Maximize Your Workout

There are lots of exercises you can do either at home or at the gym, with weights or relying on your own body weight, and adjust them to your skill level. If you’re not sure about form, get a session or two with a personal trainer to make sure you’re doing it right or do these exercises in front of a mirror to check your own form.

Anytime you start a new exercise regime, check with a doctor to ensure you’re healthy enough to do so, and listen to your body, stopping or pulling back if you experience pain.


Squats are the single best exercise to maximize your workout, tone muscles and burn a lot of calories. This exercise primarily works your glutes and thighs, but you’ll also feel them in your calves, hamstrings and abs. You can do these using your body weight or adding free weights or a shoulder bar. Make sure you don’t arch your back, and keep your knees from extending beyond your toes.


This exercise, depending on how you do them, can hit biceps, triceps, deltoids, pecs, abs and glutes — all muscles you want to show off in a swimsuit. Keep your back straight and your rear end even with your back and lower yourself until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. To make it less intense, put your knees on the ground. To add intensity, lift one leg or arm off the ground or put your feet on a bench or exercise ball.


You need weights, either free weights or a bar, for dead lifts. These work out your entire body, especially your legs, back and rear end. Your form makes a big difference with this one; stand with your legs just wider than your shoulders and keep your knees soft as you lower the weights to the ground, keeping your back straight.


Get into a pushup position; this can mean elbows or hands on the floor and feet or knees on the floor, placed hip width apart. Keep your spine straight and hold this position for a set period of time. You can make this harder by picking up one appendage at a time.