When you think about it, summer is all about the “less is more” rule: Less work, more play. Less stress, and (hopefully) more vacation. Less clothing and more skin.
Whether you’re summer dress shopping and concerned about toning your freshly-exposed upper back, shoulders, and arms, or you’re looking to get bikini-ready just in time for beach season, here’s the good news: When it comes to exercises that help you lose weight, tone up, and feel and look your summer best, less is STILL more!
It’s all about compound movements: Exercises that combine multiple body-parts rather than isolating them individually, so that you can get more bang for your buck. That means more calories burned in less time, fewer hours spent sweating in the gym, and more time to get out and enjoy the sunshine with your loved ones.
Find my favorite compound movements in my Matrix Method Ultimate Sculpt DVD
READY, SET, SCULPT!
I love these three moves because they target all the major muscle groups in your body. They are quick and effective. So right after you wake up, before taking a shower, take three minutes for these three exercises and get ready for summer.
1. LUNGE with BICEP CURL
Bicep curl with lunge. Holding a resistance band in each hand with the band under your right foot. Step back with your left leg into a lunge. As you dip, bend your elbows to do a bicep curl. Do 12 on the right leg, and 12 on the left.
As you lunge, keep the front knee parallel over the ankle when you dip down. Make sure the knee doesn’t drift past the toes. And as you do your bicep curl, keep those elbows directly underneath the shoulders.
2. PUSH-UP ON A BALL
Push-up on a ball. Don’t be scared by this alternative to the classic push-up. Placing your toes on the center of the ball, crawl your hands out on the floor until they’re parallel to your chest. Push up into a plank position, slowly lower down, and push back up.
For an easier modification, place your knees (instead of your toes) on the ball when you do this move. But regardless of which version you’re doing, be sure to keep the abs strongly engaged. The use of a stability ball will help you engage your core muscles on a deeper level, and will ultimately help you ramp up the results!
3. SQUATTING DEAD LIFT with BACK ROW
Squatting Deadlift with Back Row. Again, don’t let the name of this full-body-blaster scare you off. Holding light-to-medium weights, put your right foot about 12 inches in front of your left, and lower your hips toward the floor into a one-legged squat. At the same time, pull your weights up with your elbows, just brushing your waist. Do 12 repetitions on each leg.
Keep your spine straight and hips over the front heel as you lower into the squat. And when you perform the back row, imagine that you’re squeezing a pencil with your shoulder blades, squeezing it tighter and tighter until you finish the move. Remember, multi-joint compound movements are the key to getting quick results.
Make it happen!