Your Summer Bodyweight Workout
Our expert offers three simple moves that you can do anywhere.
Three Essential Beach Season Moves
It can be tough to keep fit with changing schedules and travel that summer often brings. Fitness expert Nikki Kimbrough explains her favorite full-body, no-gear workout to help you stay active.
“I always say ‘squats are your bottom’s best friend’ because they tone the glutes, plus the hamstrings, quads and core,” says Nikki Kimbrough. Squats help women feel more confident slipping on those bikini bottoms and help guys work toward more sculpted legs sticking out of those board shorts. To get even more out of this classic move, try a squat jump. “The explosive plyometric movement forces you to really use your glutes to get up in the air.”
Basic Squat: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart; keep your back straight and your head up. Bend your knees and drop your torso. Lower your butt toward the floor as if you were sitting in a chair. As you stand back up, push through the heels of your feet.
Try 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
Advanced Squat Jump: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart; keep your back straight and your head up. Bend your knees and drop your torso. Lower your butt toward the floor as if you were sitting in a chair. From that lowered position, push off your heels and jump into the air. Try to keep your feet parallel with the floor. Land with your knees bent, chest slightly forward, and neck aligned with the spine.
Try 2 sets of 10-12 reps.
“Good ol’ fashioned push-ups are great for working your upper back and chest, and, when done correctly, core abdominal muscles and lower back,” she explains. “Push-ups also help women guard against dreaded upper arm flab and ‘armpit fat’ [i.e. the bulge that hangs over tube tops or out of tight dresses] and help guys get their pecs and triceps in show-off beach shape.” For a tougher version, you can do the robot!
Basic Push-up: Lie facedown with your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart and your feet together. Keeping your body straight, push up. Lower back down slowly. (Beginners can lower their knees to the floor.)
Try 3 sets of 10.
Advanced Robot Push-ups: Start in a raised push-up position, then lower the right arm so that you are resting on your forearm in an elbow plank position, and lower the left one in the same manner. Raise and straighten the right arm and do the same with the left arm. Repeat.
Try 2 sets of 10.
“Nothing can beat Supermans—literally,” Kimbrough says. “These back extenders are awesome at strengthening the lower back and your glutes.” Plus they help you get a lean and shapely lower back so you won’t have any muffin top hanging out over your bathing suit. Add a twist to make this pose even more superhero.
Basic Superman: Lie facedown with your arms stretched above your head and your feet about hip-distance apart. Keeping your neck straight and your eyes on the floor, lift your arms, legs and torso as far off the ground as you can. Try 2 to 3 sets, holding for 30 seconds.
Advanced Superman Twist: Clasp your hands behind your head. As you lift up, twist to the right side, come down close to the ground without touching, and twist to the left. Try 2 to 3 sets, holding on each side for 20 seconds.
Extra Effort Cardio:
30-Second Hill Springs Either outside or on an inclined treadmill – in between the three essential summer moves.
Bootcamp Check to see if your Gold’s Gym offers bootcamps.
Strengthing Classes Try TRX or yoga classes that specifically use your bodyweight as resistance.
At The End Of The Day
“Embrace your current shape,” Kimbrough says. “If you’re not quite where you want to be when it’s time to put your swimsuit on, accept it.” She also advises her clients to wear or buy a suit that compliments them at the moment, not 10 pounds from now. That said, feel free to post a photo of your dream beach outfit and make it a goal. “Then let that knockout suit be a reward for your hard work!”