Cool Moves to Keep Your Muscles Hot

[Sizzling Summer Circuit]

As the summer sun blazes and the air feels heavy with humidity, it can be down right challenging to get your body in motion without feeling hot, sticky, and stifled! So take a break from this summer’s heat wave and keep yourself moving, grooving, and sizzling right in your home with your Total Gym!

The heat is on… and there’s so many ways to stay cool through the long summer days. This fun 4-Part Summer Series provides useful ways to beat the heat by keeping your workouts refreshing and fun. Part 1 will get you sweating! Sweating has amazing benefits like cleansing out impurities, boosting your endorphins, and burning up your metabolism. Then parts 2, 3, and 4 will keep your body cool, hydrated, recovered, and refreshed! This 4-Part series includes:

• Part 1: Train hard with a Total Gym Sizzling Summer Strength Circuit
• Part 2: Hydration hacks for hot summer days
• Part 3: Refreshing recipes to keep your body cool and hydrated
• Part 4: Keep flexible and relaxed with a Soothing Stretching Routine

The circuit contains “summer themed” strength training moves to keep your heart rate up and muscles engaged- or should I say heated! It’s the perfect blend to keep the workout quick, efficient, and effective to beat the summer heat - without missing a beat!

This invigorating circuit is designed for all fitness levels, ensuring that everyone can join in the fun and feel the burn! The circuit can be customized to accommodate your personal fitness level by adjusting the incline, speed of exercise, number of reps/ sets, and duration of workout! So let’s get moving and fire up your muscles with this summer circuit!

• Watch the video to see a demonstration of how these exercises are performed on your Total Gym.
• Learn the exercises prior to performing them to insure you execute with proper form.
• Adjust the incline to accommodate your fitness level.
• Perform these exercises in circuit format, one after the other with little to no rest in between.
• Aim for 10-15 reps per exercise (on both sides)
• Repeat as many rounds as your time permits
*GB = Glide Board
*TG = Total Gym

1. Surf’s Up Squats: low-medium level

This is a fun, 6-part squat combination that mimics the balance and coordination movements of surfing to engage your legs and core, surfer style!

• Move: Start in child’s pose facing the vertical column (1). Straddle the GB by placing the feet on the floor (2) and open the GB as you shift out into a plank position (3). Hold for a moment, then bend the knees as you close the GB again (4). Use your upper body strength to assist you as you step 1 foot angled to the BOTTOM on the GB (5) followed by the other foot to assume a “surfer” stance (6). Test your balance, then reverse the steps to the starting position to repeat on the other side. Start slow to learn the steps and it will become a familiar pattern.
• Advanced: Once you learn the movement and feel ready for a challenge, add speed and a hop to the exercise.
• Tip: Engage your quads, glutes, and core as you mimic the movement of surfing on your glide board. Move with control to execute proper form and maintain core balance.

2. Sandcastle Lunges: low level (use squat stand on for balance)

This dynamic 2-part lunge combo works on sculpting your lower body with a functional strength and stability move - perfect to prepare for summertime activities from beach walks to pickelball!

• Move: Stand to one side of the TG at the bottom base and into the GB. Stand on your outside foot (closet to the bottom rail) and place the other on the GB. Keeping your hips and shoulders square, perform a lateral lunge (1) by bending the standing knee, extending the leg on the GB, and hinging the hips back into the lunge. Keep nose, knee, and toes of the supporting leg in align. Close the GB, transfer the weight to the standing leg and perform a reverse lunge on the floor (2). Alternate these two movements and be sure to perform on both sides.
• Modify: Use the squat stand for balance assistance.
• Tip: This exercise works wonders for your quads, hamstrings, and glutes simultaneously. Focus on engaging your core while staying balanced through the movement. The result will improve your joint stabilization and mobility.

3. Sun-Kissed Push-Ups: low-medium level

Get your push-up game on with this dynamic variation that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps! This hot number helps sculpt your upper body and core. Motivation reminder: toned muscles will go really well with your summer tan!

• Move: Assume a plank position using the level incline. (Knees to GB to modify). Maintain your plank as you place 1 hand to the floor to perform an uneven push-up, then return to plank on the GB. Repeat on the same side or alternate sides to make it more dynamic.
• Tip: Experiment your push-up variations by changing the hands, feet, or body placement on your glide board. Adjusting the incline will also increase the challenge! (low level = advanced)

4. Palm Tree Rows: cables + low-medium level

As palm tress sway and blow in the wind, move your shoulders in different ranges of motion to strengthen and condition your upper body. Use this row variation to sculpt and target different angles of your back and biceps.

• Move: Face the vertical column with a cable in each hand. Anchor down on the GB to assume a seated or kneeling position. Diagonally open and close the arms in opposition (2 and 7 o’clock // 10 and 4 o’clock). Repeat on the same side or alternate sides to make it more dynamic.
• Tip: Adjust the incline level to challenge yourself if needed on this one.

5. Cool-Down Core + Sunset Stretches: cables + low-medium level

This 3-in-1 sequence combines a core movement followed by stretches to relax and cool-down after the intense circuit.

• Move: Lie supine on the GB with knees bent, feet flat, and a cable in each hand. Open arms to the sides at hip level, then simultaneously crunch and scoop arms to center of torso. Repeat this crunch and scoop motion for a series of reps. Then, on the last rep, use your breath and core as you roll up and straddle GB to a seated position to stretch the shoulders, chest, low back, and hips. Repeat crunch and scoops + stretch as a combo or do separately.
• Tip: Utilize your breath to strengthen the core, lengthen your muscles, and relax your mind as you move through the exercises.

Check out the video to see a demonstration of how these summer themed exercises are performed on your Total Gym.

As the summer heat continues to sizzle, don't let it deter you from reaching your fitness goals. Embrace the power of your Total Gym equipment and make the most of this exciting workout circuit!

Let’s keep the momentum going in Part-2 with summer-friendly hydration tips to keep you hydrated and compliment your workouts. It’s what you need to know to Beat the Heat and keep an active routine all summer long!

Cheers, Maria

Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

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