Kate Staples: The Boot Camp - A bikini workout

A former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Esher resident Kate Staples shares her top tips with us for getting into shape

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2009A former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Esher resident Kate Staples shares her top tips with us for getting into shape

Find out more about Kate Staples and her Adventure Boot Camps

Following on from last month, where we discussed how to build up to a 5k run, this time I'd like to talk you through a simple six-step toning session (we're not trying to build big muscles here, just sculpt). Only 30 minutes of your time, three times a week, and you will really start to notice a difference - just in time for bikini weather! Warm up: First, get your heart rate up with slow jogging, fast hill walking, treadmill, bike, swim or high knee marching. Just ten to 15 minutes is enough to loosen your muscles and open your lungs. Let your body dictate how much rest you need - if you are out of breath, take a break. 1) Side plank Targets obliques (the muscles on the side of your tummy), bottom and back Lie on your side, raising your body up using your elbow and forearm for support. Your feet should be heel to heel with hips off the floor. As you hold this position, pull your stomach in tight and squeeze your glutes (your bottom muscles). Hold for 30 seconds on each side. TIPS: Keep your body as straight as possible, squeeze and contract your tummy muscles, don't let your bottom sag and drop your inside knee to the ground if finding this too challenging. 2) Superman Targets bottom and tummy Lie on your front on a mat and lengthen your arms out in front of you. Slowly raise your upper body and legs slightly off the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times. TIPS: Be careful not to lift too much to avoid straining your back and keep legs slightly bent so the effort goes into your muscles. Take a breath as you extend and then let it out slowly as you relax. 3) Bridge Targets lower stomach, glutes and hamstrings Lie on your back and lift your hips off the ground keeping your neck relaxed, hands flat and feet shoulder width apart. Lift your pelvis towards the sky for 20 repetitions. On the tenth and twentieth, hold for a count of ten while squeezing your glutes. TIPS: Don't arch your back and go slowly - don't bounce. 4) Wall squat Targets inside thighs and bottom Stand with your back to the wall and lower yourself, using the wall for support, till upper legs are parallel to the ground. Keep arms extended in front of you at chest height. Hold the position for a count of five. Repeat five times. TIPS: Keep arms tight, knees in line with your toes and squeeze your glutes. 5) Outside bicep curl Targets your biceps but mainly the inside line of your arm Sit straight on a chair, palms out, elbows pressing into your hips. Grip a dumbbell in each hand - use a weight that feels challenging but comfortable. Lift both weights at the same time exhaling on a two count lift and inhaling on a five count down. Repeat ten times. TIPS: Squeeze your little finger into the weight not your thumb to avoid the strain going into your neck. 6) Wall pump Targets chest Stand arm's-length away from a wall with your feet under your hips. Lean forward and place your palms against the wall, fingers pointing up. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows, bringing your chest and torso to the wall. Exhale as you press back to the starting position, straightening your arms as you go. Repeat for a minute. TIPS: Keep your stomach muscles strong and your back long throughout.

Find out more about Kate Staples and her Adventure Boot Camps

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