Shorts, tank tops and swimsuits - it's almost summer

Spring cleaning time is here, and why do we love it so much?

Maybe because with the swish of a cleaning cloth and a few quick fixes, we can turn a problem area into a clean, fresh area that’s ready for summer.

Taking that same approach to fitness requires you to figure out what your problems areas may be, and target them for the next few weeks as a jump start. By adding strength moves into your routine that target the trouble spots, you can tighten those muscles in plenty of time for summer weather.

When I think of summer, I think of wearing shorts, tank tops and swimsuits. What are the most desired areas to tone? My guess is the tummy, the rear end and the arms.

Sweep out the cob webs and get to it.


Progress takes time, persistence  and a little work. Firming up that tummy quickly can best be done by performing a circuit of abdominal exercises. A circuit includes moving from one exercise to another without rest.

This type of workout is one of the best ways to make your muscles efficient, burn extra calories and tone trouble spots. By changing the angles of movement, you can continue the exercises with less fatigue and keep moving.

For abdominals, choose three moves that include each muscle. As an example, you can begin with ball crunches, followed by a double crunch where you knees are lifted at the same time as the shoulders and finally a bicycle crunch. Perform one set of 15 each, then repeat for 3-4 sets without rest.

To tighten the backside we need to focus on the glutes, hamstrings  and quads. The great news here is, when you work these major muscles, you burn the most calories.

Begin with a plie squat with feet wide and toes slightly pointed outward. If you can, squat down until your quads are almost parallel to the floor, making sure to keep it in a comfortable range of motion.

Next add a set of your favorite lunges, followed by a stiff legged deadlift. Perform 2-3 sets of 15 for each move.

By moving through each exercise, your legs will be worked at all angles and will be tighter, stronger and leaner.

Getting those arms ready for tank top season requires focusing on the triceps and biceps. A great triceps move is the tricep cable pushdown, which isolates the back of the arm.


Additional stabilizer muscles in the back, core and shoulders will also do their part, but this is a great target for the triceps area.

Perform three sets of 15, or if more advanced, perform a pyramid sets of 12,10,8,6 reps with one- minute rest in between.

The bicep EZ Curl bar properly isolates the biceps, as long as you are not swinging the bar. Keep the motion slow and tight for best results. Perform the same rep range as the triceps.

To complete your program, make sure to include a healthy diet that will support your extra activities and provide nutrients for muscle growth and energy.

Understanding that a large percentage of fat-loss/muscle-gain progress depends on proper nutrition will keep you on track for your goals. Getting rid of the winter insulation will require extra cardiovascular work and strict nutrition, so we can see beautiful sculpted muscle tone you have created underneath.

It’s also important to remember that the first place you pack on additional fat, unfortunately, will be the last place you will shed weight from.

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