5 exercises to get beach ready
As we approach the festive season and time spent in the water increases tenfold, it’s only natural that the beach rig becomes a bigger priority. Although summer bodies are made in the winter, chances are you’ve left it a little last minute. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time in the sun left for you to show off your hard earned work.
Here are five exercises to help you get in shape for your next session in the sun. Aim for 8 reps for size, 12-15 for definition.
With so little time on the clock left, you want to incorporate heavy moves that will target more than one muscle. The Deadlift tackles a variety of muscles from top to bottom. Compound movements are also great for building bulk muscle.
Begin by placing an olympic bar on the floor in front of you, your shins resting behind it. Drop to a half squat and grab the bar with both hands. It's up to you if you want to have your palms facing the same way or the opposite direction. Your back should also be straight. Straighten your legs as you pull the bar up, until you're as tall as you can go. At this point your back should be perpendicular to the ground. Lower the bar to ground by bending your knees. That's one rep. Aim for 3-4 sets - 8 reps for size, 12-15 for definition.
Sure, your upper body will garner most of the attention when you're down to your swimmers. But the truth is, it's important to aim for an even figure (besides, you can avoid poor-fitting boardies or produce calves you're proud of). Another great compound movement, the squat targets all parts of the lower body.
Begin by setting up a squat rack. Step under the bar, your legs slightly bent. You may choose to use cushioning on the bar for comfort. With your back straight and the bar resting on your shoulder blades, extend your knees to raise the weight off the rack. Take a couple steps back. At all times you should be facing forward. Lower your body to the ground by bending your knees before straightening them to raise the weight. That's one rep. Aim for 3-4 sets - 8 reps for size, 12-15 for definition.
If ever there was an exercise to tackle your biceps, it's 21s. This arm buster crushes all parts of the limb which ensures that your muscle is evenly spread.
Similar to a barbell curl, instead of doing a regular up-down motion, you're going to split the set into 3 different movements. As the name suggests, there are 21 reps all up. Begin by doing half a bicep curl from the bottom to half way. That's 7 reps. Then move on to the top half to the bicep curl motion, focusing on half to top, where the bar will be close to your shoulders. Complete 7 reps. Then add the two together, completing a full range of motion, for 7 reps. That's 1 set, comprising of 21 reps. Aim for 3-4 sets - 8 reps for size, 12-15 for definition.
When you want pecs that pop or a more defined upper body, compound movements like the bench press are your go-to exercise.
Begin by lying on a bench beneath a bar connected to a squat rack – your arms around shoulder-width apart. The bar should be within reaching distance. Grab the bar with your palms facing upward before pushing towards the ceiling to get the weight off the rack. Lower it to your chest by bending the elbows and extending the chest. It's important to have a controlled movement, lowering the bar to within inches of your chest. Letting the bar drop too quickly is a recipe for injury. Extend your arm so that the bar is as high as it can go. That's 1 rep. Aim for 3-4 sets.
Hanging Leg Raises
Toned arms and nice legs at the beach are nice, but we can't forget tackling the mid-section. Whether you want a flat stomach or chiselled washboard abs, hanging leg raises are perfect solution. If you're a beginner starting up, you can uses a padded machine where you can rest on your elbows and focus on just knee raises for the time being.
To begin, grab a parallel bar or chin up bar, you arms fully extended as you hang. Focus on stabilising your body to avoid a swinging motion. Slowly raise your legs until it's perpendicular to your body. Hold briefly before lowering them. That's 1 rep, aim for 3-4 sets - 8 reps for size, 12-15 for definition.