With summer around the corner we wouldn’t blame you if you had your beach bag packed already. But if, before you make a beeline for the sun, you’re planning on heading to the gym for the next couple months, this list of exercises is  for you.

Before we get started it’s important that you make sure you have all the equipment you need. We’ve tried to keep the number of items you’ll need short so you don’t have to make any major investment. You’ll only need a couple dumbbells of two different weights if you plan it outright.

Remember that you’ll need to do a warm up before starting any exercise. It’s advised you supplement your weight training with cardio exercises, and for that we recommend having footwear.

If you have trouble finding comfortable runners, as many people do, consider going to a foot clinic where they will be able to troubleshoot your problem. Places like this usually offer a wide range of shoe inserts that can help, as well as provide tips on the best footwear for your gait and preferred exercise.

In order to make the most of your time we’ve included a couple of exercises that work several muscle groups at once and require coordination on your part.

The overall benefits of these exercises cannot be understated; learning how to stabilize and coordinate your body movements does wonders for your entire core. Way more beneficial than doing a simple bicep curl.

 Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 09.51.431) The Plank

While you may think holding a stationary pose is boring and the plank is mostly for your abs, the reality is that it builds your core endurance, hamstrings and glutes.

There are several variations on the plank you can play with if you get bored with the classic-like side planking for the obliques or elevating the feet to make it more intense.


2) Clean and Press

14157975 - sexy fit woman performing a shoulder press exercise

A clean and press looks intimidating and frankly it is, it’s an Olympic lifting technique. You shouldn’t be too intimidated to do it though. It really is one of the simpler Olympic lifts and can be done with a single dumbbell of little weight.

We recommend you get someone who knows what they are doing to correct your form for the first few times you do it at least. This move will exercise your legs in the first squat half and your shoulders in the press phase. It’s a great exercise for mobility at any stage in life. Plus, as a slow motion move the risk of injury is lower.

3) Squats

45719268 - athletic young woman fitness model warming up doing squats exercise for the buttocks concept sport slimming healthy lifestyle.

If you are brand new to working out you might want to forego the Olympic lift and stick to the basic squat. While you won’t develop the explosive power you would doing cleans, you will definitely see and feel your leg muscles strengthen.

4) Turkish Get Up

72633824 - young athletic woman performing turkish get up exercise with a kettlebell at the gym

This one looks a little odd, but it’s very functional. You essentially start laying on the floor with a weight and you move to standing with a light dumbbell above your head.

This is a highly functional exercise that uses all of your body and improves your stability, mobility and strength all at once. Now while this might be a little extreme with the amount of weight this lady uses, the Turkish get up form is clearly shown, and that is the most important part of any exercise [1].

5) Push-ups

burpee-1203906_640Finally, what workout routine is complete without pushups? There’s a reason these have been a staple in nearly every work out scheme. Pushups work your biceps, shoulders and even your abs if you do them right.

Many people of are the belief that “lady” pushups will build your strength to “real” pushups. This is not really accurate.

While a lady pushup (one done on your knees) is not a waste, it does miss a whole bunch of muscles. If you have the strength, you are better doing fewer full pushups, even not going as low, or doing a combination of the 2, to build and reach the goal of a full pushup.

Staying in shape is important for our all-over health, but can sometimes cause strain on our joints and feet. If you are experiencing any sharp or constant foot pain make sure to see your local foot clinic as they can diagnose any debilitating issues and prescribe treatment [2]. Don’t let yourself be sidelined by something that can be prevented!


[1] Turkish get up form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4Q9mxjhMy8&feature=youtu.be

[2] Local foot clinic: http://www.bramptonfootclinic.com/