What time is it? Spring time! That time when in between being addled with allergies and taking Spring Break with the kids, you’re either (a) panicking because you fell of the resolution wagon (b) frustrated because you’ve plateaued or (c) have been consistent and happy withy your results but know you can do better.
Just for you, I turned to Gotham City Elites to find some of the NY area’s (Jersey’s repped too!) most dedicated & experienced female FitPros to learn their top Bikini Body secrets. As with most subjects, I have plenty to say & I recently posted my own 3 tips in this post . Check out what my fellow FitPros are saying about getting Bikini Ready in a jiffy.
I met Lindsay Farrington-Centonze n Fall of 2013 when we both worked with another company. Not only is she gorgeous but she’s a sweetheart, smart ( she went to NYU too!) and pretty well accomplished in fitness at her young age. Lindsay has competed in and won 3 National Physique Committee (NPC) bikini competitions already! Not only that, she is a beloved cycling and group fitness instructor in upstate NY too. In short, she rocks! Listen when she says:
- Try switching up your cardio to more high intense intervals. I typically do little to no cardio or some steady-state at the least (long runs, etc). If I’m getting bikini ready I’ll add 1-2 extra cardio sessions to my fitness routine.
- Start to focus on quality over quantity when lifting. When getting bikini ready I increase my weight and make a point to focus on form. While my weight increases I do less repetitions but make sure each one has perfect form. Stacey’s Safety Tip: Unsure of proper form? Ask someone! A good place to start is t figure out which muscle group you should be focusing on and recruiting those muscles to do the job. As always, be careful with your lower back, knees and shoulders.
- Simply spend MORE time being active!!! Make a point to park your car in a further spot than usual, take stairs when you can, walk to the gym/grocery store/etc (basically anywhere within walking distance that you typically drive to). Walk more, drive less.
Mary Onyango and I go way back and I admire her deeply. If you know or work with her then you will know what I am talking about. She is thoughtful, compassionate and that physique speaks for itself! Here is what it is saying :
- A better bikini body starts with a good diet. If you can eat well at least 70% of the time i.e; lots of water, vegetables, lean meats, protein and healthy carbs (sorry guys this means limit the alcohol too), then you will be halfway to a flatter midsection (what everyone sees FIRST when you’re in a bikini!!)
- Incorporate different variations of planks into every routine. Some include modified (on the knees), single leg and single arm, pulses and even push ups. Push ups, my second favorite exercise, really target the triceps/biceps, chest, back (upper/lower), and surprise! even your thighs. Stacey’s Safety Tip: Watch that your lower body doesn’t sag and stays parallel to the floor even if you’re on your knees.
- I love lunges. Try Around the World lunges, an exercise that combines front lunges, side lunges, and reverse lunges one after another for a set of 10-20 reps all done on the right leg and then repeat on the other. Lunges are great because they build the muscles without building size. They also lift and tighten the derriere for lasting results. Stacey’s Safety Tip: Watch that your knee doesn’t go past your toes when you lunge and that you keep your heels on the ground.
I finally met Jen Romanelli, a.k.a. Trooper JRo at a Trooper boot camp where she showed us her high intensity prowess. Until then, I had only heard about her through her colleagues, students and partner in crime but let me tell you that it was all true: Registered Nurse+ badass boot camp instructor = yowza, my musclllleeeees!! ( at least she’s qualified to revive you after making your body cry uncle). With those qualifications and a body like THAT, listen when she says:
- Pull-ups: single most effective body weight exercise. Great for upper body and strong core! Practice with bands. Stacey’s Training tip: Use the assisted machine or ask someone to help you if you’re inexperienced. “Diversity: we all hear about the dreaded plateau but make an effort to switch things up. Your body is a powerful machine and adjusts to whatever challenges you bring it so keep your body guessing”
- Squats with the bar bell: gets those legs firing from top to bottom with bar bell squats. This move helps to build a lean physique by engaging almost every muscle in the body. “Do more squats! Drop it like its hot to drop those lbs; practice with body weight or using the barbell for back/front squats.” Stacey’s Safety Tip: Perfect the squat with your bodyweight before adding external weight and then upgrade to a body bar, then bar bell.
- Kettlebell swings are one of my favorite exercise to do with clients as they are the greatest total body killer. With proper technique you burn out your core, shoulders, quads, hamstrings, glutes and back! That’s a lot of bang for your buck! Pick things up and put things down. “Tip: Ramp up your lifting game. Why aren’t women seeing the results they want? They are missing the key component in every athlete’s training program and that is strength conditioning and power”. Stacey’s Training Tip: AGREED. Lift heavier, FabFans!”
Amira Lamb aka the Holistic Hottie is an impressive human being and professional. I like to call her the Tiny Dynamo because she is who helped me mold my body for my first (and only) bikini body building competition in April 2013. She has so many bikini body strategies in her arsenal that we should call her Michelangela. Along with every woman on this list, I trust her implicitly when she says:
- Single Leg Dead Lifts combined with a bicep curl after returning to standing position. – You have to keep the core pulled in and up while working the entire backside of the body. Adding the bicep curls at the end will help to increase muscle mass in the arms which will help them seem more “toned” in appearance.
- Plyometrics are fantastic for burning a high amount of calories within a short time. Star Jumps can ramp up your metabolism while working every muscle in the lower body. This is a great exercise to mix into a series of lower impact exercises to maintain an elevated heart rate throughout a workout without doing traditional cardio on a machine.
- A basic push up is great. It works the entire body – primarily upper and including the abdominals when you exhale forcefully. As a variation try a Star Jack Push Ups –begin with your feet wide then jump the feet together and then apart. Next, bend only the elbows and then press away from the floor. Continue the Jack to Push Up sequence for as many reps as you can do flawlessly
Amber Hirsch is also petite in stature but big in energy and presence. Like with Mary, I cannot believe a child came out of her flat belly but after taking her Barre class at LocalBarre in Hoboken, NJ ( & seeing those quads in action), I will listen when she says,
- Don’t Wait Until the last minute! We always have some warning when the summer is coming or when we are planning a vacation. If you have a specific goal, make plans to make sure that you will achieve it! Give yourself time to build a consistent routine which will ideally keep you fit and lean all year.
- But if you don’t have a lot of time, hit the barre not the bar! Barre classes are a great way to lengthen and define your muscles and will most importantly target the core. You will walk out of just one class feeling stronger, longer, with improved posture and ready to rock that bikini!
- Push it baby! Push Ups are really a woman’s secret weapon to killer arms, tight abs and generally staying lean. You need to recruit almost all the muscles of you body to do them and they get you results. Start where you are comfortable but challenge yourself and upgrade to harder versions as you progress.
Dorian Cervantes is first a dancer…can’t you tell? As with Jen, I knew OF her via the people in her life but the more I explored, the more I realized that she certainly knows what she’s doing in fitness.
- Plank with gliders- I am all about the plank all day everyday. You can do it anywhere and it requires no equipment. I love to add the use of Gliders on my feet to get an intense ab workout. I begin in plank position on my elbows and slide my foot in a half circle up towards my shoulder.
- One legged dead-lift is another great exercise that doesn’t need equipment but adding weight can really take this exercise to the next level. I usually use a 10lb kettlebell or dumbell.
- Push-ups-love to alternate between a wide push press and a narrow. I do 20 push ups. The first position is wide, arms placed on the outside of shoulders and legs on the outside of hips I do 2 push ups chest all the way to the ground and back up to high plank position.
Delida Torres has been in the Rebounding game for some time now. She recently completed her first bikini fitness competition and had this advice to share.
- Planks any kind with rotation especially side planks keeps the abs nice and tight.
- Torso Hyper-extension with weights to create the curve in lower back and eliminate love handles & muffin top. Stacey’s Safety Tip: Do these carefully without weights as this is an advanced move.
- Booty hip extension + leg abduction combo gives you a nice round high butt. Stacey’s Training tip: you can do these with bands, cables or ankle weights!
Mika Oakes is a beloved yoga instructor with what is by far the sparsest list with just these 3 Yogic points: ( So, so ZEN!)
- Listen to your body.
- Push yourself to the edge, not beyond.
- Slow and steady wins the race