Bikini body workout: Get in shape for summer with this step by step fitness plan

Nicola McCafferty

Bikini bodies and getting in shape for the summer seem to be the words on everyone's lips right now.

Earlier this week it was revealed most women in the UK will go on a diet in preparation for swimwear season - and it seems we're so focused on our weight loss goals, many of us would prefer to shed a few pounds than get a pay rise.

But there's absolutely no need to panic if you're not feeling bikini ready right now. Here, personal trainer and nutrition advisor Anita Albrecht reveals her ultimate bikini body workout that promises results...

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We're all obsessed with looking and feeling good on the beach, meaning many of us will resort to unhealthy cheats to get there.

Yet all we need to do, is focus on healthy eating and get our bodies moving. This tried and tested split body workout will focus on the areas many of us hate the most - legs, bums and tums - leaving you feeling toned and boosting your confidence in turn.

You do the first round one day, the second round the day after then have a day or two off. You then repeat these two workouts each again before the week is up.

Doing these two workouts each twice a week for 6-8 weeks or more shall bring some great results. This is not for the faint-hearted though. Getting gorgeous in that bikini means working up a sweat so grab your water and a hand towel and get ready to glow!

[Related: Lazy girl's weekend workout in just 30 minutes]

You will need: an aerobic step, a skipping rope, a heavy medicine ball (around 5kg), a heavy kettle-bell (around 8-10kg) and a pair of dumbbells around 4-8kg depending on your strength.

After a good warm up for 4-5 minutes using your skipping rope, have a stretch and get ready to feel the burn!

ROUND 1: Everything you need for a toned upper body...with a few ab exercises thrown in for fun! Go through the whole workout then repeat.

1. Incline bench press ups - place hands on aerobic step. Keeping body strong and straight engaging the abdominals, lower the upper body down so that the chest is almost touching the aerobic step. Press back up so arms are fully extended. Perform 12-15 reps.

2. Bent over row with kettle bell - Leaning forward in a split stance with the kettle-bell in one hand, opposite leg forwards, back straight and abs engaged, lift the kettle bell with a bent elbow backwards squeezing the back muscles and then lower the kettle-bell back down to the starting position. Great for your back, rear shoulders, core and arms. Perform 15 reps on each side.

3. Bench triceps dips -
sit on aerobic bench and place your hands underneath your buttocks and then lift yourself off the box keeping the hands on the box and your body close to the box. Lower body straight down bending the elbows at a complete right angle then push back up squeezing the triceps. A fabulous anti-bingo wing exercise. Perform 12-15 reps.

4. Medicine ball over-shin crunches - hold the medicine ball in your hands lying on your back with the whole body extended. Perform an 'abdominal crunch' by lifting your knees towards your chest and lifting the upper body and as you do, lift the medicine ball over the shins as far as you can as you squeeze your tummy muscles. Lower the body back slowly again with the medicine ball in your hands to keep the tension on the abdominals. Do 15-20 reps.

5. 1 min!

6: Dumbbell bicep curl to shoulder press - standing with a dumbbell in each hand, perform a bicep curl keeping the elbows close to the body the rotate elbows out and go into a shoulder press lifting the arms above the head. Lower slowly back down again. Do 12-15 repetitions.

7. Box Bench Presses with Dumbbells - lying on your our back on the aerobic step, lift a pair of dumbbells above your head just below the chin. Bend the arms to the side keeping the tension on the chest muscles and then push the dumbbells back up squeezing your chest. A lovely bust lifter! Perform 12-15 repetitions.

8. Hot hands - in a 'press up' position, keep feet wide and minimising any movement in the hips, lift one arm up bending the elbow and squeezing the lower abs in towards the lower spine. Lower arm back down again. Alternate by lifting one arm then the other. You should feel this in your shoulders, abs and arms if done properly. Do 10 reps on each arm.

9. Plank - hold for as long as you can. Create a 'triangle' shape with your elbows and palms, straighten out legs completely and keep the whole body off the floor pulling tummy muscles in tight. Make sure lower back is not collapsing. A minute or more is good.

10. 1 min fast skipping.

ROUND 2: Exercises that target your butt, abs and legs for a pair of pins and a tummy to envy! Go through the whole workout then repeat.

1. Dumbbell step ups - holding a pair of dumbbells in each hand, step up onto the aerobic step squeezing your glute (bottom) muscles as you step up. Keep your body upright as you step up and down and make the movement controlled in order to get the toning effect desired. Do 12-15 reps on each leg.

2. Box Jumps - put the aerobic box onto a low setting. Start by standing with your feet together on top of and in the middle of the box. Jump down landing a foot either side of the box keeping the body upright and the bottom down low. Land softly on the knees down into a deep squat position then jump back up onto the box again. Try doing 12-15 repetitions.

3. Kettle-bell swings - swinging the kettle-bell in between your legs, hold tightly onto the kettle-bell with two hands and then 'thrust' the hips forwards driving the kettle-bell upwards, squeezing the buttocks and pulling the abdominals in nice and tight. A great exercise for your core, legs and to help you get a peachy derrière. Do 15-20 repetitions.

4. Medicine ball standing slams - lifting up the medicine ball above your head, slam it down on the floor as hard as possible, keeping abs tight as you slam it down and softening the knees into a slight squat and then catch the ball again and stretch up with the ball above the head before repeating. A great exercise for the core and legs and even the arms too. Do 20 repetitions.

5. Elbows to knees - in a press up position, keep a strong core, neutral spine and weight into the palms. Bending one knee, pull it into the opposite arm squeezing the abs. Alternate onto either side. Repeat for 10 reps on each side.

6. Stationary lunges - holding onto a pair of dumbbells start with a split stance, weight into the front heel and keep the abdominals engaged and body upright. Bend both legs into a lunge without leaning forwards then push back up to the starting position again. Do 10-12 repetitions on each leg.

7. Box butt raises - Lie on your back with your legs up on the aerobic box on its highest setting. Keeping legs straight raise the hips up off the floor as high as you possibly can squeezing the bottom as hard as you can and holding it at the top of the movement for 2 seconds. Lower back down to the starting position. If you fancy more resistance, hold on to a medicine ball on your lower abs to make it a bit more challenging. Do 15 reps.

8. Lunge kicks - with hands on hips, step back with one leg bending into a  lunge then propel that same leg that's behind into a kick in the front of the body. Be careful not to lean back or arch the back as you do the kick. The idea is to do the kick keeping your abdominals tight then lower the same leg back behind into a lunge again without stopping. Do this on each leg for 10-12 repetitions.

9. Kettle-bell swings (see number 3)

10. Floor reverse crunch with extension -
lying on your back, keep your palms on the floor then lift your bent knees towards your chest squeezing your abs nice and tight. Hold this, roll the legs back out again and then extend them so they are straight out, about 6 inches off the floor. Repeat this again into a reverse crunch with extension for as many repetitions as you can. Aim for at least 12...these are tough because they work.

Combine this workout for a few weeks along with avoiding drinking too much alcohol, make sure you drink plenty of water, eat good healthy food in small portions and you are sure to look fantastic in your bikini and be a major head turner on the each this summer!

For more information, visit or follow on Twitter @LittleAnita