Information & Advice
We've all been there, thrown into a mad panic by impending beach holidays and the inevitable bikini body beach 'reveal'. But panic no longer, we've persuaded Jamie Baird, A-list trainer at the Agua Spa gym in London's swish Sanderson hotel, to reveal the insider fitness tweaks that deliver results. Over to you, ladies...
Get lean: Join the resistance!
How important is resistance training for women? "Very important indeed!" says Jamie Baird, A-list fitness trainer at the Agua Spa gym in London's Sanderson hotel. "Resistance training creates lean and toned muscles which in turn burn more calories at rest. Plus it's very important to protect and increase bone density," he says. For the ultimate bikini body, lose your fear of bulking up and enlist your gym's fitness team to create a personalised resistance programme that you can follow alongside your cardio work.
Looking for a quirky way to tone up? The Human Touch Board mimics the actions required for surfing/snowboarding (complete with movement) to help tone muscles, whilst with the iJoy Ride you can make like a jockey and work those thighs and abs.
Beat boredom: Think outside the gym
Boredom is the enemy of every gym-goer, so consider training outside. "You can't beat training outdoors for the fresh air and variety," says Jamie. "Time seems to go a lot faster when running outside." Plus, reports suggest the body burns 5% more calories when working outdoors. Interested? Find a running buddy or search online for a local running club. Most cater for all abilities. Alternatively, look for a local boot camp class, often taken in local parks. According to Jamie they'll work you "very hard indeed." Check out www.britmilfit.com for details of a class near you run by British Military Fitness.
Still uninspired? Check out the BootsWebMD Fitness Health Centre for more fitness features and tips.
See results: Maximise your treadmill time
Plod along on the same treadmill speed at every gym visit? Mix it up and you'll see results bikini body results quicker and maintain your enthusiasm. "Using the incline and speed buttons makes for a more challenging workout," says Jamie, who suggests blocking your treadmill workout into five minute intervals. "Run fast for 2 minutes, jog easy for 3 or vice versa whilst increasing the gradient by 1% every minute until you reach 5%." Then work back down again and start again.
Home gym buy: ProForm 7.0 Quick Start Treadmill.
Get smart: Turbo-charge your workout
A varied workout that engages different muscle groups is the key to results, so make every minute count. "Turbo-charge your workout by doing an ab exercise in between each of your resistance exercises so you're constantly working," suggests Jamie. "Or perform a push exercise (like a push-up), pull exercise (like a lat pull down), a lower body exercise (like a squat) and ab exercise in succession followed by 3 minutes of stepping, rowing, or running before repeating," he says.
Get better abs: Tweak your sit-ups
For killer abs, tweak your sit up technique, says Jamie. "Before you perform each abdominal rep, squeeze and tighten your abs, making sure you reset and tighten them between each rep. Visualise what they are doing and focus on squeezing every last ounce out of them as your perform the ab exercise," says Jamie. "Slow your speed so you eliminate as much movement as possible."
Abs your problem area? For more tips, click here to read BootsWebMD's Fab Abs feature.
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