This time of year the magazines are flooded with material on losing weight, blasting fat and getting ready for summer.
Ideally, if you really wanted to get the summer body that you desire, you would start intensifying your workouts and cleaning up your diet before the weather starts to get warm.
If you are one of those people who waits to get started on your summer body until the weather changes, don't panic just start working now.
If you have read my previous columns or seen my workout posts on social media, you know that I am a huge fan of circuit training. It is really the most efficient way to burn calories and tone up.
Another way to ensure you are burning extra calories is by working your entire body. The more muscle groups you are engaging, the more calories you are going to burn and the more you are going to sweat.
This week I have three exercises that target multiple muscle groups to ensure you are using your time wisely and working out effectively. All you need is a set of dumbbells weighting 8 to 15 pounds.
The first exercise is a squat to bicep curl to overhead press. Make sure you keep your abs engaged, your chest up and your knees behind your toes in the squat, then drive through your heels. Keep your elbows locked into your torso for the bicep curl and drive your elbows to your ears for the overhead press. Make sure you come down and uncurl before you go into the next squat.
The second exercise is a weighted burpee with a dead lift. Keep the weights in your hands as you do a burpee, but instead of jumping at the top, really engage your core, butt and hamstrings to stand all the way up. The added weight will make a difference. You will feel it in your butt and hamstrings as you stand up all the way up and push your hips forward.
The third exercise is a forward stepping lunge with a torso twist. For this exercise you will only need one of the weights to hold in front of your torso, but not resting on your torso, so you have to control and stabilize with the weight in front of you. Step forward into a lunge and hold that position as you rotate the weight and your torso over the front leg. Make sure you twist and return to start before you drive through the front heel to come back to start. Alternate legs for this exercise and keep your core strongly engaged to really control this exercise.
You can do 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise, rest and then repeat three to five times. If you have an interval timer and you want to challenge yourself, do each exercise for 1 minute and then rest at the end repeating three to five times.
I like to do workouts that target my entire body about twice a week to kick up the calorie crushing before the summer months. Try these exercises at the gym or at home.
And don't wait another day to start sculpting the body that you want for this summer.
Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach, and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at email@example.com.