For the fitness enthusiast, summer is the season of reckoning. You put away your body-obscuring sweaters, pants, and long-sleeved tops, and pull out the tank-tops, skirts and crop-tops. You prepare to show the world how disciplined you’ve been all year.
But even if you’ve missed a few more workouts than you care to remember, there’s still time to tighten up, build some muscle, and scorch off a few calories before the season of sunshine and exposed flesh gets fully under way.
Check out these six moves that may help sculpt areas that get highlighted by body-revealing summer clothes: your shoulders, abs, upper legs, and glutes.
Grab a pair of medium-heavy dumbbells and sprinkle these exercises for summer clothes into your workout routine to help build muscle in these specific areas. Perform two sets of twelve reps for each move. It’s fast, fun, and challenging. And in the season when living is easy, that’s just the kind of an extra challenge you need.
6 Exercises for Summer Clothes
Squat to Single-Leg Squat
• With your feet parallel and slightly wider than shoulder width, slowly bend your knees and sit your hips back until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor, or as low as you can while keeping your spine straight, your chest up, and your gaze forward.
• Pulse up slightly, to shift your weight onto your right foot, but without coming all the way to a stand. Extend your left leg straight in front of you, your toes pointed upward and your heel near the floor. Once your weight is shifted all the way to your right leg, lower down again as far as you can while keeping your spine straight, your chest up, and your gaze forward.
• Reverse the move, slowly standing back up using your right leg only.
• Assume the staring position and repeat the movement, this time coming back up using your left leg only.
• Repeat for six reps on each leg.
Benefits: Works the entire lower body while improving single-leg balance and athleticism, not to mention toning the upper thighs to work that mini-skirt.
Renegade Row to Pushup
• Assume a pushup position with your hands just outside your shoulder width gripping two light dumbbells.
• Perform a pushup, keeping your body straight, head to heels, with your feet apart in line with your hands for added stability
• Maintaining the pushup position, lift the dumbbell in your right hand off the floor bringing your hand to the outside of your ribs while keeping your right elbow close to your side. You don’t want your body to rotate, and you want to resist rotation of the body.
• Lower the right dumbbell to the floor.
• Repeat by lifting the dumbbell in your left hand, following the instructions above.
• Lower the dumbbell, perform a pushup, and repeat the whole movement for a total of six reps.
Benefits: Works the core, and the pushing and pulling muscles of your upper body. Your sculpted shoulders and back can be highlighted with an off-the-shoulder top or backless tank.
Single Leg V Up to Twist
• Lie on your back with your feet together, your toes pointed, your legs straight, and your arms pointed directly out to the sides, palms up.
• Keeping your lower back pressed into the floor, lift your head and your legs about six inches off the floor. This is your starting position.
• Keeping your back straight and your torso long, sit up, balancing on your butt, raising your right leg and touching it with your left hand.
• Return to the starting position and repeat the move, this time lifting your right hand to meet your left leg.
• Continue alternating sides for 12 reps on each side.
Benefits: Works the anterior (front) core, including the six-pack muscles and the oblique muscles on the sides of your waist. It’s time to show off your toned midriff with a cute summer crop top.
• Hold two dumbbells at shoulder height keeping them close to the body pushing your elbows forward
• Keeping back flat and your weight on your heels, squat until your hips are parallel to your knees, or as far as you can while keeping your chest up, gaze forward, and heels down.
• Push up explosively until you’re standing upright, pressing the weights forcefully overhead as you ascend.
• Lower the dumbbells to shoulder height softly and repeat for a total of 12 reps.
Benefits: Works the quads, glutes, shoulders and triceps, and provides full-body toning for rocking just about any summer outfit.
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
• Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor about hip width apart.
• Contract your abdomen and keep it tight throughout the movement.
• Raise your left leg straight up towards the ceiling, flexing your foot as you do so. This is your starting position.
• Press your right foot into the floor, raising your pelvis until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
• Hold the top position for a one-count.
• Slowly reverse the movement and return to the starting position.
• Repeat for 12 reps on this side, then perform the movement with your left foot on the floor.
Benefits: Activates and sculpts the glutes, which extend your hips and help keep your lower back and knees healthy. After working this move, it will be time to bust out those short-shorts to show off your lifted booty.
Hammer Curl to Kickback
• Stand holding two dumbbells by your sides, palms facing in towards your thighs.
• Keeping your elbows close to your sides and your palms parallel, curl the weights up to shoulder level.
• Hinge at the hips by pushing the hips back as if closing a car door with your butt until your torso is at a 45 degree angle. Keep the spine straight the whole time by keeping the core engaged and head neutral.
• With your elbows tightly against your lower ribs, slowly extend your arms behind you, like a skier pushing off with her poles,until your arms are parallel with your spine.
• Squeeze your triceps hard for a one-count, then reverse the motion bring your hands back towards your shoulders
• Return to an upright position by pushing the hips forwards and repeat the curl-kickback pattern for 12 reps.
Benefits: Strengthens the biceps and triceps of the upper arms. Strong is the new sexy and nothing highlights sculpted arms like summer tank tops.