How to Rock a Hard Summer Body

Here’s how to diversify your favorite indoor exercise activities, like treadmill walking and bench presses, with sports specific moves that you can master outside as well.  It’s time to head outside to play your favorite summer sport and sculpt a sexy bathing-suit body while you’re at it. 

You’ll feel more confident, look better and excel in any fitness activity if you add sports-specific training into your regular exercise regimen once or twice a week. When you add these targeted strength moves to boost the specific muscles needed in your sport, you’ll be able to play longer and harder, and you’ll also help prevent injuries along the way.

Start inside, then bust a move. After two weeks of incorporating the following moves into your regular home exercise routine or gym workouts, you’ll have a stronger core, a leaner lower body, more stamina and faster reflexes. 

If you haven’t picked your summer sport yet, you can still incorporate these effective exercises into any basic strength routine. Got game? Let’s find out!

If you like to SWIM   

Zero in on exercises that strengthen your back, chest, arms and core. Core muscles, especially abdominals, power all your kicks while the triceps and shoulders boost endurance for overhead swim strokes like Freestyle or Butterfly.     

Trainer Move: Stroke Reps 

Targets outer- and mid-back, triceps, chest, shoulders

Tie a resistance tube around your treadmill or a stable object at waist height. Hold a handle in each hand and extend arms forward  and take a step back to make the tube taut. Bend from the waist and slowly row both hands in back of hips until palms point to ceiling. Hold at the longest stretch point for two counts and return to start. Do 20 reps.   

Also try: pushups, planks and pull-upselliptical training

If you want to BIKE 

Train for muscular endurance to cycle across outdoor terrain by targeting the hips, glutes and legs. Also strengthen your lower back and core, which are responsible for keeping your torso in a safe, upright position when you pedal longer distances.

Trainer Move: Modified Wall Squat 

Targets quads, glutes, hamstrings, lower legs, endurance 

Stand with your back pressed against a wall, feet shoulder-width apart, and walk feet out 12 – 18 inches from the base. Raise arms overhead pressing knuckles into the wall at all times. Slowly slide down the wall until knees form 90 degrees and hold for 30 seconds. For the last five seconds of the hold, flex toes upward. Push weight into heels, rise to standing, and repeat.

Also try: H20 biking or running, leg machines, core class  

If you like to RUN or HIKE… 

Runners need explosive power and agility to repeatedly propel their body weight forward. Outdoor running is  more challenging than indoor running so you should train your thighs, glutes, hips and core; you’ll need a set of stairs or a step.

Trainer Move: Speed Steps 

Targets legs, core and glutes; trains agility and speed 

Stand in front of stairs with the ball of the right foot on the first step. Keep arms at your sides and bend both knees. Lean back to engage the core and without lifting from the hips, quickly switch feet keeping torso erect and generate foot speed. Alternate 20 to 40 fast steps without stopping.

Also try: hiking off road, bike class, soft-sand sprinting, and boot camp

If you play TENNIS or GOLF…    

Whether you play a killer game of singles or dabble in doubles, the game demands total-leg strength and core work, especially for the oblique muscles at your waistline. balance and shoulder stability are vital to playing a great game of tennis, too.  

Trainer Move: Balance Toe Touch 

Targets entire core, thighs, calves, lower back, and balance training     

Stand on straight right leg and hinge slowly forward from the waist. As torso lowers parallel to floor, lift straight left leg behind you hip height and simultaneously reach left hand across to the little toe on your right foot. Hold here for 10 seconds, firing your core to maintain balance, then rise up slowly. Repeat 10 times, switch sides, and repeat.

Also try: kickboxing, shoulder work, lateral training

Whatever you do inside on equipment – even on your home gym – that prepares your body for your favorite outdoor activity will improve your athletic performance and agility. You can enjoy cross training (without injuries!) all season long. Add the signature strength exercises above to your regular cardio workouts, and you’ll be sculpting sexy summer muscles in the process.  So, what could be better?!   

P.S. Don’t forget your sunscreen!