Summer is here and it’s time to show off that summer body you’ve been working hard for all spring (and perhaps even winter too). Not quite where you want to be right now? Don’t worry. Throw these exercises into your workout routines now and you’ll perfect that summer body in no time.
No matter where you are on your fitness journey, compound exercises (that use more than one major muscle group at a time) are crucial to your success. Whether you’re trying to build muscle, lose fat, or tone up, compound exercises like the below should form the foundation of your training routine:
- Dead Lifts
- Overhead Press
- Bench Press
These exercises will create a great demand within the body and will result in overall body change. These exercises will target all your major muscle groups (legs, back, chest) as well as the smaller muscle groups (arms, lower legs, abs), creating a solid foundation for overall body change and an impressive physique. You’ll benefit from these exercises whether you’re male or female, and it’s a major mistake to neglect them. So if you’re not currently using them, start immediately.
Once you’ve successfully implemented the compound lifts, add the following exercises into your routine to give your physique that extra ‘pop.’
Summer Body Exercises for Women
These will help isolate your glutes and hamstrings. In other words, they’ll help give you a great looking butt. On the floor, lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Hands can be placed at your side for support, if needed. The movement will be your hips moving off of the floor with your upper back and feet still grounded. You can add resistance by placing a weight plate or barbell in your lap.
These will help develop the legs in the frontal plane. Again, your glutes and hamstrings will be targeted, as well as your quads. These are good for keeping you flexible and limber, not to mention giving you great looking legs. To perform the lateral lunge, step to your side. The leg that moved will bend, while the trail leg will remain straight. Push off the ground with your bent leg and bring yourself back up to a standing position.
Summer Body Exercises for Men
Guillotine curls really help build the peak of your biceps. To perform the guillotine curl, you need a cable machine. You can use a straight bar or rope attachment. Laying flat on your back with your elbows perpendicular to the floor, curl the weight directly above your forehead. You’ll be engaging the bicep through the entire range of motion.
Barbell Drag Curls
Unlike traditional curls, the drag curl will keep tension on the bicep the entire duration of the lift. Instead of curling in a semi-circle motion, you’re going to drag the barbell up the abdominals towards the chest, as high as you can. More than likely, you’ll experience a bicep pump like never before.
Summer Body Ab Exercises
Finally, we have the crowd favorite, the abdominal exercises. It’s necessary to preface this section with a “proper diet” plug. The simple truth is, your abs will never show if you don’t have have a low enough body fat, and for that you need the proper diet in place. Assuming you already have those things in place, these exercises will allow your abs to ‘pop’ a bit more, whether you’re male or female.
Hanging Knee Raises / Leg Raises (for beginners)
Hanging knee raises will incorporate the serratus anterior, also known as the boxer muscle. Be sure to posteriorly rotate your pelvis as much as possible to incorporate your abdominals and not just your hip flexors.
Leg raises should be performed on the floor and will take out the serratus anterior work involved. If you’re a beginner trainee, this exercise will be beneficial for you.
Using a ball to perform crunches allows you to go into hyperextension, which will put a nice stretch on your abs and work them through a greater range of motion.
Windshield Wipers (advanced)
For the advanced trainee, there is no better abdominal exercise than the windshield wiper. You’re challenging your abs isometrically, eccentrically, and concentrically. You’re also engaging all four areas of the abs. Hanging from a pull up bar, bring your feet over your head. Then, you’ll move your legs back and forth simulating a car windshield wiper (hence the name).
If you’re not quite where you’d like to be with your physique goals, don’t stress. All goals take time to achieve, and consistency and patience are a must. But the good news is, performing the above exercises on a regular basis will help get you where you’d like to be a lot quicker!