sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

How to Tone Your Core and Upper Body for Summer

Summer is quickly approaching! You want to look and feel your best to feel confident in your summer clothes and have the energy to enjoy all the adventures that lie ahead! As women, we typically have two main areas of focus that we want to improve: our core and our upper body.

We often feel our upper body is lacking strength, especially as we get older. And I have so many clients who have not felt strong in their core since having their children! These exercises will help define your arms and build your core and give you the strength you need to sling a bag of mulch or two in the garden. 

Summer Arms Routine

Start with 5-15 reps of 2-4 sets! Remember to start slow, listen to your body and build up from there! 

There are so many fun variations on push-ups that can help you build your upper body strength as well as get rid of that extra flab behind your arms! If you already think that you can’t do a push up, think again! Everyone can start with these push-ups on the wall.

As you get stronger, progress to a lower and lower surface, such as wall to countertop to back of the sofa, seat of the chair, and finally down to the floor. Be sure to keep your body in line like a plank and tighten your core, that’s a two-for-one and keeps your body safe! Check out these push-up variations:

Working on Your Core

Building up our core muscles is a goal for most women. Oftentimes our core muscles have been neglected for too long. Our core muscles not only help us to feel more confident in our summer clothes, but they also help us to improve our balance, power, and stability in all of our muscles!

Before starting a core routine, be sure you know how to properly engage your core. Check out this video here for the best technique:

Once you understand how to engage your core properly, you can get started with some quick and effective core exercises. 

Feeling confident around your core and your midsection is not only about the muscles, but so many factors go into those extra pounds or extra wiggle around our midsection.

Get Your Sleep

Sleep is so important for our body’s ability to regulate hormones such as cortisol and leptin, both of which can affect our midlines. Not getting adequate sleep can cause increased cravings for carbohydrates, reduces the level of growth hormone which regulates how our body regulates the proportion of fat and muscle.

Get yourself into a good settling down routine at around the same time each evening with some gentle stretches and breathing and reduce screen time before bed. 

Manage Stress

This past year we have all been through a lot of stress. Be sure you know how to best cope with stress. Find the method that works for you to help you reduce your cortisol levels and keep your midline trim. Make a small list of things you can do when you are feeling stressed: make a cup of herbal tea, take a walk, call a friend, journal, or do some stretching and breathing

Eat Your Greens and Nutrients

Getting enough protein to fuel your body, fill your belly, and reduce cravings is so important for a healthy midline. And if you want to keep that midline trim, you need fresh greens and veggies that are full of fiber and nutrients. 

With these workouts and tips, you should be feeling stronger and more confident this summer with a consistent routine in place! Set yourself a calendar alert and add these exercises into your routine a few times a week.

Do you think you can do more to get fit this summer? Which body areas need your attention the most? Have you been doing exercises for your arms and core? Which ones are the most difficult for you? Do you get support from friends and family? Please share with the community!

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thanks for these- these are great exercises for travel, when I won’t have access to weights

Debbie Newlove

I have scoliosis (curvature of the spine) & my posture has been getting worse due mainly because of trying to alleviate pain. I am starting ballet classes next week in the hope of posture improvement & toning up other areas too.

The Author

Aubrey Reinmiller is a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant, Certified Personal Trainer and Senior Fitness Specialist, and Functional Aging Specialist focused on helping those over 50 to reinvent aging! She offers online small group and private fitness solutions through Aubrey authored Reinvent Aging: The Over 50 Fitness Guide to Improve Energy, Strength and Balance.

You Might Also Like