What It Takes: If your goal is turning heads at the beach, you’ll want tips on grooming and choosing flattering trunks, as well as a workout for flat abs and a pumped-up physique. Check-in with your doctor if you’re not active now and over 45 or have a health condition.
Dumbbell Bench Press
For pecs that beg to go shirtless, start with a bench press. Lie back, with your feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at chest level. Push the weights straight up, and slowly lower back down. Start with light weights, doing 16-20 reps until you perfect your form. Go heavier slowly, so you can’t do more than 8-12 reps. Aim for three sets, resting 30-90 seconds between sets.
Buff arms require working the triceps, too. Give them some definition with barbell extensions. Lie on a bench with a barbell raised directly over your face, elbows straight and palms facing forward. Bend your elbows to lower the barbell down toward your forehead. Keep your elbows in the same place. Exhale and push back up.
Lie on your back with a dumbbell in each hand. Raise the dumbbells above your chest, shoulder-width apart. With your palms facing each other and elbows slightly bent, inhale and lower the dumbbells in an arc to chest level. Exhale and slowly raise the dumbbells to start position, as if wrapping your arms around a barrel.
You can do triceps pushdowns with resistance bands or cables. Stand with your hands gripping the bands, palms facing down. Your elbows should be bent so your forearms are parallel with the floor. Keeping your elbows at your side, exhale and press down until your elbows are straight. Inhale and return to the starting position. Don’t lock your elbows.
These will sculpt your shoulders, triceps, and pecs. Start in the plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your legs extended behind you. Keeping your body tight and straight, bend your elbows to lower yourself until your chin or chest touches the floor. Straighten your elbows to push back up. Do 2-3 sets of as many reps as you can manage with good form.
Sometimes called the military press, this move sculpts the deltoid muscles in the shoulder. Sit on a bench with your back against a backrest. Hold your dumbbells at shoulder height and shoulder width, palms facing forward. Exhale and push the dumbbells up until your elbows are fully extended. Inhale as you slowly bring the weights back down.
Stand gripping a barbell at the thigh level. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, palms facing forward. Exhale and bend your elbows, raising the bar to shoulder-level. Keep your elbows at your side. Inhale and slowly lower the barbell to starting position. Keep your knees slightly bent, and don’t let your back arch.
Stand with dumbbells or kettlebells at your sides, feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your heels until your weight is on the balls of your feet. Contract your abs to help keep your balance, and slowly lower back down. Good moves to challenge other leg muscles include squats and leg presses for your quads, as well as leg curls for your hamstrings.
Sit on a bench with your back against a backrest. Keeping your arms at your sides, hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward. Exhale and slowly curl your arms up until the dumbbells nearly reach the shoulders. Inhale and lower the weights to starting position. If doing more than eight reps, rest for at least 90 seconds between sets.
The dumbbell row works your lats as well as the rhomboid muscles in your upper back. Begin with your left hand and knee on a bench and your right foot flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand next to the bench. Bend your elbow and pull the dumbbell toward your waist. Lower slowly it back down.
Your lats are broad muscles that run from mid-back to waist. You can do lat pulldowns with resistance bands or cables. With your hands wider than shoulder-width, grab the bands or cable bar overhead, keeping your elbows straight. Pull the bar or bands toward your chest, bringing your elbows close to your sides. Slowly extend your elbows to rise back up.
Do these instead of crunches. An American Council on Exercise study rated this movie as one of the most efficient ways to tone the major ab muscles, including the rectus abdominis and obliques. While lying on your back, pedal your legs as if riding a bike. As you pedal, touch each elbow to the opposite knee. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor.
For an ab exercise that doesn’t involve lying on the floor, try cable rotations. Stand to hold a cable close to the upper abdomen. The cable should extend to the side, not directly in front of you.
Tighten your abs and slowly turn your torso away from the cable anchor. Hold briefly before returning to the starting position. After one set of 8-12 reps, face the opposite direction and repeat 🙂 🙂