No Shirt, No Sleeves, No Problem

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If you’re heading out onto the boardwalk this summer, chances are you’ll want to show off just a little bit. Don’t have a beach body? No worries. You will soon. Here’s a workout that focuses on toning the three vanity muscle groups that fuel the most double takes—your arms, core and chest. It replaces one of your upper body days so you don’t lose out on the benefits of your existing balanced regimen.
 
Photo: Splash News/Mail Online
 

Superset one: The guns
Perform this superset three times with two minutes of rest between rounds to hit the main muscle groups of your arms as well as the smaller stabilizer muscles that add definition.

1. Pull-ups x 10
In addition to your biceps and upper back muscles, pull-ups also engage your forearms and gripping muscles. Grasping a pull-up bar with your palms facing toward you, pull yourself up until your chin is roughly in line with the bar. Squeeze, then lower your body until your arms are completely straight.

2. Dumbbell hammer curls x 10
These enhance your biceps just like regular bicep curls, with the added benefit of enlarging your forearms as well. Grab a pair of free weights and hold them vertically in your hands. Alternate curling each arm while maintaining a straight back posture.

3. French press x 10
This tricep isolation exercise will finish the muscle group off. Seated on an adjustable bench, hold a single dumbbell with both hands above your head with your arms straight. Slowly lower the weight until it is behind your head and return it to starting position. Squeeze at the top and repeat.

Superset two: The mid-section
This superset should be done three times with no more than 90 seconds of rest.

1. Stability ball crunches x 20
Unlike the variant traditionally performed on the floor, ab crunches on a stability ball target the the muscles that comprise your upper six-pack more effectively, as well as the obliques to a lesser extent. Place the middle of your lower back on the ball and support yourself with your feet on the floor. You don’t have to double over completely to get good results; about 45 degrees of lift keeps your core engaged throughout the whole repetition.

2. Stability ball oblique crunches x 20
These beauties help create that enviable “V” shape along the pelvis just under your abs. Start sideways with your hips on the ball and your legs spread in a running position to stabilize your body. To perform a repetition, simply perform a crunch sideways, making sure to focus in on the muscles along your side.

3. Jackknives x 15
At this point, your core should be fairly exhausted. Now, it’s time to work your back and some additional stability muscles. Position yourself in a front plank with the ball making contact just between the knees and ankles. Keeping your back straight (don’t arch it upward!), draw your knees toward your chest until they’re perpendicular to the ground, allowing your lower legs to roll across the ball as you do so. Return to your starting position to complete the exercise.

Superset three: The upper body
This superset should be performed three times to help make your shoulders and chest appear more broad.

1. Dip and holds x 5
Hitting on your shoulders especially with the chest and triceps backing them up, dips are the quintessential body exercise for your shoulders. However, they can strain the rotator cuffs, so forget multiple reps. Grab both handles of a dip station (or parallel bars) and slowly lower your body until your chest lines up with your wrists. Hold the position for 25 challenging seconds before slowly straightening your arms.

2. Wide arm push-ups x 20
Think the opposite of a diamond push-up: the wider your hands, the more your rope your chest muscles into the movement. Start from a front plank position with your hands in line with your shoulders. When you go down, ensure they’re far enough apart to form a 90 degree angle with the ground.

3. Standing shrugs x 10
These can make your shoulders look wider, but it’s hard to work upper traps out without straining them. Grab a pair of weights and, with your body squared, shrug your shoulders no more than half way up before lowering them back to your sides. This will ensure you keep your neck neutral and strain-free.

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