It may seem counterintuitive to address the best exercises for the summer during the spring. However, there are many among us who are already experiencing hot temperatures as the rest of us are vastly approaching warmer weather.
There are many summer workouts you can do outside or on the road for those that have busy schedules. These target the major muscle groups that we already use in our day-to-day activities. You can start utilizing these exercises now as you wait for the heat and sun to return.
Upper body exercises
Targets the chest, shoulders, and the arms.
Arm Circles. This exercise involve extending your arms straight out by the sides. Circle your arms forward for 20 counts and repeat by circling them backwards for 20 counts. This exercise targets the deltoids, trapezius, and the other muscles of the upper arms. This exercise is very effective for strengthening and toning the arms and shoulders!
Push-Ups. This builds up your triceps by pushing up with your hands tucked close to your chest. If you are not comfortable with doing a full push-up, start with your weight on your knees versus the balls of your feet. Or you can do an incline push-up with your hands on a piece of furniture that is at a higher level than your feet.
The Plank. This involves staying in a push-up pose for a set period of time. The key is keeping your core, quads, and butt tight without arching your back. This is a great exercise for core conditioning!
Middle body exercises
Targets the abs, waistline, and the back.
A busy life can make it hard to reach the gym. These simple mid-core exercises are very effective and can be done both indoors and outdoors.
Crunches. This involves lying down straight; then lifting your body until the shoulders are completely off the floor. Then slowly lower yourself to the starting position. This exercise targets the front ab (rectus abdominis) muscles.
Seated Twists. Sit on the ground with the knees bent. Lean back a little with your arms folded across the chest. Twist your upper body to the right and left for several turns. This exercise targets the abs and the waistline.
The Reverse Fly. This builds and strengthens the muscles of the upper back.
The Superman. This workout targets the core muscles of the back.
Lower Back Curl. Builds muscles in the lower back and minimizes stress on the spine as it concentrates only on muscle endurance.
Lower body exercises
Targets the butt, thigh, and leg muscles.
The easy way for a newcomer to perform them effectively is to master the basic forms. Lower body workouts increases body stability, strengthens and sculpts the legs, and helps to shape the butt.
Squats. Front squats build the quads, hamstrings, hips, and butt muscles. Sumo squats target the inner thighs.
Walking Lunges. In addition to squats, this exercise builds and strengthens the larger thigh muscles as well as tightening the butt.
Scissor Kicks. This workout targets both the inner and outer thighs while engaging your abs at the same time.
Standing Calf Raise. Builds and strengthens the calf muscles.
These exercises can be done indoors and outdoors. So if you want to roll in summer shorts this year, these are the exercises for you.
Important Tips for Exercising Safely During the Summer
When you run, the body’s demand for oxygen increases; meanwhile, the body temperature shoots to its peak. Taking into account the summer temperatures and the high humidity, the body begins to lose temperature through dilating blood vessels on the skin. This reduces the supply of blood to the muscles, which results in a low supply of oxygen. This leads to muscle cramps. Therefore, it’s not recommended to perform energy and oxygen-demanding workouts like running in the sun. However, you can run very early in the morning before the sun comes up or later in the evening or at night.
During the summer, the body naturally heats up due to higher temperatures and the humidity. Therefore, the body responds by producing sweat. Sweat evaporates with excess heat, thus cooling the body. With areas that has constant humidity and heat, sweat does not evaporate. These conditions will cause the body to overheat, which can be fatal. This can result in heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and cramping. The symptoms include vomiting, dizziness, and nausea. You are advised to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.
If you have to exercise in the heat, it’s imperative to drink lots of water to compensate for the excess water loss. As an alternative to Gatorade, coconut water is a natural way to replenish electrolytes after hard workouts. Stay in the shade or a cooler environment as much as possible. This will increase the body’s capacity to cool itself.
Exercise tickers can be effective during summer workouts. They help to monitor your heart rate, speed, and calories burned. Some even come with GPS which can show you the safest routes to follow. When the temperatures climb, a ticker can signal when it is best to slow down your workout.
Workout gear can make or break a session. How comfortable your clothes are will depend on the type of exercise performed and the material they are made of. Look for clothes that are made from:
Hot temperatures should not be a reason to sit and anticipate for the next season. Most all gyms have air conditioning in them. You can try out exercise events that occur at night or do outside exercises in the shade.
Valerie lives in New York. As a health advocate, she shares tips and steps on maximizing nutrition, weight, and fitness goals to help others embrace a healthier lifestyle. She blogs at Halfmile Fitness.