Spring Body Shape-Up!

HEALTHY HOLLYWOOD

With the cold weather still here on the East Coast, it’s hard to believe it is spring. But, it is!

And, the forecast on the horizon actually calls for warm weather – thankfully. And, with warmer days ahead, that means beach season will be here before we know it! Are you ready to strut your stuff? Healthy Hollywood could certainly use a little pre-season toning.

Celebrity fitness trainer Christine Lusita says one of the biggest setbacks (or excuses) is the time crunch. Busy moms and career folks believe they don’t have enough time to do an adequate workout. But, Christine tells Healthy Hollywood it’s possible to get a full body workout in 30 minutes or even break it up into 10 minute intervals.

“I recommend creating a blend of cardiovascular, strength training & flexibility,” adds the LA-based trainer.

Christine breaks down her time-pressed clients’ workout into 3 mini regimens:

1. First up, do 10 minutes of sprinting. 1 minute of high intensity, followed by 30 seconds of “recovery” which is a fast walk or a lighter jog depending on your level of fitness. Repeat this cycle for 5 or 10 minutes depending on your total time allotted.

2. The next 5 or 10 minute phase is a combination of resistance band moves, along with my favorite Pilates moves with focus on the core and posterior side of our body, which are the most important muscle groups responsible for aging gracefully, reducing risk to injury, as well as keeping our backside sexy. I find this is a great compliment as most people focus on the mirror muscles only!

3. Then, the last 10 minutes are a blend of relaxing stretches incorporated with mindful breathing and movements to center and connect our body & mind. For stretching, I often use the PNF technique, which is assisted stretching used frequently by professional athletes and is a very effective method on increasing the range of motion to the most common areas of struggle and tightness; hamstrings, chest & hip flexors.

If you are being consistent and rotating these interval types of circuit workouts into your daily routine at least 3 to 4 days a week, Christine says you can expect results in as little as two weeks. And, over a 6-week time period, can expect significant changes.

Christine also shared with Healthy Hollywood her top 5 workout moves:

1. Side toe taps. This is great warm-up too! Start in a push up position, hands & feet shoulder width apart. Extend your right leg away from your body (6-12 inches) Tap your toe out to the side and return to center. Aim for 30-60 seconds alternating legs and beginners can start with 10 taps on each leg. This is a great exercise to work on that deepest layer of muscle in the belly & is great for creating that lean look in the lower abs. It also works on toning the outside of the hips which is a great start going into bikini season!

2. Triple threat lunges. Start by lunging forward on the right leg, On the return step back with the same leg into a back lunge, then upon return step back into a reverse curtsy lunge. Repeat this on the same leg for 30-60 seconds and beginners can start with 10 reps on each leg. This will create those long and lean and sexy legs that are red carpet ready for any little black dress!

3. Tricep extensions with a resistance band. On all fours (hands & knees). Place your right hand on end of the resistance band. Place the other end of the resistance band underneath your left hand. Turn your right wrist under so your palm is facing up. Bring your bent elbow back to 90 degrees, then extend your elbow to straight & repeat this extension for 30-60 seconds. Beginners can start with 10-12 reps. This is one of my personal fav’s for creating that long lean look on the back of the arms.

4. Slow speed bicycle. Hands are placed behind the head, legs bent at 90 degrees. Rotate your armpit to opposite knee. Take 2 full breaths. Inhale, exhale 2x, then repeat. This is amazing for getting those sexy sides of the waist looking toned & eliminating the ever- dreaded muffin top! This is challenging so aim for 30-60 seconds, Beginner can start with 6-8 reps.

5. Bridge with clams. Your best tool for a toned toosh! You can do this anywhere, anytime! Lying flat on your back. Tie a resistance band tight around your knees. There are 3 positions to this exercise! Position one. Flat on your back, Feet separated hip distance apart, part your knees open & close for 25 reps. Position two: Flat on your back, Feet separated hip distance part, Lift your toosh off the ground into a bridge position, part the knees open & close for 25 reps. Position three: Flat on your back, Feet separated hip distance apart, Lift your feet off the ground with legs bent at 90 degrees. Feet flexed, part your knees & feet evenly for 25 reps! To increase this challenge, place your hands behind your head & hold your upper body in a crunch position.

For more of Christine’s fitness tips, check out www.christinelusita.com.

-- Terri MacLeod

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