Yes, it’s currently that time of year when many of us are focused on “getting in shape for summer.” There’s nothing wrong with finding motivation in the onset of the warm, sunny season, but before you get started, try to avoid putting an expiration date on your goals.
Sure, shape up for summer! But keep that momentum going by making it your long term goal to keep up with your exercise routine until the end of the year and beyond; because consistency will be your ultimate key to true success.
Consistency and strength training, that is.
No matter what your fitness goals are for this summer (run faster, build muscle, burn fat, get healthy), including strength training as part of your regular workout routine will help to support them.
Together, the following strength moves (most of which require no equipment at all) will help you build total-body strength by strategically targeting all of the body’s major muscle groups. Plus, some incorporate a little bit of cardio so you’ll get your heart pumping and amp up your calorie burn while you’re at it.
For a complete total-body, circuit workout, simply work through each exercise on the list for the recommended number of reps, then repeat the 10-exercise circuit two or three more times.
How to: Start in a seated position. Lean back slightly, lift your feet off the ground and extend your arms forward to come into boat pose. Keep your core tight and a neutral spine as you slowly extend your legs and lower your torso towards the floor simultaneously. Pause for a beat before returning to the starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps.
Targets: hamstrings, glutes, abdominals
How to: Start standing with your feet about hip-width distance apart. Lift your left leg off the ground slightly and keep your core tight and spine neutral as you hinge forward at the hips, letting your hands fall towards the floor and your left leg extend behind you. Slowly return to the starting position (challenge your balance by trying not to let your left leg touch the ground) and repeat for 8 to 12 reps before switching to the other side. (Holding weights like dumbbells or a kettlebell is optional.)