Kick your New Year’s resolution into high gear! While it may be cold outside now, it’s never too soon to start working on achieving the perfect bikini body for summer. Astrid Swan McGuire has worked with Hollywood’s biggest names, like Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough, achieve sculpted bodies ready for the red carpet or the beach.
Here, she tells Us Weekly five easy tips to help you get in shape without having to resort to a crash diet.
Say Goodbye to Sugary Beverages
Put down the soda! Cut out calorie-heavy soda and alcoholic beverages for at least two weeks. After all those holiday celebrations, letting your liver breathe will jumpstart your journey to a flatter stomach and alcohol for two weeks.
Eat Your Veggies
Asparagus is a natural diuretic, which can help your abs pop! I make sure to load up before a shoot or a day at the pool.
Always Be Aware of Your Core
Whether you’re driving, watching TV, or standing in line at the grocery store, you should always be aware of your midsection. Muscle memory is key, and your abs should be engaged.
Incorporate a New Move Into Your Routine
Skip the basic crunch and opt for standing abdominal exercises like my favorite, the Wood Chop. Using a dumbbell or medicine ball, the exercise involves making the motion of chopping wood. Standing with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, inhale as your arms rise straight up, holding the weights or the medicine ball, and as you exhale, chop your arms down while contracting your abs. Cardio bonus: you will definitely feel your heart rate go up! Start with 10 and work your way up to 25 reps as you feel more confident.
Don’t Forget to Breathe!
No matter what the exercise you choose for abs — planks, jack knives, reverse crunches — breathing correctly is my secret weapon. When you inhale your stomach will naturally pull in, and on the exhale most people push their stomachs out. I teach my clients to be mindful of their breath while performing any move. When exhaling, the navel should be pulling in even more than during the inhale. Following this format, the burn is much greater!