Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner - and for many of us that means heading to the beach or soaking up the sun beside the pool. The bikini season is looming, so it's time to flaunt that awesome beach body.
Still carrying a little excess weight from winter? No worries – we can’t all look like Chris Hemsworth or Margot Robbie! Just follow these 8 exercises to get your body summer-ready and boost your self-confidence. With the pandemic still hitting hard, you don't even have to go to the gym to get your workout done. We recommend incorporating this program into your routine 5 days per week.
Walking is a great form of exercise, and it’s a good idea to make it a habit. Try to fit in a 30–45 minute walk 5 days per week – you’ll not only get out and about in the fresh air, you’ll also improve your fitness and tone up. Just make sure you walk at a pace that gets your heart rate up and try to include a few hills in your route.
Squats are a very effective exercise to tone legs and glutes, and they burn calories quickly because they target your large muscle groups. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet and your heels as you squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Do 3 sets for at least a minute a day each and you’ll start to see the results in no time.
3. Push Ups
Another excellent exercise that focuses on multiple parts of the body is push-ups. This exercise targets your chest muscles, triceps and core, so it’s a versatile all-rounder. Aim for 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps each. If you’re a beginner, start out by doing your push-ups from your knees, but the goal is to complete your sets on your toes. It helps to try some with your upper body elevated – so you can also try some on your toes with your hands on the coffee table or a step.
4. Shoulder Press
Shoulders are a complex area of the body, and a standing overhead press is one of the best exercises you can do to engage all the muscles surrounding your shoulders. It also engages your back and your core. If you don’t have any dumbbells, you can pick these up at shops such as Target and Kmart – start out light (around 5 kgs per dumbbell), and work your way up from there. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, brace your core and push up until your arms are fully extended above your head. Pause briefly and then lower your arms until the dumbbells are level with your shoulder and your elbows are pointing towards the floor. Aim for 3 sets, with 10 to 12 reps per set.
5. Dumbbell Rows
Now that you’ve got those dumbbells, it’s time to add another move into the mix. This is a compound exercise that strengthens multiple muscles in your upper body. Start with a dumbbell in each hand then bend forward from your waist until your back is at an angle of around 45 degrees from the ground. Let your arms hang down, engage your core and then pull the weight up to your chest by bending your elbows. You can do this exercise one arm at a time or with both arms together. Aim for 3 sets, with 12 to 15 reps per set.
Of course, our list wouldn’t be complete without the planks. Love them or hate them, planks and side planks are the superstar of core exercises. They hold and stabilise your spine while engaging your abdominal muscles - which is exactly what the core is meant to do. Simply lie on the ground (tummy down), then come up into the plank position (forearms on the ground, elbows apart and lift up onto your toes). Your shoulders should be in line with your elbows and your back should be straight. Suck your abdominals in tight and hold the position for 1 minute. Repeat twice more.
Lunges are the perfect exercise for your lower abs and lower body, and they help you get better stability and balance. Stand with your feet apart and put one leg forward, then bend your back knee until it touches (or almost touches) the floor. Rise up and repeat on the other leg, remembering to keep your back straight throughout the exercise. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
8. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers build your core strength and keep your heart pumping to keep your heart rate up. From the plank position, keep your hands at shoulder-width distance. Keep your back flat and engage your abs, then pull one knee towards your chest while you keep your other leg stretched out. Repeat with the other leg and aim for 3 sets of 50 each.
Is your body summer-ready now?
Make sure to partner these exercises with a healthy diet, and you’ll be summer-ready in next to no time. And, if you find yourself in need of some extra cash to finance some new workout tools, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our cash loans from $1K - $5K to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours - so you can get that awesome beach body in next to no time!