It’s almost beach season, which means you want to look and feel your very best. To tone up before you it the sand, try completing each of these circuits once a day, on alternate days. In-between circuit lifting days, do 30 to 60 minutes of cardio. You can also add in some extra cardio on circuit days for that extra burn!
For the circuits: do 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise and then repeat the circuit for 3 to 4 rounds. If you’re just starting to work out, begin with 2 sets and work your way up.
Circuit 1: Chest and Triceps
1. Push-ups: With your body in a straight plank position, bend your elbows to lower down about 2 inches off the ground. Pause and then press back up. Be sure to keep your abs pulled in tight so that your lower back does not arch. If this is too difficult, try push-ups from your knees.
2. Standing tricep extensions: Holding a dumbbell in both hands, straighten it above your head, then bend your elbows down behind your head and neck, holding the weight steady. Press back up to starting position. Make sure that your elbows stay close to your ears and don’t flare out to the sides. This will ensure that you are working your triceps!
3. Lying chest flys: Laying flat on your back with your knees slightly bent, hold the dumbbells straight above your chest. Then open your arms out wide. Now squeeze your chest and raise the dumbbells up and together in the center of your chest. Repeat.
4. Laying skull crushers: Lie on your back and raise the dumbbells straight above your face. Slowly bend from your elbows to lower the weights towards your forehead. Pause for a moment and raise them straight back up. Make sure to keep your elbows pointing straight at the ceiling to work your triceps the best.
Circuit 2: Abs and Butt.
1. Floor bridge: Lie on your back and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor and your fingertips can almost touch your heels. Squeeze your glutes together and raise your hips upwards into a bridge. Pause at the top and squeeze, then lower back down slowly.
2. Bicycle crunches: Lie on your back with your hands clasped behind your head and elbows open wide. Raise your knees up to table-top position and twist your right elbow towards your left knee while extending your right leg at the same time. Alternate sides, crisscrossing your body left and right.
3. Donkey butt kicks: With your hands and knees on the floor, make your body into a flat position and hold your abs in tightly. Then, with your knee bent, lift your right leg up towards the sky as if your heel is going to push through the ceiling. Raise and lower your right heel about 3-6 inches up and down while squeezing your right butt cheek. Repeat on the other side.
4. V-ups: Lie flat on your back with your arms straight above your head. Using your core muscles, lift your legs and body into a V-shaped position. Squeeze and hold your stomach in tightly for about five seconds and lower back down (without letting your shoulder blades touch the ground until you raise back up again) Try 10-20 repetitions!
Circuit 3: Back and Biceps
1. Single arm dumbbell row: With your right leg back in a slight lunge position, hold a weight in your right hand and slowly pull straight up and back, keeping your elbow tight to your body. Then, release the dumbbell straight down. Make sure to pinch your shoulder blade back as you raise the weight to activate your back muscles!
2. Standing bicep curls: Stand up straight with your shoulder blades down. Squeeze your abs and glutes very tight. Then, holding two weights in each hand, slowly curl your palms up towards your face. Squeeze at the top and release slowly back to the bottom.
3. Underhand rows: Tilt forward from your hips as if you’re bowing. Hold two dumbbells (underhand grip) straight below your shoulders, then squeeze your arms and elbows back and upwards, bringing the dumbbells toward your lower chest or abdomen. Release back down.
4. Alternating hammer curls: Hold two dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing one another. Squeeze your abs and glutes tight, and curl the dumbbells in an alternating motion up and down.
Circuit 4: Legs
1. Narrow grip squats: Hold two heavy dumbbells in your hands on the outside of your legs. Squat down as if you are sitting in a chair, squeeze your glutes and push through your heels to stand back up straight.
2. Reverse lunges: Holding the weights in your hands stand with feet together. With your right leg, step back about 3 feet in behind you, bending both your knees to a 90° angle. Push from your left leg to stand back up straight and bring your legs together. Alternate sides for 20 reps.
3. Plié squats on toes: With your feet out in a very wide position, lift up your heels so you’re standing on your toes. Hold your two dumbbells at collarbone height. Keeping your heels off the ground, sit low into a wide squat position, then squeeze your inner thighs up and together as you stand back up. Try not to let your heels drop!
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