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Get Summer Ready: Top 10 Gym Exercises for Women

summer exercises women

With summer just around the corner, many women are gearing up to feel their best in the warmer months. A balanced approach to fitness, combining strength training, cardio, and flexibility, can help you achieve your summer fitness goals.


Here are the top 10 gym exercises for women to get "summer ready," focusing on toning muscles, burning fat, and boosting confidence.

  1. Squats

Why Squats?

Squats are a powerhouse exercise that target multiple muscle groups including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. They are fundamental for building lower body strength and enhancing overall stability.

How to Perform Squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Lower your body as if sitting back into a chair, keeping your chest up and knees over your toes.
Push through your heels to return to the starting position.
Perform 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Variations

Goblet Squat: Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell at chest height.
Sumo Squat: Widen your stance and point your toes outward to target the inner thighs.

2. Deadlifts

Why Deadlifts?

Deadlifts are excellent for strengthening the posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. They also engage the core and improve posture.

How to Perform Deadlifts

Stand with feet hip-width apart, a barbell in front of you.
Bend at the hips and knees to grip the barbell.
Lift the bar by extending your hips and knees until you are standing straight.
Lower the bar back to the ground with control.
Perform 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

Variations

Romanian Deadlift: Keep a slight bend in your knees and focus on hinging at the hips.
Single-Leg Deadlift: Balance on one leg to engage stabilizer muscles.

3. Lunges

Why Lunges?

Lunges work the quads, hamstrings, and glutes while improving balance and coordination. They are great for unilateral strength, ensuring both legs are equally strong.

How to Perform Lunges

Stand tall and step forward with one leg.
Lower your hips until both knees are bent at about 90 degrees.
Push back to the starting position.
Alternate legs and perform 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions per leg.

Variations

Reverse Lunge: Step backward instead of forward.
Walking Lunge: Step forward continuously without returning to the starting position.

4. Push-Ups

Why Push-Ups?

Push-ups are a fantastic bodyweight exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. They build upper body strength and endurance.

How to Perform Push-Ups

Start in a plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
Push back up to the starting position.
Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

Variations

Knee Push-Up: Perform the push-up with knees on the ground for a modified version.
Decline Push-Up: Place your feet on an elevated surface to increase difficulty.

5. Plank

Why Plank?

The plank is an isometric core exercise that builds endurance in the abs, back, and shoulders. It also helps improve posture and stability.

How to Perform Plank

Start in a forearm plank position with elbows directly under shoulders.
Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
Hold the position for as long as possible, aiming for 30-60 seconds.
Perform 3 sets.

Variations

Side Plank: Shift to one side, supporting your body on one forearm.
Plank with Shoulder Tap: Tap each shoulder with the opposite hand, maintaining plank position.

6. Bent-Over Rows

Why Bent-Over Rows?

Bent-over rows strengthen the back muscles, including the lats, rhomboids, and traps. They also engage the biceps and improve posture.

How to Perform Bent-Over Rows

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, bend at the hips with a slight bend in the knees.
Keep your back straight and row the dumbbells toward your hips.
Lower the weights back down with control.
Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

Variations

Single-Arm Row: Perform the row one arm at a time, using a bench for support.
Barbell Row: Use a barbell instead of dumbbells.

7. Hip Thrusts

Why Hip Thrusts?

Hip thrusts are excellent for targeting the glutes, which are essential for a strong and shapely lower body. They also engage the hamstrings and lower back.

How to Perform Hip Thrusts

Sit on the ground with a bench behind you, knees bent, and feet flat.
Place a barbell or weight across your hips.
Lean back against the bench and thrust your hips upward, squeezing your glutes.
Lower back down with control.
Perform 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Variations

Single-Leg Hip Thrust: Perform with one leg extended for added difficulty.
Banded Hip Thrust: Add a resistance band around your thighs.

8. Russian Twists

Why Russian Twists?

Russian twists are effective for working the oblique muscles, helping to sculpt the sides of your waist and improve core strength.

How to Perform Russian Twists

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and lean back slightly.
Hold a weight or medicine ball at chest height.
Twist your torso to the right, then to the left, keeping your core engaged.
Perform 3 sets of 20-30 twists.

Variations

Bicycle Twist: Lift your feet off the ground and perform a bicycle motion with your legs while twisting.
Weighted Twist: Increase the weight to challenge your core further.

9. Burpees

Why Burpees?

Burpees are a high-intensity exercise that combines strength and cardio. They work multiple muscle groups, burn calories, and improve cardiovascular endurance.

How to Perform Burpees

Start standing, then drop into a squat position with hands on the floor.
Kick your feet back into a plank position.
Perform a push-up, then jump your feet back to your hands.
Jump explosively into the air.
Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

Variations

Modified Burpee: Skip the push-up and just jump back into plank.
Burpee with Tuck Jump: Add a tuck jump at the end for extra intensity.

10. Mountain Climbers

Why Mountain Climbers?

Mountain climbers are a dynamic exercise that targets the core, shoulders, and legs. They also provide a cardio boost, making them great for fat burning.

How to Perform Mountain Climbers

Start in a plank position with hands under shoulders.
Bring one knee toward your chest, then switch legs quickly, as if running in place.
Keep your core engaged and maintain a steady rhythm.
Perform 3 sets of 30-60 seconds.

Variations

Cross-Body Mountain Climbers: Bring your knee towards the opposite elbow.
Slow Mountain Climbers: Move at a slower pace for a more controlled core workout.

Tips for Success

Consistency is Key
To see results, consistency is crucial. Aim to incorporate these exercises into your routine 3-4 times a week, allowing for rest and recovery.

Mix It Up
Avoid monotony by varying your workouts. Combine these exercises with different cardio activities like running, cycling, or swimming to keep things interesting and challenging.

Focus on Nutrition
Complement your workout routine with a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Staying hydrated and getting enough rest are also vital for recovery and overall well-being.

Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to how your body feels and avoid overtraining. If you're new to exercise or unsure about proper form, consider working with a fitness professional to avoid injury and maximize effectiveness.


Getting "summer ready" isn't just about looking good; it's about feeling strong, healthy, and confident. These top 10 gym exercises provide a comprehensive workout that targets all major muscle groups, enhances cardiovascular fitness, and promotes overall well-being. By incorporating these exercises into your fitness routine and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you'll be well on your way to achieving your summer fitness goals.

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