Fitness

5 Exercise Moves to Sculpt Your Dream Body Before Christmas

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It’s less than a month to Christmas, and we know you want to look your best at those upcoming social gatherings. The exercises in this list don’t require much equipment, just a yoga mat for stability and you’re all set. These routines could be done every other day for most or five out of seven days a week with those that are more advanced. 


Credit: Watchfit

Your Workout Routine

Perfect even for beginners, your hot bod workout routine should look like this:

Squats – 20 reps
Push-ups – 5 reps
Hip thrusts – 20 reps
Locust pose – 15 seconds
Calf raises – 40 reps
 
Don’t forget to rest for 30-second periods in between exercises!
 

1. Squats

If squats aren't in your current exercise routine, they should be! You can't really go wrong with squats as it is the single most effective weight training exercise that will improve your lower physique. Besides helping to lift your bum while working your thighs, the intensity of this workout promises to burn calories quickly. To do this, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Begin the descent with pushing your hips back and lowering your hips, with your knees "outside" of your torso.

The aim is to squat into the ground and not squat over the knees. Feel free to place your arms wherever they feel most comfortable. Do 5 sets of 20-30 reps.

2. Push Ups

There's nothing like going back to the basics. This classic exercise works the entire body, making it an effective calorie-burner. Additionally, it tightens the chest and tricep muscles to keep things perky. Begin in the push-up position, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your feet can be placed at the same width as your hands, but leave them where they feel most natural. Your body however, should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Your hips at this point should neither be sagging or should they be sticking up in the air. Keep in mind to tighten your glutes throughout the workout.

Doing this automatically engages your core. Now that you have your arms straight out, abs engaged and butt clenched, you can start doing a proper push up! Depending on your fitness level, halfway may be the lowest you can go, and that's okay! Build your strength and work your way to getting your chest all the way to the ground. Once you've come to the bottom position, push away from the ground. That's a proper push-up! Aim to do this for 5 working sets. 

3. Hip Thrusts

If you want to get J-Lo's butt by Xmas, it's time to start hip-thrusting. The glutes can be toned and developed with this workout. Start by lying on your back with the knees bent. Lift your hips off the ground, all while pressing your weight on your heels and clenching your glutes. Do keep in mind that your weight should rest on your heels and upper back-not your toes or neck. Extend hips till they form a straight line with your knees and shoulders. Most of the movement from this exercise should come from the hips and squeezing your glutes instead of distorting your back. Aim for 20-30 reps per set, for 4-5 sets.

4. Locust Pose

Don't forget your back! Yes, legs and abs are important! Don't underestimate the power a nicely defined back can have on your overall appearance, and especially in a gorgeous backless dress!  Lie on your stomach and open your chest, lifting your arms and legs off a mat while keeping the pelvis on the mat. None of your limbs should touch the ground. The pose is known as Locust Pose (Salavhasana) or more commonly known as the "superman hold". 5 rounds of 15-30 second holds should do the trick.
 

5. Calf Raises

 
A simple and easy exercise, this move requires a staircase and of course, multiple repetitions. Think 4-5 sets of 40 reps. Start by resting the balls of your feet on the upper step and the back part of your feet on the lower step, fully stretching your calves. Complete 1 rep by ending in a fully flexed tip-toe position and holding it for a second before returning to your starting position.
 
The article first appeared on Women Weekly Singapore.