Spring is here–that inevitable time of year when guys everywhere start upping their workouts in an effort to get that perfect beach body before summer. Gym sessions get more intense, diets get stricter and everyone’s zeroed in on those classic exercises that are the hallmarks of a buff body–things like burpees, pull-ups, squats, crunches and the ever-popular bicep curl. But it’s always good to ask yourself, “How’s that working for you?” If the answer is, “I’ve still got a long way to go,” perhaps mixing things up with some lesser-known moves is the key to making that beach body a reality.
Like to exercise outdoors? Just don’t forget to use sunscreen and a men’s facial moisturizer with SPF. Once you add these exercises to your routine, you’re going to want to be out in the sun, strutting your stuff as often as you can.
6 exercises you can add to your workout to get the beach body you want by summer:
Every good workout starts with a warm-up. So why not use this time to do double-duty? By taking a basic plank and adding movement, you’ll not only get warm, you’ll get those beach body muscles engaged from the start. The forearm run is best explained as a mountain climber in a plank position. And, as the name suggests, it’s performed with your weight on your forearms. Just be sure to keep your back flat as you alternate driving your knees toward your chest. This will ensure you fully engage those stabilizing muscles that run between your hips and shoulders, as well as the trapezius and rhomboids of the upper back.
Another simple way to get more out of your plank? Turn it into a side plank to fire up those obliques, the two large muscles that run diagonally down the sides of your abdomen. When well developed, these muscles–used for twisting–can take a great six-pack to the next level of hot. To perform, lie on your side with straight legs and prop your body up on your forearm. Then, push your hips toward the ceiling until your body is in a straight line and hold. For an added challenge, try lifting the top leg and adding a knee to elbow crunch to work your obliques, arms, and back.
Basic Incline Press
If there’s one thing that makes a great beach body, it’s that broad shoulders, thin waist, “upside down triangle” look. But what if your chest and torso aren’t quite wide enough to pull off a triangle? First, lose the extra belly fat. It gives you a smaller base to work with. Next, zero in on the little-known serratus anterior muscles often called “boxer’s muscles” for their role in movements like pushing and punching.
Originating on the surface of the upper ribs and stretching around the outside of the rib cage, these finger-like muscles attach under the shoulder blade at the top of your six-pack–an ideal spot for adding definition and width. A basic incline press at 45-50 degrees, with your grip wider than your shoulders, will not only enhance the serratus anterior, it’ll help build other beach body muscles. Do enough of these exercises and you can also say hello to bigger pectorals, anterior deltoids and triceps.
The name says it all. Perform this simple exercise regularly and you’ll look like a hero–especially from behind, thanks to its gluteus-tightening superpowers. To perform the superman, lie face down on the floor with your arms extended and simultaneously raise your legs, arms and upper chest. Hold for five seconds or longer, release and repeat. In addition to giving you a great butt, this exercise complements all those crunches you’re probably doing by working to tighten up the back side of your core.
Don’t let the name fool you. This exercise isn’t for princesses or unicorns. Using your own body weight, it hammers both the abdominals and the obliques to give you a ripped core all around. Perform it on the floor or sitting sideways on a bench if you need a bigger challenge. Start by sitting on your butt, hands behind your back and legs slightly bent in front of you. Then, lean back slightly and raise your feet off the ground. Rotate to one side and lower your toes to the floor. Repeat on the opposite side, drawing an arc (or rainbow) through the air.
Skull Crusher Press
Beach body biceps are nothing without some serious triceps to back them up. And the skull crusher press does the job perfectly by firing up the triceps long head, the biggest and strongest part of the triceps muscle. For this exercise, lie on a bench holding a bar or dumbbells over your forehead. Bend your elbows, bringing the bar toward your forehead, pause and push back up to the straight position.
Finally, Don’t Forget the Cardio
The trend for beach bodies has evolved from the massive muscles of the ’80s to today’s lean and muscular look, making cardio a must for most guys. Be sure to alternate at least a couple of days of cardio with weight-training days. You’ll not only burn fat that could be covering your muscles, you’ll give your body a chance to recover from intense lifting sessions. Just be sure to find an activity you enjoy so you stick with it. And, if you’re running or playing team sports outdoors, find a men’s skin care routine that includes SPF. After all, an angry red sunburn never looks good–even on the best beach body.
The bottom line? The body you want can be yours this summer. But you have to start now, stay committed and be willing to look at how you can change your workout to make it a reality.