How To Prepare For Your Summer Body

Looking for a beach body workout to keep you tight and toned all season long? We’ve rounded up expert advice for staying in tip-top shape, complete with insights from leading nutritionists, trainers, and a doctor. Check out our 19-point plan for how you can look your best, from what to eat and drink (vinegar!) to how—and how not to—work out (watch those crunches).

1. Rev Your Metabolism

Turbocharge your metabolism and burn through body fat by eating five or six meals, every couple of hours, that are small enough to fit in your palm. This keeps your blood sugar stable and prevents you from getting so famished that you chase fried chicken with powdered doughnut holes. “You never want to be hungry, and you never want to be full,” says Ron Mathews, a trainer in Los Angeles who works with Joe Manganiello.

2. Prioritize Your Pecs

The centerpiece of the torso is no longer the six-pack. Pecs are a point of pride that you can’t afford to overlook. Just resist the urge to channel Rambo. To keep your chest proportional, do a mix of exercises that use body weight, such as clapping push-ups and regular push-ups, and ones that require barbells, like bench presses. Choose a barbell that is 60 percent as heavy as what you usually lift, Mathews says. In addition, celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, who’s worked with Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Pattinson, recommends training the upper-back muscles with rows (using both dumbbells and TRX suspension bands) so you draw back the shoulder blades, which help tilt the chest up and out.

3. Manscape Your Underarm Hair

Clip your chest hair or don’t—that’s your call. But the one area where there’s no negotiation? Under the arms. “You want to look like you care,” says Anthony Sosnick, founder of the Anthony Brands grooming line. The simple test to determine if you need to trim: Put your arms at your sides. If any tufts stick out, snip them off.

4. Don’t Forget Your Lower Abs

Your lower abs—the bottom two of the six-pack—are the weakest muscles in your midsection. So work them first, before they become fatigued, says Mathews. Try this: Lie flat on your back, hands by your sides, legs raised straight toward the ceiling. While keeping your lower back pressed against the floor, slowly lower your feet to the ground.

5. But Don’t Overdo the Ab Work

Keep the crunches to a minimum. “Doing too many will create a strength imbalance and cause your body to bend forward and shorten your midsection,” Pasternak says. “It creates some postural issues and the illusion of having a belly.” He suggests toning the area with planks instead.

6. Prevent Unwanted Bloating

Prevent a puffy stomach with these pointers, per nutritionists Stephanie Clarke, R.D., and Willow Jarosh, R.D., founders of CJ Nutrition in New York City.Cut Salt

Potassium-rich foods (some beans, dark leafy greens, squash, avocados, mushrooms, bananas) balance out the sodium in your body, and laying off processed junk (and otherwise healthy fare like cottage cheese, nut butter, wheat bread, and tomato sauce) keeps you from adding any more.Increase Fiber

Too little can cause digestive problems that lead to bloating; up your intake by eating raspberries, pears, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.Hydrate

Water helps move that fiber through the digestive system efficiently

7. Stay Active at the Beach

Don’t just sit there. You could be getting a workout—and having fun, too. Here’s roughly how many calories a 180-pound man will burn during 30 minutes of various beach activities:

  • Beach volleyball: 355
  • Swimming: 266
  • Water-skiing/wakeboarding: 266
  • Surfing: 125
  • Stand-up paddleboarding: 123


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