Christina Howells is a personal trainer to some of the hottest bodies in London including fashion and magazine editors, models and actresses, and Charli Cohen is one of the UK’s brightest new sportswear designers. Together they run ThatGirlLondon.com , an online series of targeted nutrition and workout plans.
Here Christina has devised our exclusive 2014 Project Bikini workout plan to complete from the comfort of your sitting room. The aim? To slim down and create long, lean definition (note this workout is designed not to make women bulky).
No extra equipment is required – just a yoga mat, a chair and a banister or door handle - oh, and Charli Cohen sportswear of course.
- Aim to complete this programme 3-4 times a week.
- Week 1 - Repeat each exercise once through.
- Week 2 and 3 - Superset two exercises at a time. A super set is a form of training where two exercises in a row are performed without stopping. For example, Micro Shorts Sculpt followed by Long Lean Legs.
- Repeat twice before moving on to the next two on the list.
- If you are quite new to exercise then it’s fine to stick to one set of each exercise until you are ready to up the tempo.
Exercise 1: The Micro Shorts Sculpt
Works the glutes and hamstrings.
Position: Lie down on your back, arms alongside the body, right leg is bent at 90 degrees with the heel rested on a chair. Your left leg is extended in the air.
Action: Dynamically lift the hips towards the sky, contracting the right buttock so that your torso and pelvis are in one straight line.
Reverse the movement and lower the hips back down to the floor keeping the right leg in the air.
Repeat 8-12 each side - progress to 12-15.
Hot Body Tip: You can modify this exercise by keeping the foot on the floor.
Exercise 2: Long Lean Legs
This works the bum and entire muscular structure of the legs whilst challenging coordination, balance and flexibility.
Position: Stand in a slightly pigeon-toed position. Your right foot is turned out and your left foot is turned inwards towards the right toes. Your knees will come together as you send the hips back and down to sit deep into the left glute. Hands are clasped together in front of your chest.
Action: From the deep squat position place your weight into the right heel and dynamical propel your bodyweight upwards as you step the left leg open into a deep plié squat. The toes are turned out and your stance is wide. Allow the hips to drop below the knees.
Springing off the left foot, return to the pigeon toe squat and repeat.
Repeat 8-12 each side
Hot Body Tip: Keep the weight in your heels to really activate the glutes.
Exercise 3: Crouching Tiger Upper Body Tightener
Works the abdominals, shoulders and arms and increases flexibility.
Position: Similar to extended child position but with your knees and shins hovering off the floor. Knees are hip width apart, heels together, and the arms extended long with fingers spread wide and palms firmly rooted into the ground. Your hips push back towards your heels. Gaze is downwards and the spine is in neutral.
Action: Extend your body forward to you come into one straight line from head to toes. Your shoulders move just past the line of your wrists. Reverse the move to return to the start position keeping the knees hovering off the floor.
Repeat 5-8 times and increase to 8-12.
Hot Body Tip: Think of drawing the abdominals inwards as you move forward into plank.
Exercise 4: The Full Body Bikini Blast
This exercise really defines the whole body as well as challenging coordination, flexibility and balance.
Position: Standing on your left leg with your right knee bent towards the chest. Arms by your sides.
Action: Lunge the right leg back so the knee and toes are on the floor.
Place both the hands on the floor underneath your shoulders and simultaneously extend the left leg behind you, focusing on squeezing the right butt. Be mindful to engage the abdominals, keeping the back neutral.
Reverse the move by stepping left leg forwards and bring yourself back to standing, raising the left knee back towards your chest.
Repeat 5-8 times each side then progress to 8-12 times on one side before switching legs.
Hot Body Tip: Be sure to take a peep at your front knee and make sure it is not going over your toe as you step back and return.
Exercise 5: The Butt Lift
This works the back of the legs, inner thighs and bum.
Position: Kneel on all fours with the right leg extended slightly out to the side. Tuck the pelvis under as you engage the abdominals.
Action: Lift the right leg up to hip level and across the back of the left leg, placing the foot on the outside of the left shin. Reverse the movement to bring the leg back to the start position.
Repeat 20-25 each leg.
Hot Body Tip: You want to focus on engaging the butt to lift the leg up and over. If you want to increase the intensity try adding 0.5-1 kilo ankle weights.
Exercise 6: The Torso Toner
Works the chest, shoulders, back of arms and entire core as well as challenging endurance, flexibility and coordination.
Position: Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, arms by your sides, spine straight and gaze is forwards.
Action: Soften the knees and drawing the abdominal inwards, bend forwards to place the hands on the floor. Now walk your hands out till you come into one straight line, keeping your abdominals drawn back and neck long.
From here perform a full press-up, keeping the elbows close by your sides.
Return to straight arms, and place your weight onto your left hand as you rotate your body to the right, stepping the left leg through into a side plank position. Lengthen the right arm up to the ceiling.
Return to plank and walk the hands back towards the feet, ready to roll back up to standing.
Repeat 8-12 times, alternating the rotation.
Hot Body Tip: If you want to modify the exercise you can always drop into a half press-up.
Exercise 7: The Back Beautifier
Strengthens the upper body, especially the back and challenges the core.
Position: Wrap a large bath towel around a strong post, pillar or door handle. Step inwards so you are leaning back off the towel taking a firm grip. Your arms are straight. Abdominals are engaged and spine is neutral. Gaze is forwards.
Action: Pull your bodyweight up in line with your wrists as your draw your shoulder blades together and return to start position. Don’t let the towel slacken.
Repeat 8-12 times.
Hot Body Tip: Be mindful not to arch the back or raise the shoulders.
Exercise 8: All About the Abs
This exercise increases strength in the core and helps create a tighter, more defined stomach.
Position: Lie flat on your back with your arms by your sides, palms flat on floor and legs extended upwards. Your right crossed behind the left ankle.
Action: Contract your abs, and roll your buttocks and lower spine off the floor so the feet move towards the ceiling.
Lower back down under control so both legs move just past hip level. From here drop the right leg towards the floor, pressing the lower back into your mat and return it, catching the right ankle once again behind the left ankle.
Repeat 8-12 times each side working up to 20 times.
Hot Body Tip: Be sure to only lower the legs as far as you keep the lower back into the mat, pulling the abdominals downwards.
Director: Susannah Taylor at Get The Gloss
Filmed and produced by Pocket Motion Pictures
Hair and Make-up: Camila Fez
Model: Kate Imogen at W Athletic
Clothes by charli-cohen.com, Trainers Nike, Mat by Sweaty Betty