Aside from the whole “cold” thing, winter was great, wasn’t it? Holiday dinners, dark beer, plenty of excuses to stay in and, best of all, thick clothes to hide the results. But as it does, winter has passed, and soon enough you won’t be able to hide the February Fifteen in a sweater for much longer. No one wants to be the only one in the water with a t-shirt, so take advantage of the time you’ve got now to work off the extra pounds you’ve gained ‘round the fire. If you’re struggling to find the right workout for you, though, look no longer. Here are ten of our favorite beach-ready workouts for girls and guys to make sure you’re looking good by summertime.
For the Dudes
The Livestrong Way – Livestrong knows that a beach-ready body doesn’t come without work, but they’re ready to help you out every step of the way. “Not only do you need to target the right areas, you also have to reduce body fat. This will give your muscles the chance to be seen and admired.” To help you get to that point, Livestrong implemented a plan that involves general cardio, sprinting, and shoulder, chest and back exercises. Check out the whole plan here.
Cut out the Booze – You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you really want that perfect beach body, it’s not going to come after a few long nights at the bars. “Why? Because alcohol will wreck your body,” says Made Men. “Beer and cocktails have tons of calories, and binge-drinking damages your production of testosterone, which is key for muscle growth.” If you’re struggling to give up the drink, remember: Corona tastes a whole lot better on the beach than in the basement. Wait ‘til you’ve got the body you want to kick your feet back.
Muscle and Fitness’ High Octane Workout – If you’re reading this with only a month to prepare, this is the workout for you. Muscle and Fitness constructed a four week cycle that combines cardio, weighted resistance and strength training to make sure you’ll look good when your catching waves. “If you want to maximize time spent in the gym, we suggest you combine everything into a “high octane” workout that transitions between the weights and some type of cardio. The routine is simple and can be varied depending on what you have available at your local gym.”
Supersets – For those not yet in the know, a superset is a combination of two different exercises put together without a break. Unless you’re already in acceptable shape, this might be a little tough – but supersets are a guaranteed way to have you looking good this summer. “You’ll be using supersets to increase the density of your workout (a measure of the amount of work performed in a specific time period),” says Men’s Health UK. “Compared to workouts that involve resting for several minutes between sets, supersets allow you to get twice as much work done in the same amount of time.” Check out the rest of their article to learn about an entire routine to prepare you for the beach.
Keep it Going – Once you finally get the body you’ve dreamed of, you won’t want to lose it after a few relaxing weeks at the beach. Keep the workout going! “Scenic resort areas like Montauk, beach towns in Maine and remote parts of Cape Cod usually lack state-of-the-art training facilities and you’ll need to improvise if you’re going to stay fit away from your gym and trainer,” says Men’s Fitness. They put together one of the best at-the-beach workouts you’ll ever see to keep the body you’ve worked so hard to get.
For the Ladies
Lean Fit Body’s Program – Lean Fit Body understands that weight gain is typical of the colder months, but don’t recommend a fad diet. “The first thing you should learn is that you don’t need to starve yourself. Crash dieting to lose weight is one of the major mistakes women make in dieting.” Instead, they recommend a routine that involves bodyweight squats, press-ups, lunges, tuck jumps, sit ups and burpees. Check out their site for more details on getting fit for the beach.
Pilates – You’ll struggle to find a workout routine that will so precisely tone up the areas that winter kept hidden. Pilates builds strength while burning fat – and you might even find that your mind is a little stronger afterwards, too. You won’t need a whole lot of equipment, but if you find yourself looking to push a little bit harder, Fitness Magazine recommends including weights: “To boost the challenge, use light weights where indicated. Include two 45-60 minute cardio sessions on your off days and follow a healthy diet, and in just four weeks you’ll be sitting poolside with pride.” Head to their site for a more detailed workout.
Shape’s 3-Month Plan – Shape’s fitness editor, Jay Cardiello, put together a perfect three-month workout schedule to make sure you’re looking great under the sun. “This program is based upon the premise of short burst training, which focuses on the use of short 30-60 second bouts of high-intensity protocols that are followed by less intense exercises.” The best part – you need nothing but yourself to do all of them.
Squats – Even if your legs are looking great, squats can make immense improvements for your glutes and core. Huff Post Women recommends the walking squat: “Stand with your feet in a wide stance and drop your glutes down so that your thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold that position and then take 12 steps forward and 12 steps back.” If squat walks are burning you out, don’t worry – they’ve assembled a great list of beach-themed workouts for your dream summertime body.
The Last Minute Calorie Burn – “When your goal is to torch calories in a hurry, the secret is to do sets of two moves back-to-back with no rest,” says Women’s Health Mag. That’s right, the superset works for ladies too. Women’s Health Mag’s Craig Ballantyne assembled a great routine of supersets for anyone with a lot to lose and little time to do so.