What does it take to be a bikini pro and fitness magazine cover model? Amanda Latona, IFBB bikini pro, BSN-sponsored athlete, and fitness model, breaks down her five favorite movements for building her best body. Latona includes her set and rep ranges for each movement, plus exclusive exercise tips and techniques.
These five moves hit your back, your abs, and of course, your glutes! Choose one movement to add to your routine, or try them all as a fat-burning workout. Whatever approach you take, make sure you check out all five movements to learn how this bikini beauty carved her path to success.
1. Lower-Body Plyometrics
Are you ready to sweat? With this first movement, Latona shows off her jumping skills and explains why plyos are a great booty-building addition to your regimen.
“Plyometric exercises like jump squats are a great calorie burner,” explains Latona. “With plyometrics, you can hit a lot of different muscles and get in and out of the gym in 45 minutes.”
Plyometrics are explosive movements that build size and shape in the muscles while still working on endurance and fat burning. Latona recommends 3 sets of higher rep ranges, about 15-20 reps or sometimes as many as 25 reps depending on the movement. With plyometrics, you can use additional weight if you want to or just use body weight.
2. Bulgarian Split Squat
Amanda Latona uses Bulgarian split squats to correct muscle and strength imbalances in her lower body.
“The elevated rear leg allows for a fuller range of motion in the front leg and can recruit more glute muscles,” she says.
More glute activation helps you build a firm, strong booty. If you’ve never done Bulgarian split squats before, prepare yourself for a little pain and a lot of glute shaping. Latona is an expert in this area, so listen up and follow her form!
3. Hanging Leg Raise
Bikini abs come from dedication to a clean diet and hard work in the gym. Latona’s favorite ab-building movement is the hanging leg raise. According to Latona, changing your grip seems to help hit different portions of the abs.
“With a wider grip, I feel it more in my upper abs,” she explains.
You can also make the movement harder or easier depending on the bend in your knees.
“Straight legs make raises more difficult,” says Latona. “You can just raise your knees if you want, or do dropsets that go from straight leg to knee raises.”
Latona recommends doing 3 sets of the hanging leg raise for 12-15 reps per set of whatever variation fits your current ability level.
“Top to bottom, this movement is great for abdominal development,” she says.
4. Single-Arm Underhand-Grip Press-Down
There’s always time for triceps training, and single-arm underhand-grip press-downs helped Latona sculpt her arms for the stage.
“I like using one arm for a better focus on my triceps,” says Latona. “I can really feel the squeeze on this exercise, and using cables means there’s constant tension on the muscles for better development.”
Keep your upper arm stable and hinge from the elbow to pull the handle down, flexing the triceps at the bottom of the movement. The underhand grip is more difficult, so pay attention to your weight and make sure your form is good on every single rep. Whether you want shapelier arms or full-blown horseshoe triceps, include this bikini pro’s favorite triceps exercise in your arm routine.
5. Cable Cross-Over
Chest training is as important for women as it is for men to add shape and definition to your upper body. Latona uses cable cross-overs to isolate her pecs.
“I’m not looking to add a lot of size to my chest, so instead of getting under a heavy barbell for bench presses like I did in the past, I now use cross-overs to shape my chest,” she says.
The cable cross-over is more of an isolation exercise for the pecs than the bench press, and using cables places constant tension on the muscles for better development. Latona keeps the reps a little higher for isolation exercises, performing 3 sets of 15-18 reps. Use Latona’s favorite chest exercise to shape to your pecs!
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