(www.BlackDoctor.org) -- When the heat begins to rise and the sun starts beaming, you know summer is near. It’s time for short sleeves and maybe even shorter shorts and skirts. For sexy summer clothes, your body must be ready. Here are five simple moves that can really get you ready for classic Kool and the Gang hits like, Summer Madness, on a perfect sunny day.
Wanna show those arms? Dips are essential.
Using a stationary chair (one that does not roll) and place your hands, fingers forward, on the end of the chair. Keep your arms are straight. Walk your feet forward so that your back is in front of the chair. Bend your arms, so that your tailbone dips down and then straighten your arms again. Do this at least ten or more times to tone the tricep muscle, located on the underside of the arm.
Bikini bottoms anyone? If so, tone the glutes.
Okay, so maybe you won’t wear the bikini, but then again, maybe you will! To be ready for your swimsuit, walking lunges are key. They are easy to do and the direction of them can be changed so that you can target your rear, hips and hamstrings. Try this variation to hit all angles:
Do one set of ten walking lunges forward for glutes. Rest. Then do curtsy lunges for hamstrings, hips and thighs. Rest. Repeat these sets two or three times. That’s sure to take some of the “junk” from out of the trunk.
Like the new Bermuda shorts and gaucho look? Add a relevé to your repertoire.
This move is a classic for dancers, but can be easily incorporated into your workout for toned calves. Standing upright with feet about hip’s width in distance, place your hands on your hips. Lift your heels off the floor contracting the calf, then slowly lower, but don’t let your heels touch the floor. Quickly lift them up again. Do these until you just can’t take it anymore and then rest for a minute and go at it again. Your calves will look like you’re still a high school track star!
Wanna show some cleavage? Chest flys are the secret.
Select a dumbbell that will challenge your chest or pectoral muscles. Eight to twelve pounds may be a good start. Lying on your back on a step board or elevated bench holding the dumbbells faced toward each other. Make a slight bend to the elbows as if to make a circle, then open the arms up wide. Make sure you control the weights as the arms go wider, slowly and with control. Return back to start with arms over chest, then “fly” open again for at least 10-15 reps. Rest for a minute and do another set or two.
Half shirts require flat stomachs. Bicycle-style crunches can help you here.
Lying on your back, place your hands behind your head. Bend the legs so that feet are on the floor and knees are up. Then bring opposite knee to the opposite elbow, with the other elbow resting comfortably on the floor, then switch sides consecutively for at least ten or more times. Remember to keep your chin out of your chest and to extend the opposite leg nice and straight as the elbow and knee touch. Note: this exercise can be made more challenging by having the straightened leg parallel to the floor. Conversely, to decrease the intensity, you can raise the straight leg toward the ceiling.
Remember, each season brings changes and a new awareness of trends and styles. Don’t let summertime outfits make you feel shame or remorse about your body. As women, we tend to stand in the mirror and find all the negative things about ourselves. If you know you need to lose weight, make a plan and stick with it. If you need to exercise more, do the same thing; make a plan and then work toward achieving your goal. Whatever the case may be, YOU are the only YOU you have, so begin by loving who and what you are. A grateful mind and heart, can open doors to unseen possibilities and be the beginning of a changed life. Remember, to change your life, you must first change your thinking.
BDO (www.BlackDoctor.org) is the World’s largest and most comprehensive online health resource specifically targeted to African Americans.