5 Tips for Summer-Body Strength Training
What's the secret to a sexy, fit summer body? Strength training.
And with that in mind, we spoke with Gold's Gym trainer Ramona Braganza—who has worked with Zac Efron, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Alba—for inside tips to boost your efforts in time for the heat. (FYI, she helped sculpt Jessica's amazing abs in the firstSin City. Yep.) Read up, hit the gym, and prepare to have the best summer ever!
Begin Training Now
No time like the present, right? Most of Braganza's clients dedicate two to three months before a movie starts filming to get fit, but you can see muscle definition as soon as four weeks—meaning now is the optimal time to dive into your new strength-training routine. (Just be careful not to overdo it in the next few weeks—learn how to know if your workout is too intense.)
Speed Up Your Workouts
If you want to tone up fast (i.e., by pool time), give yourself a 30-second rest maximum between sets. (Braganza says three sets for however many reps you can handle per exercise is standard.) That will keep your heart rate up—and the less room your body has to calm down (safely and without exhausting yourself), the more calories you'll burn in a shorter amount of time, says Braganza.
MORE:7 High-Intensity Workouts that Take 20 Minutes or LESS
Add Weight to Core Exercises
If your goal is to slim your stomach in time for bikini season, add more resistance to your core exercises, says Braganza. She suggests using a heavy object to test the stability of your abs and put more emphasis on strengthening those muscles. (One option: the Medicine Ball V-Up.) Hello, bikini belly!
MORE:Weight Lifting Tips for Women
Do More Lower-Body Moves
Besides scoring a butt that looks amazing in a teeny-weeny bikini, working your lower half means you're exercising some of your biggest muscle groups: your glutes and quads. Spot toning this area can fire up your metabolism because working these specific muscles requires more energy than working other regions of your body, says Braganza. Squats and lunges do the trick, or try any of these awesome lower-body workouts.
Work Your Entire Body at Once
Why stop with your belly and bum? Total-body workouts require head-to-toe effort so that you tone every inch—and do it way faster than targeting single muscle groups per workout, says Braganza. Try compound moves such as the Dumbbell Squat to Overhead Press or the Lateral Lunge and Press to target multiple muscles simultaneously.
MORE:7 Ways to Balance Strength Training and Cardio
Video: The Five-Minute Summer Body Workout - Part 1
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