The clocks have sprung forward and spring is almost here. That means summer is right around the corner and it is time to get bikini ready! However, you don’t have to spend countless hours in the gym to get back into your favorite bikini. Some of my best workouts are actually done while playing with my kids at the park. If you don’t have time for the gym or don’t want to work out there, it’s OK— there are other ways to burn calories and shed that winter coat!
Don’t wait until two weeks before your summer vacation to reach your goals. There is no better time to start than now! Remember to be realistic about your goals—if you are a busy mom who doesn’t have a ton of time to work out, especially in a gym, commit to a fun playground workout, a few times a week, and see how quickly you can change your body!
Here are my five key tips to getting bikini ready without a gym:
1. Incorporate your kids in your workouts. Whether you take your kids to the playground or a park, kill two birds with one stone by allowing them to play while you make the playground your own free “gym.” If your park or playground is close by, stroller run or walk there to get in your cardio, too!
2. Get it in while you can. Even if that means you are spreading your workout through the day, it’s OK! DO what you can, when you can. Sometimes I will do 10 push-ups and 10 squats 10 times throughout the day, rather than all at once. There are days when I have the intention to spend a solid 15-20 minutes working out, but then halfway into my workout, my newborn will wake up and I have to stop. Rather than throwing in the towel, I will revisit my workout later and finish what I started. Some days you may be doing four five-minute workouts throughout the day and that is OK— anything is better than nothing!
3. Less is more. It’s not about being extreme with your workouts anymore! Focusing on doing less more often is going to be key. When your time is limited and you may not be able to commit yourself to a large chunk of time to work out or even get to the gym, the small efforts repeated day in and day out are what count. Doing an hour workout one day and nothing for two weeks isn’t going to get you the results you want, but doing less, more often, WILL. Be consistent with your workouts.
4. NO Excuses! Make it a point to make this your mantra. It is too easy to fall into the “I am a busy mom now and don’t have the time” or “I won’t ever get my bikini body back” mindset. YES, you absolutely can and will if you make “NO Excuses” your mantra! Busy working mom or not, where there is a will, there is a way! It may mean you wake up before the kids or change the style of your workouts from isolated gym workouts to circuit park workouts, but if you are determined, there really are no excuses!
5. Nutrition. As always, nutrition is a large piece of the puzzle! The holiday parties have come and gone, and now it is time to focus on a solid healthy and balanced nutritional plan. You can do the first four tips perfectly, but if you don’t eat a healthy balanced diet, you won’t see the results you want. Making time to get in your workouts AND eat healthy is the perfect combination to getting you back into bikini shape. Just as you need to make your workouts a priority, you need to make your diet one, too. Here is a sample SIMPLE menu to help get you on track:
Meal 1: 1/2 cup oatmeal with 5 egg whites and 1/4 cup berries
Meal 2: Gina’s Famous Protein Zucchini Loaf
Meal 3: 4 oz lean protein with 1/2 cup brown rice and veggies
Meal 4: Protein shake with 1 rice cake and 1 tbsp natural almond butter
Meal 5: 4 oz lean protein with veggies and/or a salad and 1 tbsp olive oil
(Optional but recommended) Meal #6: Protein shake with 1 tbsp chia seeds
Gina’s Full-body Playground Circuit Workout
There is no equipment necessary, so no excuses!
10 Decline push-ups off a playground slide
Place your toes at the end of a slide and hands on the ground out in front of you. With your core engaged and body tight from head to toe, bring your head down towards your hands, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
10 Triceps dips off a playground slide, with one foot crossed over the other
Hold onto the edge of a playground slide and bring your legs out in front of you, crossing one foot over the other. Bend your elbows and allow your bottom to dip down towards the ground, then press yourself back up to the starting position. Keep your midsection tight while you squeeze your triceps. For beginners, perform exercise with both knees bent and feet on the ground.
10 Step-ups on playground step with glute squeeze
Place one foot on the ground and one foot on a playground step. While holding the stair rail with one hand, use the foot on the step to press your body up while kicking the opposite leg back and squeezing your glutes. Lower back down and repeat 10 times before repeating exercise on opposite leg. Use your heel to press up on the playground step and keep your opposite leg tight and flexed.
10 Hanging leg raises off monkey bars
Hold onto monkey bars, allowing your feet to hang directly down or with your knees bent. Without swinging and in a controlled motion, bring your knees to your chest, squeezing your core as you exhale. As you inhale, release your knees to the starting position and repeat the exercise. The key is to be as controlled as possible and not allowing your body to swing with each rep. Repeat 10 times.
30-second plank hold off swing
Place your feet on the ground and forearms in a playground swing. While keeping your core engaged and body tight from head to toe, lean forward to bring the swing out in front of you, slightly over your head. Hold this position, keeping your core tight and engaged before coming back to the starting position. For an advanced variation, rather than holding for 30 seconds, bring the swing back to the starting position and repeat the forward extension for 10 slow and steady reps.
Repeat circuit three times through with limited rest.
Have fun and dig deep!