It’s Summertime. And that means more outdoor activity, less restrictive clothing, and quite simply, more of a visible you. Hollis Liebman, author of COMPLETE PHYSIQUE (Hatherleigh Press, $21.95) has the following tips for anyone who wants to look their best hitting the waves or the pool this summer:
TAKE IT OUTSIDE
With the inviting sun and fun weather, it can sometimes be difficult to get to the gym for the usual routine. You can renew your mental and physical spirits by getting back to basics by simply taking it outside. Pushups and bodyweight squats, along with running or biking can all be performed amongst the elements. Additionally, bands, Swiss Balls and other portable peripherals can add variety and fun to a sometimes stale and stagnant workout.
DON’T IGNORE YOUR LINKS
Sure the chest and arm muscles receive a lot of attention, but the eye always travels. A flawless upper body that sits upon stilts is not a good look, nor does it add to one’s symmetry. The often neglected muscles such as the calves, forearms, posterior deltoids, hamstrings and even the core, will definitely detract from you being all that you can be. Although these muscles do receive some stimulation by acting as ancillary or helper muscles during certain movements, each requires its own attention. You’ll not only look more balanced, you will actually be more balanced in your daily performance in life.
EAT SMART FOR MUSCLE TONE
Many fat-loss programs require drastic caloric restrictions and extreme amounts of cardiovascular exercise. The problem is that most also do a pretty good job of wasting away your muscle mass at the same time. Regardless of what your fat loss goals might be, losing muscle tissue is never a good idea--it slows your metabolism to a crawl. Instead of following a low-calorie diet, follow a dietary plan that will enhance your ability to both build and preserve muscle, and rev up your metabolism in the process.
STRETCHING IS ESSENTIAL, BUT DON’T GO BALLISTIC
Have you heard of ballistic stretching? It’s a kind of stretch in which you move into a position and then bounce to stretch the muscle. An example would be bending to touch your toes and then bouncing to reach them. Ballistic stretching can do a lot more harm than good, tightening the muscle and leading to injury. Skip the bounce, because wearing an ACE bandage on the beach isn’t sexy. Also know when to stretch. During and after your workout are ample times to stretch as your muscles and warm and pliable, unlike at the onset of your routine when your muscles are cold and restrictive.
PLAN TO LOOK GREAT…AND FEEL EVEN BETTER!
The desire to look great in your swimsuit may be what’s inspiring you to get in shape, but remember that the results will be more than just cosmetic. As you build muscle and stamina, you’ll be able to excel at classic summer sports like beach volleyball, swimming, and surfing. The active habits that you form this summer will inspire you to stay fit year-round! You will not only be aesthetically pleasing, but functionally as well, and that leads to better living.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
HOLLIS LANCE LIEBMAN has been a fitness magazine editor, national bodybuilding champion, and author. He is a published physique photographer and has served as a bodybuilding and fitness competition judge. Hollis has worked with some of Hollywood's elite, earning rave reviews. Visit his web site, www.holliswashere.com, for fitness tips and complete training programs.