Summer is almost here, and while most women are welcoming the new season by stocking up on sunscreen and buying new bikinis, I'm spending my time trying to find cute cover-ups and one-piece suits that don't expose my midriff.
You see, even though I know the time for pool parties and beach BBQs is upon us, I'm still not finding the time to use my gym membership. Instead, I'm still wearing my comfy, bulky sweaters that also conveniently hide my excess weight. The problem? In just a couple weeks I'm not going to look so hot in my drenched-with-sweat knitwear.
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But instead of expecting myself to make a dramatic lifestyle change (since, let's face it, that's not happening anytime soon), I found a simple workout plan that'll help me shed my love handles in a month. That gives me just enough time before my first pool party to get in shape -- and ditch my maillot for a new bikini. Want to see my plan to get a flatter belly in 30 days? Read on.
Complete the routine below four times a week. It takes 15 minutes total.
Jog for 5 minutes -- Speed: 6.5, Incline: 0
Walk for 5 minutes -- Speed: 3.4, Incline: 15
Jog slowly for 15-30 seconds -- Speed: 4.5, Incline: 15
Walk for 15-30 seconds -- Speed: 3.4, Incline: 15
*Repeat the 15-30 second slow jog/walk routine 5 times.
Jog for 30 seconds -- Speed 6.5, Incline 0
Run for 30 seconds -- Speed: 7.5, Incline: 0
Run for 15 seconds -- Speed 8.5, Incline: 0
Run for 15 seconds -- Speed 9.5, Incline: 0
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Step 2: Do these three strength moves
Mix up your grip from time to time to keep the exercise fresh (palms facing you, facing away, palms facing each other, etc.). These are super tough, so use a machine that allows you to do assisted pull ups to make them bearable.
Do standard push ups, or do them off your knees or on an inclined bench. Another personal trainer fave: When you've built up your strength to be able to do a few push-ups off your toes, place your toes on a BOSU ball or another small exercise ball. This will challenge your balance and work more muscles than regular push-ups.
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These should be body-weighted squats -- no weighted bars or dumbbells necessary. Simply stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides, and sit back as if you were going to sit in a chair. Engage your hamstrings, glutes, and core as you stand back up. You can also mix these standard lunges up with jumping lunges, to vary your routine. Surprised that ab specific exercises didn't make this list? These three exercises use the largest muscles of the body in order to get everything in shape and to keep your metabolism up throughout the day, which will help burn fat and flatten your belly, says Conrad.
For more belly-flattening activities, click here.
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