Summer has finally arrived and that means most of us will be showing some skin. Whether you plan on wearing a bikini, a speedo or a tank top this summer, you need to look your best. Unfortunately, getting a summer body is much easier said than done. The summer body becomes especially difficult to obtain as you get older. Here's how to blast through the fat and build muscle by the final month of summer.
Start With a Plan
Don't dive into any old workout routine thinking it will transform your body in a month or two. The best way to build a summer body is to plan your workouts in a precise manner. You will need to engage in a combination of strength training and cardio exercises to become strong and lean. This means you will need a number of fitness-related items like a pilates mat, an adjustable barbell set, a stability ball, a treadmill and a few other pieces of equipment. Some of the exercises outlined below key in on improving your core. Flatten that stomach and you won't feel nearly as self-conscious about wearing a bikini or swim trunks in the summer. Furthermore, a stable core empowers you to better work your chest, arms, glutes and thighs.
Key in on Cardio
Cardio exercises are essential to burning fat. Yet you do not have to go for an intense run every other day to build that summer body. You can do some exercises on a pilates mat that get your heart pumping. Use your pilates mat as a soft surface for crunches and running in-place. This way, your joints and ligaments do not have to endure wear and tear while you run on the comparably hard outdoor cement or blacktop.
Running for half an hour will burn upwards of 300 calories. This is the quickest way to a flatter stomach and more defined legs/arms. Engage in cardio exercises every other day and you will transform your body composition, reduce the ratio of fat to lean muscle and allow your muscles to become much more defined.
Select one or several cardio activities that induce a sweat. You can run, use an elliptical, swim, cycle etc. Engage in these activities for at least 45 minutes. If 45 minutes sounds like an incredibly long exercise session considering your current fitness level or past experience with exercise, opt for a high-intensity, interval workout to burn those calories and boost your metabolism for hours. Go hard with cardio for a couple minutes then take a break for the next minute. Resume the exercise and continue to mix in brief breaks.
Improve Your Glutes and Quads With the Bulgarian Split Squat
A toned bottom half is essential to a visually pleasing summer body. Grab a stability ball and perform the Bulgarian split squat several times per week. This exercise works the quadriceps as well as the hamstrings and glutes. Begin by standing a single stride's distance away from the ball. Place your left shin and the top of your left sneaker on the ball. Bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for a couple seconds. Straighten out your right leg. Hold this position. Increase the intensity of the exercise by holding dumbbells or a 10-pound medicine ball.
You need your shoulders and biceps looking their best for the summer months. After all, most people look at your upper body before anything else. The standing dumbbell curl bolsters your arms' strength and appearance. Begin with your feet aligned with your shoulders. Hold a 10-pound dumbbell in both hands. Keep your arms straight at your sides. Let your palms face forward. Curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders.
The Leg Hip Bridge
This simple exercise works the glutes, abs and hamstrings. Lie flat on a pilates mat with your hands by your hips. Flex the glutes and lift your hips to form a straight line with your knees and shoulders. Straighten your right leg, hold the position, return your right heel to the pilates mat and repeat twice. Alternate legs.
This simple exercise requires a step, a pilates mat and a bench or wall. It adds definition to your calves and helps eliminate excess flab. Begin by standing on the step with your heels hanging off the edge. If necessary, hold onto a bench or a wall to improve your balance. Press upward onto the balls of your feet. Lower your left heel to the pilates mat below. Hold this position for a couple seconds. Alternate feet and repeat the exercise. You can increase the difficulty of the exercise by lifting one foot above the step and balancing on the other leg. Incorporate dumbbells or a medicine ball to ramp up the intensity.