Believe it or not, summer will be here before you know it. And with summer comes many wonderful activities like trips to the beach, picnics and long walks around the neighborhood with your dog just to name a few.
Knowing this we want to give you 4 exercises that will prep your body for the busy summer months. When done right, these exercises will give you the strength, energy and endurance to get through these summer months.
And let’s not forget, if these exercises are paired with clean eating you’ll also notice a leaner, more toned version of you.
Here are your summer prep exercises…
Exercise #1 FULL SQUAT
So everyone knows what the squat is but VERY few people work towards a full squat. A full squat is when your back stays tall, heels stay flat and you lower yourself until your backside hits your calves. Moving into the end range of the squat will give you an incredibly strong body that is ready to take on all of summer’s challenges.
How many reps should you do? We would recommend 3 sets of 10-20 reps if you’re not adding a weight. Once you have a full squat and are safe to add weight (kettlebell, dumbbell, etc.) we would say drop your reps to 5-10.
How often should you perform the full squat? If you’re practicing on getting to a full squat we would it’s safe work on it every day. If you have a full squat and are able to add weight to it we would recommend doing it 2-3x per week.
Exercise #2 STRICT PLANK
The plank is another very common exercises that VERY few people do with proper form. Like all exercises, the plank is only as effective as the technique used. Perform a plank with sloppy form and it’s likely worthless and potentially dangerous for your joints. To do it right, get your hands under your shoulders, pull your shoulders down and away from your ears, tuck your tailbone in (so the low back isn’t sagging), straighten your knees and squeeze the feet together. Yes, it’s a long checklist buy your body will thank you later. As you’ll soon learn, a plank done with perfect form will become a full body exercise not just a core movement. Your shoulders, chest, glutes, abs and inner thighs will light up like a Christmas tree when it’s done well.
How many reps should you do? You should do 5 sets of 5 reps with a 10-60 second hold. If you’re new to the strict plank, you’ll notice 10-15 seconds is tremendously difficult since you’re not used to that amount of stress on the body. That said, the goal is 5 strict planks held for 60 seconds each. If you’re feeling tough, add a heavy backpack to the equation.
How often should you do perform the full plank? As with everything else, if depends on how hard you’re performing it. If you’re learning the plank and hold for 10-20 seconds you can easily add it in every day as a practice. If you’re able to perform the strict plank for 60 seconds with perfect form for 5 sets you can do it 3x week.
Exercise #3 BRIDGE ACTIVATION
The bridge, like the other exercises we’re listing is another common movement but rarely done with excellent form. Exercise 3 is what we call “Bridge Activation” since we’re going to spice things up a bit. Lying on your back, with your knees bent place a folded pillow or yoga block between your knees. Next, you’ll squeeze the yoga block as tight as you can with your knees, then lift your hips off the ground by engaging your glutes. You’ll notice your inner thighs and backside working time and a half if you’re doing it right.
How many reps should you do? You can do 5 sets of 5 reps with a 5 second hold at the top of each bridge. Keep in mind you should never feel this in your lower back. You should feel this exercise in you glutes and inner thighs.
How often should I bridge? We would say every day. Why every day? Well, the bridge is a very safe, low strain exercise that is excellent for both mobility and strength.
Exercise #4 RUNNING IN PLACE
Running in place can be a fantastic way to upgrade your cardio without leaving your living room. It requires very little space and no equipment so it’s tough to beat. That said, like the other exercises mentioned above, you must perform it with excellent form if you want to see the best results possible. So, standing tall with good posture start to lightly run in place. You should start to alternate your arms at your side as you run in place but keep in mind your shoulders and neck should be relaxed. Pay close attention to your feet once you start to pick up speed. Your feet should not be pounding hard into the floor but instead your feet should be light and springy, alternating quickly without excessive force.
How long should you run in place? The options are endless. If you want a quick endurance workout to jump start your day you can sprint for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds for 5 sets. If you don’t want to move that fast and would rather take your time you can run at a moderate pace for 10-15 seconds without stopping.
How often should I run in place? If you plan on going hard and performing all out sprints in place then you may want to do these 3x a week. If you want to go at a light to moderate pace then you can likely pull these off 5x a week. That said, listen to your body since some people require more rest time.
There you have it, 4 awesome movements that if done right can get you ready for summer. This spring, we’ll be launching our new 40-day program, called REVIVE. This program will do more than prep your body for summer, it will transform your body. There will be more details coming soon:)