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Beach body ready by Memorial Day

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Memorial Day, the unofficial start to summer, is just one week away marking the inaugural outing of exposed arms, legs and midriffs. After months of hiding your body under layers of fabric, it is time to bare it. Are you ready? Kinda, maybe, not at all?

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If having a beach body seems too far out of reach, maybe it isn’t after all! Fitness and nutrition experts from the luxury fitness brand Equinox designed a program to get you beach ready in just one week. If you’re interested in feeling lighter and more confident for your tank top, shorts or even bikini debut, this program will definitely take your fitness and self-assurance up a notch or two by the end of the week.

Lashaun Dale, Ariel Kiley, Angela Leigh and others at Team Equinox are given credit for designing a one-week fitness enhancing program that includes a movement plan, nutritional guidance and a regeneration plan with an explanation for it all! Here goes. . .

MOVEMENT PLAN:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday:

  • 20 Minute Interval Run
  • 20 Minute Metabolic Strength Session *(see routine below)
  • 10 Minute Reset *(see routine below)

Tuesday/Thursday:

  • 45 Minute Indoor Cycling Class
  • Hot Yoga Class

Saturday (morning):

  • 30 Minute Equinox Quickie "Wake up and Move" *(see routine below)
  • 10 Minute Reset

Sunday (morning):

  • 50 Minute Nature Walk
  • 10 Minute Meditation

*Metobolic Conditioning uses the latest understanding of endocrinology, exercise science, and strength and conditioning to fully tax the body’s three major energy systems. The goal is to maximize the amount of fat that can be burned during and after the exercise session. Research studies support the use of metabolic conditioning for losing fat.

To complete the metabolic conditioning segment, you will need dumbbells or a medicine ball.Warm-up for 5 minutes, then rotate through each exercise for 1 minute followed by a 1 minute resting period in between.

  • Alternating Reverse Lunges with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball - Stand holding a pair of dumbbells or medicine ball at sides, with feet together. Keep chest lifted, head up, and knees slightly bent. Step backward with right leg, landing on the ball of the foot, and bend both knees to lower towards the floor until front thigh is parallel to the ground. Push off the ground to extend knees and hips and stand back up and return to the start position. Alternate legs with every repetition.
  • Renegade Row Pushup to Side Plank with Dumbbell - Place two dumbbells on the floor about shoulder width apart. Position forward on balls of feet and hands as if in a push up position. Keep body straight and extended and hold on to the handles of the dumbbells to support upper body. Widen feet for more core support. Perform a pushup by bending elbows and lowering body towards the floor. Push back to straight and then continue to push one dumbbell into the floor and row the other dumbbells, retracting the shoulder blade of the working side and bend the elbow, pulling it up to side and past ribs. Continue pushing the base arm down and reach top dumbbell into the air. Turn to rotate on feet until body is aligned in a straight side plank line. Keep core tight and neck and spine aligned. Return to start and alternate sides.
  • Wide Squat to Jump Squat with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball - Hold a heavy dumbbell or medicine ball in arms or at shoulders. Place feet shoulder width and lift chest up for starting position. Bend knees and sit back to squat partially down and immediately push off the floor to explode off of the ground, and into the air extending through hips, knees, and ankles. Maintain good posture and keep core tight. Return lightly to the ground, absorbing impact through the legs and continue to repeat.
  • Reach and Twist with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball - Stand tall and hold a heavy dumbbell or medicine ball in arms. Begin to sit hips down and back into a full squat position. Immediately from the full squat position, explode into an upright position pressing dumbbells or medicine ball overhead and simultaneously rotate towards one side to reach dumbbell or medicine ball up towards a diagonal. Be sure front leg stays stationary & back leg rotates, pivoting on toes. Pause and gain control of weight overhead before lowering weight down to starting position. Repeat alternating directions.
  • Tricep Press & Core Crunch with Dumbbell or Medicine Ball - Recline on back with feet on the floor and hold a dumbbells or medicine ball with a narrow grip and lift it over head. Bend elbows, and lower forearms and the dumbbells or medicine ball behind head. Keep upper arms straight with elbows stationary. Press upward, extending forearms back up to the starting position and continue to push dumbbells or medicine ball to the ceiling lifting head chest and shoulders off the floor. Simultaneously contract abdominals to lift legs and pull knees to arms until hips are off the floor and body is in a total body crunch position. Lower slowly to start and repeat.

*The 30 Minute Equinox Quickie is a do-anywhere circuit requiring nothing but your body, hard work and determination. Wake Up and Move with this workout:

  • Warm up, 2-3 minutes
  • Jump rope, 1 minute
  • Burpee challenge, 1 minute
  • Bodyweight squats, 1 minute
  • Tuck jump challenge, 1 minute
  • Plank hold, 1 minute
  • Push-up challenge, 1 minute
  • Plank hold, 1 minute
  • Burpee challenge, 1 minute
  • Cool down, 2-3 minutes

*The 10 Minute Reset decompresses the spine, enhances overall circulation, deepens the breath and calms your body/mind to fully enjoy your time off. Try the techniques below to calm and rejuvenate yourself post-workout:

  • Bridge Lifts - Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms by your sides with palms facing down. Inhaling, lift your hips toward the ceiling while arching your arms up overhead alongside your ears. Exhaling, roll back down your spine while resting your arms back down to your sides. Repeat eight times.
  • Single Apanasana Supine Twist - Start lying on your back with legs extended. Pull right knee into chest. Place left hand on right knee and reach right arm on floor alongside ear. With left hand pull bent knee to floor on the left, rotating the spine, and roll your face in the opposite direction, to the right. Let gravity take over as you exaggerate inhale and exhale in and out of your ribcage. Inhaling, the ribs expand, exhaling, all your limbs get very heavy, sinking you deeper into the twist. Ten cycles of breathing, then switch sides.
  • Savasana - Lie on your back and soak in the goodness. Be still and enjoy watching your breath and your body restore itself. Feel the air on your skin and imagine the light of the day soaking directly into the cells of your body and giving you instant energy and vitality.

NUTRITIONAL GUIDANCE: As you all know, nutrition plays a vital role in your overall health - inside and out. This program gives some nutritional guidance for the week with these tips:

  • The week leading up to Memorial Day, add more fiber to your diet. Fiber helps rid your body of visceral fat that builds up around your belly.
  • Since heavy sweating and urination deplete you of fluids, Sue Stanley, Tier 4 Equinox Manager suggest fueling up on electrolyte-rich snacks like bananas, watermelon, spinach, avocado and peanut butter and staying hydrated with H2O.
  • And for Memorial Day festivities and alcohol consumption...pace yourself! The body is only able to process one 'serving' of alcohol per hour, says Cassie Kippert, Equinox Fitness Manager, Tier 4 Coach and Registered Dietitian.

REGENERATION PLAN: Even though this part of the program could easily be disregarded as important, sleep and recovery are proven to be key to your physical outcomes. Get some shut-eye, schedule a massage, or do something else that helps you relax – feeling rejuvenated and well taken care of.

So if you don't think you're ready to strut your summertime skimpies, give this "beach body ready by Memorial Day" program a whirl, and I think you'll be more than content by the end of the week. For more information about the program, contact your nearest Equinox location.

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