So you guys may remember upcoming fitness model and fitness enthusiast (and mom of two!!!) Sarra Cooper Roth from her popular post-holiday Debauchery Detox for DIVAlicious. Well with summer fast approaching, I asked Sarra if she’d give us her select Summer Workouts to do now to complement upcoming summer styles.
Sarra not only said yes but shared highly detailed plans based on the specific styles I asked her about. [Think sleeveless, backless, mini, cropped, and more…]
Read on for the full interview which covers all types of workouts for different body-baring looks you’ll no doubt be living in come May.
All photos: Sarra Cooper Roth, shot by Coby Tarr
Sarra, for those of us who are looking to tone up, get fit, be strong, feel confident – WHEN is a good time to start to get in shape for summer – when we’ll all be in far more revealing clothing?
You’re going to hate my answer, because just the sound of my fingers typing it is annoying… but, there is no good time to start. Every time is a good time: A year ago, last month, yesterday, today, tomorrow (but really today). It’s about lifestyle. Stop procrastinating and start evolving. You’ll feel better the second your heart rate goes up.
A lot of women go straight to CARDIO to achieve the so-called (and currently controversial) “bikini body.” But how do you see cardio versus other exercise and training in terms of getting the body you feel best in? What is the right balance?
Not long ago, I too was a cardio junkie, and my body was stuck in neutral. Yes, It’s certainly important for your heart health, and caloric burn, but ladies… you are over-doing it for sure. Exit slowly from the stair mill, and approach the weights on the gym floor. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more fat you will burn. Cut your cardio in half, and amp-up your strength training. In the long run, your body will burn way more calories by just sitting there watching Top Chef, if you pushed around some weight that day.
Some people in the fitness industry have said they don’t believe in SPOT TRAINING (i.e. workouts that target specific areas of the body) but with many of the popular fitness programs now, especially through social media, we are seeing body part challenges and routines — and real results on those areas of the body. What are your thoughts on this?
Everyone has something different to say, but from my own experience, spot training comes way later (if ever) in the game. While your body uses fuel from fat during exercise, it is not specific as to where is pulls the fat from. Weight loss and tone are a result of total body metabolism. Consider small interval circuit training instead (see below). With that said, what I’ve personally discovered, is that once you’re close to your physical goals, paying extra attention to your favorite features does have merit. Let me put this in terms we can more easily relate to… hmmm, ok, your shoe closet: you have to start w the basics. Black stiletto, brown boot, summer wedge, etc…. once you have a solid reservoir of shoe options, THEN you consider the impractical fringed, over the knee, peep toe pair that you’re “totally going to wear everyday.” Needless to say, get your body in the fine tuning stage, then you can start the detailed work.
Can you give us some ideas of what workouts or exercises to do if we want to focus on select parts of the body we especially want tight and toned for summer? Like for example, the girl who wants to rock a MINI skirt or SUPER SHORT cutoffs.
First let me say, I hate that girl. KIDDING. Ish. I am particularly envious of that girl. Everyone has a stubborn body part, for me, it’s legs. I like to keep my heart pumping in the fat burning zone, and kill two birds as they say. So, hit these each for 30 seconds with no rest, x3 reps:
- Weighted side lung (kettlebell, or weight)
- Forward lunge with heavy slam ball overhead (no ball, grab something heavy)
- Reverse lung with heavy slam ball overhead
- Weighted dead lifts
- Body weight squats
Ok, what about the girl who wears a ton of BACKLESS tops and dresses… What should she do for her back?
Women often neglect their back. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It is such a huge muscle group, and therefore will have you burning more calories long term. Grab a pair of dumbbells and repeat three times:
- 15-20 plank row
- 20 supermans
- 15 bent over rows
- 1 minute on the row machine
- 15 wide rows
- 15 bent over rear delt raises
- 12-15 push ups
- 1 minute on the row machine
How about the girl always in a SLEEVELESS top, for her arms?
Oh, that girl is me!!! YAY!! I gave up on t-shirts entirely, and now just use them for dusting. Why wear a t-shirt, if you can wear a tank, especially if you do three sets of these:
- 15 bicep curls to overhead press
- 12 tricep push ups (use bosu ball for added core work)
- 15 V Raises
- Side planks, 30 seconds each side
- 12 lateral raises
- 12 front raises
- 15 tricep pull downs
And the girl who lives in jeans that hug her BUTT, whether they’re mom jeans, the new “wedgie” Levis jeans, skinnies, cropped, overalls, or otherwise?
Thank you, BUTT no thank you, J.lo, Kim K, and Mrs. Timberlake. While you A-listers lift it up and out with your celebrity trainers, the rest of us are left here in squatting hell. For something different, invest in one of THESE and try this:
With band above knees, lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor, engaged core, and tucked pelvis. Repeat three times:
- 15 clamshells (opening and closing thighs)
- 15 clamshells with raised hips
- 15 hip raises with tucked pelvis (add weight on pelvis for bonus points)
Stand up and put band around ankles:
- 15 squatted steps to the left, 15 squatted steps to the right
- 15 steps on tip toes forward, 15 steps on tip toes back
Just for good measure, take the band off, grab a kettlebell and throw in 15 alternating front lunges, 15 alternating reverse lunges, and 15 kettlebell swings.
The girl whose goal is to wear a CROP TOP?
Basic crunches are as retired as carbs, so your goal is dynamic exercises that will engage all dimensions of your core. Try this 6 circuit workout to make the pack pop:
- 15 Side plank with arm weave on each side
- 15 exercise ball V ups
- Plank with one arm dumbbell row. 15 each arm
- 24 weighted roman twists (in seated position with feat off the ground, hold weight and twist from one side of the body to the other
- Plank up and downs (from high plank position, drop right forearm, then left forearm, and back up to high plank. Do 12 with right arm lead, then 12 with left arm lead
- 25 Lower Leg raises with back planted firmly to ground
The girl who wants to live in her BIKINI and have an endless summer?
Ummm,,,, refer to question one, and move to St. Barths
Ok finally, what is one piece of ADVICE you’d give others in terms of staying motivated in late winter months to look and feel your best come May?
They say that summer bodies are made in the winter. I mean, I could go with that mantra, but integrating fitness into your life provides so many other dimensions. We are all striving to be better, to be stronger, to be fuller. I’m not simply referring to the outer aesthetics, I’m more referring to our inner. Uncovering the place of value inside yourself, which encourages you to stay committed and challenged, will not just transform your body, but will also transform your self -esteem. Make yourself proud, and that feeling alone should mark your motivation.
Let us know your thoughts on Sarra’s summer workouts and also what you do to look and feel your best when wearing less.
NOTE: This post is not sponsored.
Lauren Cosenza is the creator and editor-in-chief of DIVAlicious, a trusted beauty/fashion expert, an on-camera personality and spokesperson, a leading NYC-based professional makeup artist, a published contributor and writer, a brand consultant, a product junkie and an insatiable style seeker — with a former life at Cosmopolitan and Shape magazines.
Serving up style with a side of attitude, her site DIVAlicious gives women (and men) the confidence and permission to be fabulous. The site, with a goal to SPREAD BEAUTY, is filled with must-have products, pro tips and tricks, how-to DIY tutorials, makeovers, style inspiration and insider access. Topics range from beauty, fashion, culture, career, fitness, wellbeing, men’s and unisex offerings.