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How to Build a Beach Body

written by: Nicholas • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 5/13/2009

Looking good in swim trunks is something many guys strive for. There are many things you can incorporate into your workouts to get a great beach body just in time for summer.

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    Strong Upper Body

    A beach body can be defined as having a strong, appealing upper body. So to get a lean beach body you are going to want to focus mainly on ab, chest, arm, and shoulder exercises. The following exercises should be just what you need to get toned up this summer.

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    Ab Exercises (Core)

    Hanging Leg Raises - For this exercise you are going to need either a pull up bar or dip station. Grip the bar and let your legs hang freely. Slowly raise your knees up to your chest, and slowly lower them back down. Try and eliminate and swinging motions and keep your back straight. Check out this article on how to build your own pull-up bar for $10 to $15.

    Swiss ball crunches - Doing crunches on a swiss ball compared to the floor is a completely different thing. When you are using the ball, you must use all of your ab muscles to maintain your form and stability. This assures that you are using all of your ab muscles. When doing crunches on the floor, you are working with a stable surface. For this exercise, lay down over the ball with the center of your back touching the ball. Place your hands behind your head and do a crunch as you would normally on the floor.

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    Chest Exercises

    Dumbbell press - You do not need a bench press bar for this exercise. By using dumbbells in each hand freely, you are forced to stabilize the weight as you are making a bench press like motion. To do this exercise, get two dumbbells (one for each hand) and lay down on the bench like you would if you were going to bench press. Push both dumbbells up towards the ceiling like you would during a bench press, and lower them the same way. Make sure to raise and lower the dumbbells in harmony with each other.

    Diamond pushups - Diamond pushups are a more difficult variation of a normal pushup. To do them, get into normal pushup form but instead of placing your hands on the floor shoulder length apart place them together in the shape of a diamond. Remember to keep your back straight and knees off the ground.

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    Shoulder Exercises

    Lateral raise (Shrugs) - This exercise will build your shoulder muscles at a tremendous rate. To do this, get a pair of fairly heavy dumbbells. Grip one and each hand and let them hang freely from your arms at each side. Then, simply shrug your shoulders upwards. Keep your back straight and your arms steady. Try not to swing your arms.

    Pullups - Although pullups work many work many different muscle groups, they are very good for shoulders and arms. To do a pullup, grip the bar with either a overhand or underhand grip, and simply pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Keep your back as straight as possible and do not kick your feet.

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    Arm Exercises

    Dumbbell curl - To do this exercise you will need two dumbbells. Grip one in each hand and curl it in an upwards rotating motion. Do not curl both arms at the same time but rather switch off. Try and perfect your form and do not swing your entire body if you are struggling to complete a set.

    Barbell curl - This exercise is the same motion that you use with the dumbbells with the exception that you are using a curl bar. Keep your back straight and make sure that you are completing the full range of motion in your reps.

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    The Beach Body

    There are many aspects of getting the ideal beach body. However, incorporating all of these exercises into your routine should get you on your way. It is best to go full force on each exercise and alternate days. These exercises are all targeted at building upper body strength and definition.