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Planning Retirement Online

The army workout that gets you ready for the beach     April 2008   

With summer just around the corner, Simon Richman, Fitness Manager at British Military Fitness (BMF), has compiled this fifteen minute work-out to help you look great in your bikini. 

For the Stomach

This exercise will help to give you a flat, stomach

Tummy Crunches

Lie on your back with your arms either crossed over your chest or on by your head and place your legs a 90o angle at the hip and knee joints

Slowly raise your shoulders off the floor by contracting your stomach muscles

Make sure that your eyes stay focused straight ahead and that your neck is kept in line with your spine

Repeat this exercise slowly twenty times. As your muscles get stronger, aim to perform another twenty repetitions with a minute gap between the sets

Tip: All the effort should be made by the muscles in the stomach (not the neck) to avoid injury

For the Buttocks/Legs

A squat is the perfect exercise to keep your legs toned. The main emphasis is on the thighs and buttocks but it also involves the hamstrings, calves and lower back.

The King of Exercises – The Squat

Stand with your feet just under shoulder widthapart, bend knees and hips, lowering torso between the legs.

Once your knees are at a 90 degree angle, reverse direction to stand up straight again.

The torso remains upright throughout the movement.

Once you have returned to your original position, start again. Repeat this twenty times.

Tip: Increase the resistance by performing a jump between each squat

The Chest

This exercise helps to strengthen the Pectorals (muscles of the chest) to create the perfect cleavage

The Press Up to Plank

1. Lying horizontal and face down, place your hands under your shoulders with your palms on the ground. Curl your toes upward so that the balls of your feet touch the ground.

2. Raise yourself using your arms, supporting your weight by your hands and the balls of your feet. This is your ‘start’ position

3. Bending your elbows, lower your body towards the ground. Your neck and head, neck and back should remain perfectly straight throughout the movement

4. When your elbows reach a 90 degree angle, push away from the ground and return to the start position

5. Repeat this movement ten times. Once this becomes easy, increase the number of repetitions to twenty

Tip: Breathe out while pushing up on the press ups. Do not hold your breath.

For Overall Conditioning

This is the ultimate exercise for exercising your chest, arms, front deltoids, thighs and abdominals giving you a total body conditioning. Your natural bodyweight provides plenty of resistance for a workout that improves your stamina and aids fat loss.

The Burpee

The perfect burpee is otherwise known as a squat thrust followed by a jump. Follow the steps below to execute the exercise correctly:

Stand with your feet just under shoulder widthapart, bend knees and reach down and place hands on the floor so that you are sitting on your heels in a crouch position of a squat thrust.

Transfer all your weight onto your hands

Thrust legs out and back as a normal squat thrust

From the squatting position jump up, feet leaving the floor before hitting the ground again and returning to the squatting position and start again.

Tip: To boost the intensity of the workout BMF uses the burpee in conjunction with running.

If you want to know more about BMF’s workout at local parks throughout the UK, designed for all abilities aged 16 to 70 plus, go to




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