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It is the time of the year where no one and nothing ever gets still. As the sun goes up and the weather heats up, summer is a great time to enjoy the tans, the exciting vacations,the spontaneous road trips,the coolest beach parties and the great outdoors.

Summer is that time of the year

Without a doubt, summer is the perfect time to explore, create great memories and most importantly, to re-discover yourself.

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Summer is also the season where you not only shed the clothes but also shave the excess pounds you have accumulated during the slumber months. If you have never lost the undesirable flabs and fats since the holidays, it is time to reshape and  move up. Losing the unwanted inches in the lower body is particularly challenging. No amount of crash diet or diet pills can remove the excess pounds in this area in a matter of days or weeks. And so, before summer officially kicks off, tune up your body with lower body exercises to look and feel great during the hottest days of the year. It is about time to slip into your summer wear and show off your summer-fit body through below-the-belt exercises.

The target areas

Lower body exercises do not only shed off the unwanted fats but they also improve and build the muscles in the entire lower body, which includes the hips, butt or glutes and legs, especially the thighs. These body parts bear the greatest amount of load on upright position or during walking so they are more vulnerable to injuries and damage. Strengthening the muscles in these areas prevents pain and disability as you age.

If you are overweight, there are more reasons to get rid of the excess pounds. As the lower body exercises get rid of the fats, they also protect you from obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus.

For these reasons, gearing up for your summer activities entail the addition of these exercises to your exercise regimen. Consistent adherence to the succeeding below-the-belt exercises will not only help you achieve the body you have always wanted but they can also help you get the most of your summer activities.

Be hip with these hip, thigh and butt exercises


Getting rid of the fats in the lower body, especially around the hips is a challenge, especially to women. To eliminate the hip fats, you need to work on your thigh muscles and your glutes to keep the muscles around your hips working. For that, exercising the hips is also a great way to shave the unwanted fats in your butt and thigh areas. In addition, these exercises can also  help you lose the excess inches around the waist.

Leg lifts, squats and lunges are three of the most effective exercises when toning these areas of your body. Bridging exercises and step ups are also good exercises to strengthen the thighs and the buttocks. Make sure that your abdominals are tightened as you perform the exercises. This is your key to achieve their maximum effects.

Side leg lifts

Lie on your side, and keep your shoulder in alignment with your hips, knees and ankles to avoid twisting. Bend the elbow on the side to support your head. Tighten your outer thigh as you lift the upper leg a few inches from the floor. Your toes should be pointing straight ahead and not toward the ceiling. Hold the position for 3 to 5 seconds. Slowly lower the outer leg back to its starting point. Repeat the exercise on the same leg 10 times. After completing this set, do the same procedure on the other leg.

Variations of this exercise:

Side lunge

Begin by standing straight and keeping your feet a shoulder-width apart. Position both hands on your hips. Tighten your abdominals as you shift your weight to your heels. Step your right foot to your right side. Keeping the vertical alignment of the neck and spine, duck your lower body towards the right until the left knee comes closer to the floor. Hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds. Gradually raise your body back to your standing position. Repeat the exercise 10 times. Perform the same procedure on the other side.

Squat

Stand with your feet a shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell on each hand, and position both arms on your sides with your palms facing the front. Start with low weights if you are a beginner. Tighten your abdominals as you slowly bend your knees and lower your upper body toward the legs to a count of 5. Hold the position to a count of 3 and squeeze in your abdominal muscles as you gradually return to the standing position. Repeat the exercise 10 times. As you reach down, keep your knees in alignment with your toes.  Your thighs should be parallel to the ground, and your lower back should be slightly arched.

Bridging

Lie on your back, and bend your knees. Position your feet flat on the floor. Place both arms on your sides with the palms touching the floor. Squeeze your abdominal and butt muscles to raise your pelvis up until your shoulders, hips and knees are aligned with each other. Use your shoulders and feet to press against the floor and not the hands. Hold the position for 10 to 15 seconds. Slowly lower your hips down to the starting position. Repeat the exercise 5 to 10 times.

Step ups

This exercise requires a step box.
Stand straight behind a step box, and hold weights in both hands, if desired. Position your right foot on the step box, and shift your weight to your right heel. Press into the heel to move your non-stepping leg up onto the step box, placing it a shoulder-width apart from the right leg. Slowly move your right leg down, and bring the other foot down. Do 10 to 15 step ups on each side.

Keep on working on your fitness goals. The success of achieving a summer-fit body mainly depends on how committed you are in performing these exercises. There is no room for excuses. To sustain that commitment, you need to create variation when exercising. Perform different sets of exercises per day. Running and other sports are also a great way to look great during the sunniest season of the year.

Keep in mind that although a summer-fit body is attainable with below the belt exercises, you need to watch out for your diet.  Cut back your calorie intake by eating healthier foods and increase your calorie expenditure through lower body exercises as you dare to bare your leaner body during the summer.

  • Komon, J. (2010). How to lose fat in the hip area. Retrieved July 3, 2010, from http://www.helium.com/items/1581421-weight-loss-hips
  • The Healthy Weight Loss Plan. (2010). Hip exercises. Retrieved on July 3, 2010, from http://healthy-weight-loss-plan.net/exercises/hip-exercises.php
  • Thomas, L. (2000). 15 simple ways to get fit this summer. Retrieved July 3, 2010, from http://green.yahoo.com/blog/ecomii_healthy_living/12/15-simple-steps-to-get-fit-this-summer.htmlPhoto by steadyhealth.com

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