Barbeques, boats and swimming pools. Swimsuit season is here!
For some women, this is one of the most stressful times of year. Many men fear it as well, but at least they get to wear long shorts.
Today’s article is dedicated to putting some confidence into your swimsuit. Whether you met your “lose 15 pounds” goal or not, walk tall, and get busy creating the right “look” for your body.
First off, if you’re thinking of searching for a suit that will hide your trouble spots, think again. One of the greatest tips I can give you is to hold your head high and own it! Nothing can outshine confidence. Nothing!
Start by finding your confident posture. Look at yourself in the mirror. Your ears should be over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, belly zipped up and in. Set your shoulders back by placing your elbows on your hips. Arms bent to a right angle, make “Fonzi” thumbs and point them out to the sides. (It is not necessary to say “Aaaay!” while striking this pose.)
Now, keeping your elbows glued to your hips, make your thumbs travel out to the sides of your body. You have now opened your chest and set your shoulders in a “perfect posture” manner. Keep your chest open and release your arms to your sides. It might feel like you are sticking your chest out, but you’re not! You have just been letting yourself round forward. It may feel a little awkward until you get used to holding yourself up tall.
Try it! Just by keeping a pretty posture, people will ask you if you’ve lost weight or started exercising. This all falls directly in line with how you look in your swimsuit. If you want to see a visual of this, check out the posture video on my site (www.chanioverstreet.com/Blogs_and_Videos.html)
Now that your posture is set, what should you look for in a swimsuit? Remember this: The human eye craves symmetry. Without conscious thought, we seek equal sides, close parallels and balance. With this idea in mind, I take you again to the mirror. Look at yourself and decide what body shape you are. The four most common body shapes are the hourglass, triangle, upside-down triangle and the square.
The hourglass has a tiny waist with the shoulders and hips being almost equal in measurement. This body type already has the symmetry I’m talking about. If this is you, you want to draw attention to your curves. Go for fun patterns, ruffles and jewels. This will draw the eye to how balanced your body is, while flattering your little waist. If your tummy isn’t quite as flat as you’d like, pick a little higher-waisted suit; but stick with the fun colors and patterns. Exercises for the hourglass should be focused on retaining that pretty shape. Most exercises are fine; just steer clear of building your obliques (the sides of your waist). This can change your shape from an hourglass to a square. That’s no bueno.
The triangle has small shoulders, with wide hips. We are so fortunate to live in a time when bikini bottoms can be bought separately from the tops. Since the hips are larger in this shape, we want to pull the eye up. Do this by wearing a dark bottom and a fun, colorful top. Ruffles, jewels, patterns or whatever design makes you smile, wear on top. Exercises for you should focus on building your shoulders and upper back. Moves like shoulder presses and pull-ups will help you create a more symmetrical shape.
The upside-down triangle has wide shoulders, usually a large chest, and small hips and legs. You are the opposite of the triangle, so you want to draw attention away from your top. Dark colors and wide straps for support look good. The “tube” style top should be avoided. This tends to add width to your upper body. Go for the fun with your bottom piece. Patterns, ties or boy shorts are all very flattering on you. Your shape needs to keep that rear in gear. Exercises should focus on keeping your legs – mainly your glutes and hamstrings – looking stellar. Donkey kicks, leg lifts and reverse lunges are perfect for you.
Have you ever heard a woman say she has the body of a 14-year-old boy? Meet the square. Women with a square shape are usually athletic, or used to be. Gymnasts and cheerleaders often have a square shape. This means your shoulders, waist and hips all line up. The challenge here is to create the illusion of curves. You will want to buy matching pieces; no mixing and matching. We want to draw the eye to the curviest parts. Look for ties on the sides and ruffles. Designs and fun colors are great, as long as the top and bottom match. Exercises for the square need to focus on creating curves. Work on building your shoulders, and keep your glutes and hamstrings high and tight. Steer clear of building your biceps or obliques. Shoulder presses, pull-ups, donkey kicks and reverse lunges will be great for you.
No matter your body shape, you can and will look stunning this summer! Confidence first, then do your best to find that flattering style. Keep working on your “less favorite” body parts. If you are feeling flabby, tighten it up! Hit the trails for some walking, hiking or jogging and focus on your nutrition. Get out there and enjoy the lake, the pool and the water park.
You look fabulous, darling!
Chani Overstreet is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and co-owner of Strada Fitness & Wellness Center with her husband, Luke. Strada is a state-of-the-art fitness studio located at 3041 Churchill Drive, Suite 100, in Flower Mound, across from Lifetime Fitness. Call 972.330.4300 or visit www.StradaFitness.com for more information.