By Erick Avila
With summer fast approaching, men and women will begin searching for cure-all workouts that can get them their beach-ready body. This body-weight workout is a no-excuses circuit that can be done virtually anywhere, regardless of time or gym access. The premise of the circuit is to get more bang for your buck by utilizing body-weight exercises that target major muscles groups.
Complete four sets of the workout below, resting one minute after each circuit.
For maximum effectiveness, perform this circuit two to three times a week and take minimal rest between sets, no more than 15 seconds.
Single-Legged Hip Bridge
Reps: 15 (per leg)
Muscles worked: glutes, thighs, and core
Lie flat on your back with shoulders firmly planted on the ground, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Raise one leg straight towards the ceiling and push off through your heels to drive your hips upwards, contracting your glutes at peak extension. Reverse the motion to bring your hips back down. When you have completed your reps, repeat on the other side.
Muscles worked: chest, arms, and shoulders
Start in push-up position, move your feet hip width apart, and walk your feet forward toward your hands to raise hips so that your forehead is pointed toward the ground. (Your body should form an inverted “V.”) Lower your upper body by bending your arms. Swoop your chest upward as you reach the ground as if your chin was to glide against the floor, lowering your hips as you start to raise your head and shoulders. Reverse the motion back to the starting position, and begin your second rep.
Elevated Split Squats
Reps: 15 (per leg)
Muscles worked: thighs and glutes
Stand in front of a stable platform and extend one leg behind you to place your foot on the platform. Bend your front knee and squat down until your rear knee is almost touching the floor. Maintain your balance and stability by keeping your shoulders elevated and back straight with the majority of body weight on your front leg. Reverse the motion and stand back up. When your set is through, switch legs and repeat.
Muscles worked: shoulders, arms, back, and core
Grab a chin-up bar with your palms facing you. Tighten your abs before initiating the pull. Slowly bend your arms to lift your body toward the bar until your chin clears it. Reverse the motion and immediately begin your second rep.
Muscles worked: core
Lie flat on the ground with your legs straight and arms extended behind your head. Raise your arms and legs simultaneously to meet at the peak position (legs will be at about a 40-degree angle). Exhale when you reach the peak position, then inhale as you lower back to the starting position.
Erick Avila is a strength and conditioning coach for professional boxers, as well as a clinical nutritionist. He has received Bachelor of Science degrees in exercise science and nutrition from California State University, Los Angeles.