Summer is in full swing and you know what that means: it’s time to show some skin. Whether your summertime apparel tends toward the string bikini or full-skirted “Mom” suit variety, more of your body is on display during the sweltering summer months. To look fabulous during a heat wave, it’s important to incorporate exercises that burn fat and strengthen muscles at the same time. Adding these exercises to your routine will not only save time, but will also allow you to display your newly-toned six pack, chiseled booty, and shapely arms that may currently be hidden by a little extra winter padding. Without further ado, here are my favorite no-equipment exercises to help you hit the beach with confidence.

Mountain Climbers

Why They’re So Awesome: Mountain climbers burn a ton of calories while simultaneously strengthening the muscles of the chest, shoulders, triceps, back, and abdominals.

How to Perform a Mountain Climber: Place your hands on the floor, directly under the shoulders. Extend the legs until your body is in a straight, plank position. Bring one knee in towards the nose, then alternate. When you’re comfortable with this motion, begin to alternate the knees faster until you’re quickly “running” the legs underneath your body. Your buttocks can be raised slightly towards the ceiling, but make sure the abdominals stay engaged.

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Set Recommendation: Begin by performing 2, 30-second sets of this exercise. Gradually increase your set time until you can perform 2, 60-second sets. Get ready to sweat!

Jumping Squats

Why They’re So Awesome: Squats are the classic “booty-building” exercise. By adding a plyometric motion (a.k.a. jumping), the traditional squat becomes a fat-torching exercise that tones the muscles of the butt, thighs, and calves.

How to Perform a Jumping Squat: Begin with feet slightly wider than hip-width. Lower your buttocks as if you’re about to sit in a chair. Weight in the heels, knees behind the toes, chest elevated. When your buttocks is parallel to the floor, explode into a jump by pushing the feet away from the floor. Land softly and immediately repeat this sequence.

Set Recommendation: Begin with 2 sets of 12 jumping squats. As you become more proficient with this movement, try timing your sets instead. Work your way up to one solid minute of jumping squats. I guarantee your glutes will be crying “Uncle!”

Walk-Out Planks

Why They’re So Awesome: Walk-out planks are an effective, low-impact exercise for those with joint problems. They appear simple, but this challenging movement raises the heart rate while strengthening the chest, shoulders, triceps, and abdominals.

How to Perform a Walk-Out Plank: Begin in a standing position, feet hip-width. Hinge from the hips to bring the hands to the floor and “walk” the body into a push-up position. Perform one push-up, then “walk” the hands back towards the feet and return to a standing position.

Set Recommendation: Begin with 1 set of 5 walk-out planks. Gradually build your stamina until you can complete 12 repetitions at a time.


Why They’re So Awesome: Skaters are also a low-impact exercise, which makes them great for those with injuries or chronic joint problems. Skaters elevate the heart rate while toning the muscles of the inner and outer thighs.

How to Perform a Skater: Think about those Olympic speed skaters! This exercise is performed by jumping laterally, reaching one hand towards the opposite foot. To protect the neck and back, make sure your chest doesn’t slump towards the ground. If jumping laterally is too hard on the joints, reduce the length of your jump or keep the feet grounded.

Set Recommendation: Begin with 2 sets of 15 skaters, gradually increasing to 2 sets of 30.

Jumping Jacks

Why They’re So Awesome: You’re probably thinking, “Jumping jacks? Really?” But, hear me out. Jumping jacks not only burn fat and increase cardiovascular endurance, they also target the calves, inner and outer thighs, shoulders, and core.

How to Perform a Jumping Jack: Begin with feet hip-width, hands at your sides. Jump your feet laterally while simultaneously raising the arms laterally overhead. Jump your feet back to the starting position, lowering your arms. Immediately repeat this sequence.

Set Recommendation: Begin with 2 sets of 15 jumping jacks, gradually increasing to 2 sets of 30.

Walking Lunges

Why They’re So Awesome: Lunges are one of the best exercises for toning the legs and derriere. Adding the walking motion to a lunge elevates the heart rate for extra fat-burning.

How to Perform a Walking Lunge: Begin with feet hip-width, hands on the hips. Step one foot forward, landing with the heel. Bend the knees and lower the body until the legs create two, 90-degree angles. Your chest should remain above the hips at the bottom of the movement. Straighten the legs and step the back leg forward to repeat the lunge motion. Continue for desired number of repetitions.

Set Recommendation: Recommendations vary, as the size of a space will limit the number of walking lunges you can perform. Try lunging across the length of the room, and increase your stamina until you can make four passes back and forth across the length of the space.

Summer is an amazing time of year, and the last thing you need is to feel self-conscious in your summer wardrobe. No matter what you choose to wear this summer, these no-equipment exercises will help you feel confident, strong, and ready to embrace all this beautiful season has to offer. So, let’s get moving. Summer is already here!

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