder. Keeping your shoulders back, core tight and the back straight, bend at the hips and lower the dumbbell towards the floor. Lower down to mid shin level. Keep everything tight with your back rigid (no rounding) and eyes looking forward and explode up through your heels to the starting position.
This exercise targets the hips, abs and butt. Single leg exercises are also great to help prevent muscle imbalances. When one side of the body is stronger than the other it can unconsciously work harder and ease the work from the other side of the body. To balance out your strength gains the single leg deadlift is extremely effective.
How to: An important thing to consider with sprint training is safety. Because sprinting is a max effort exercise there is an increased risk of injury. Start slow and increase intensity over several weeks. After warming up for at least 10 minutes, sprint all out for 30 seconds, then walk for 30 to 90 seconds for recovery. Beginners should walk the entire 90 seconds and gradually reduce the recovery period over time, repeat 3 to 10 times.
If you’re short on time, but want the benefits that long, slow cardio provides, sprint workouts might be a perfect solution. Evidence shows that short, high intensity sprint workouts improve aerobic capacity and endurance in about half the time of traditional endurance exercise.
How to do it: Stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart, with your feet pointing forward. Bend your legs and lower your body down into a deep squat while keeping your torso upright. Swing your arms back behind you. Exhale and jump straight up, swinging your arms over your head like you are blocking a ball in volleyball. Land gently on the balls of your feet before landing on your heels with your legs bent. Repeat with no rest for 5-8 consecutive jumps. This is best done on grass or a soft floor like carpet.
Squats jumps involve using your legs and hips to generate force like a compressed spring before jumping straight up in the air. An effective way to increase power and add some fun and variety into your training program is to add plyometrics. Plyometrics work by using the body’s energy like a spring. This strengthens the tendons and connective tissues that protect the joints and burns a ton of calories. Please consult your doctor prior to starting any exercise program.
Kyler Crouse, BS, CSCS, FMS is a personal trainer and strength coach who trains at Sierra Athletic Club and in the homes of clients in the greater Lake Tahoe area. Crouse specializes in performance enhancement and injury prevention. Visit www.KCstrength.com for more information.