My Mankini Body Guide

It’s that time of year again.  Shop fronts are full of pictures of women wearing bikinis.  At the moment this serves a dual purpose for me, in that it reminds me that I’m a long way, physically, off wanting a beach holiday because of my back injury.  Yes, pictures of women not wearing much can body shame men too.

I’ve been keeping up my stretching (roughly) and do have improved flexibility.  I have a lot of tightness right behind my knee and found a stretch for the popliteus last night that, well, hurts.  The popliteus is muscle at the top of the calf, behind the knee and its function is primarily bending the knee and rotating the tibia when your foot is in contact with the ground.  It’s the only muscle in the lower leg that acts only on the knee and not the ankle.

The reason I was interested in it is because when I’ve been stretching I can release my calf and release my hamstring (in each leg) but still can’t straighten my legs past about 30 degrees of flexion from my hip.

So anyway, there’s stretching.  But what became apparent when I went to watch my old football teammates train at the weekend was that I’m desperate to get back to exercise.  Someone asked me whether I missed training as they were doing 300m timed circuits of the pitch and my answer was “yes”.  They looked ready to be sick and I was jealous!

So, in the second one of these posts I’ve written this year, it’s time to get going again.  Another reason to get going again now is that I have another appointment about my back next week, so may as well try to **** it up now!

The bikini body shaming made me look at bikini body guides.  That and the fact that I’d noticed a lot of the Fitness Brigade, especially the women, on my Instagram feed doing circuits designed for the core and “booty” or, as I’ll call it, arse.  It made me think what a mankini body workout would look like.

The thing about a bikini body workout is that it’s designed to strengthen and tone the parts of the body to make a woman look good in her smalls.  As a straight man, that would be arse and abs (keeping in mind that her arms and legs could well be visible in clothing that provides more coverage, and that boobs generally shrink with exercise).  The arse and abs are groups of muscles that help support the back, especially when done as part of a more general core workout to target deeper muscles.  Therefore, I’ll carry them over into my mankini guide.

Of course, a lot of bikini guides also sell based on weight loss achieved through high intensity interval training and decent diet.  The same will go for the mankini guide.

Now then.  I have Kayla Itsines‘ Bikini Body Guide in front of me.  First thing I notice is that this builds up to more sessions than I would ideally like to exercise but some of those are just long walks.  I feel like I’d be in the shower longer than anywhere else!

The resistance circuits are divided up in to 3 sections – legs and cardio, arms and abs, and full body.  I guess that makes it easy to say that I’ll do each one at least once throughout the week.

I also notice that some of the exercises in the resistance circuits require you to be about 4 foot tall if you live in a normal sized house.  I’m 6’4 and live in a 400 year old house.  Jumping is not something that can happen, especially if it’s jumping on to something.  If you are 4 foot tall and live in a normal size house, maybe try the bikini guide rather than the mankini one.

The HIIT sessions of the guide only come in at weeks 9-12.  This is good for me, because running is an issue.  By then, I would hope that increased core strength (which wasn’t lacking at the time of the injury) might help.

So, here’s what I’m gonna do…

  1. I will do each of the resistance circuits once a week.  Where I can’t jump, I’ll reverse the movement.  For example, a weighted step up can become a pistol squat.  A knee up can become a lunge in to me lifting my knee.  Sit ups would be an issue.  I’ll have to have a think about those but might change them to planks and / or rollouts.
  2. I need to force myself to go swimming at least once a week.  This will replace a session of walking if we assume the walking was just to create a calorie deficit and keep everything ticking over.
  3. If we look at vanity muscles inherent with beach wear, it makes sense to do some weights.  I can’t do heavy squats anymore and so the leg days from the bikini guide will probably take care of what I can do on that front.  So the mankini guide will have a chest and shoulder weight circuit at some point.
  4. And, of course, stretching!  Each session of stretching I do takes about 45 minutes, which is why I can’t do it everyday but I’ll try to do it as much as possible.
  5. Hmm, before and after pictures…?

Nutrition is something that I find pretty easy despite finding it hard to eat much as I need to gain weight that isn’t fat.  Some clever carb cycling should do the trick for the mankini guide.

Let’s see how long it lasts before my back gives up.

She was afraid to come out of the locker
She was as nervous as she could be
She was afraid to come out of the locker
She was afraid that somebody would see
Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore!

It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini
That she wore for the first time today.
An itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini
So in the locker she wanted to stay.
Two, three, four, stick around we’ll tell you more!

She was afraid to come out in the open
And so a blanket around her she wore.
She was afraid to come out in the open.
And so she sat bundled up on the shore.
Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore!

It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.
That she wore for the first time today.
An itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.
So in the blanket she wanted to stay.
Two, three, four, stick around we’ll tell you more!

Now she is afraid to come out of the water.
And I wonder what she’s gonna do.
‘Cause she’s afraid to come out of the water.
And now the poor little girl’s turning blue.
Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore!

It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.
That she wore for the first time today.
An itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.
So in the water she wanted to stay.

From the locker to the blanket,
From the blanket to the shore,
From the shore to the water
Guess there isn’t any more.

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini by Brian Hyland

Comments 2

    • I’ve been meaning to watch this video since your comment and I keep forgetting in the disappointment of your suggestion to return my cute little pink number! (Actually, for some reason the video is blocked at work and I keep forgetting when I get home!)

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