Our summer fitness series with workout routines that are guaranteed to burn fat and build ripped muscles continues. The last installment for June — the Zuska Light, 15 MINUTES TO FIT series — focuses on full body, no-gym equipment, bodyweight exercises. Feel free to take these routines outdoors for some fresh air and a healthy dose of vitamin D as you get into shape. Just remember to take the necessary precautions for staying safe in the sun by keeping hydrated and using sunscreen.
When it comes to toning your body for summer, there are few workouts more effective and convenient than bodyweight moves. The beauty of these exercises is that you can do them anytime, anywhere, and with zero additional equipment, so no need to build up an intricate and expensive home gym.
All you need is your body, a mat if you would like a little extra padding for your joints as you jump and move around, and these tips. You’ll be amazed at how effective the actual weight of your body can be in building and toning muscles.
That’s why it should come as no surprise that this full-body, bodyweight workout is one of trainer Zuzka Light’s favorites, as she notes in her book, 15 Minutes to Fit. “These workouts are extremely effective for building strength, increasing stamina, and burning tons of calories,” Light says. “Besides that, you will see visible results really soon if you stay consistent and support your training with a healthy diet.”
Kick off your summer body with these six moves that will fire up your muscles from head to toe. Here’s how you can start:
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How to do it: Start in the standard lunge position, with your left leg bent at 90-degrees (making sure that your knee is directly above your left ankle) and your right leg is bent behind you hovering just a few inches above the ground. Quickly, jump up and switch your legs, bringing your right leg to the front into a lunge position. Complete 20 reps.
How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and with control, drop down to a low squat with your palms on the floor. Drop your booty to the floor and roll back down your spine, kicking your feet in the air. Swing your legs forward, and flow directly into a push-up position. Complete one push-up, jump up, then do it all over again. Complete 10 reps.
How to do it: Also known as a v-up, this simple ab move has two quick steps. Start by lying on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your side. Bring your legs up at the same time as you crunch your body, bringing your fingertips to your toes. Immediately scissor-kick your legs out and try to reach the ground through your open legs. From the side, your body should form a distinct “v” shape. Draw your knees in toward your torso and hug them briefly before returning to the starting position. Complete 10 reps.
Side Jump Lunge
How to do it: Stand with your feet apart, dropping into a low squat. Lunge to the right side, straightening your left leg and bringing your left arm to the floor. Quickly, push off the floor, hopping up and switching sides, dropping down onto your left side with your right leg straightened. Complete 20 reps.
How to do it: You’ve seen it done by professional CrossFitters and other strength training pros, but with a little work, we can all do it. Start in plank position. Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground. With control, but quickly, push up off the floor, clapping your hands together underneath you before landing back in push-up position. Complete 20 reps. (For an easier modified version, see diagrams 3 and 4.)
How to do it: Begin by lying down on the floor on your belly, with your elbows bent and your palms directly below your shoulders. Push up off the ground and land into a low squat position, but with your legs staggered and one in front. Pretend you’re a surfer on a board, cruising through a wave, keeping your balance steady. Jump back into the beginning position to begin again. Complete 20 reps.
Fitness routines courtesy of Avery, an imprint of Penguin Books USA, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright 2015 by Zuzka Light and Jeff O’Connell from 15 Minutes to Fit.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock