As a top personal trainer, I guarantee these are the best summer workouts for boosting tone in no time

To feel good in both body and mind.

Summer workouts: Stef Williams post-workout
(Image credit: Stef Williams)

Ah, summer. As the evenings get lighter, the days get longer, and the promise of sunny trips abroad lie on the horizon, people often find themselves in two camps. Camp one feels motivated by the longer days and mood-boosting weather to get moving, lacing up for long runs, lifting weights in the garden, and generally being active. On the other hand, camp two finds summer so busy, it's hard to find the time to do the washing, let alone get a sweat on. Which is where our guide to the best summer workouts comes in.

All under 25 minutes and chosen by a top personal trainer for offering serious bang for buck, one things for certain: even if you're a camp A'er, you'll likely still want to be making the most of the glorious weather with family and friends rather than spending hours at the gym or lacing up for long runs. That's why the below sweat sessions are worth a scroll: because, whether you're seriously motivated to get moving or seriously lacking, they'll appeal to all thanks to their short-yet-effective nature.

Ready to get into it? Keep scrolling, and do check out our guides to the best holiday workouts, best home workouts for beginners, and the best home workouts for building muscle, while you're here. Keen to know how to workout at home? We've got an expert-led explainer on that, too. Warm up exercises and cool down exercises, at the ready. 

6 summer workouts a PT swears by 

What's the best approach to summer training, according to a PT?

As personal trainer and founder of activewear brand Sefi and workout app We Glow Stef Williams explains, finding the perfect length of summer workout is one of the most important parts. "When the weather gets warmer, I like to keep my workouts a bit shorter," she explains. And don't we all - while movement makes us feel great, so too does quality time in nature relaxing or reading a book. Williams' top tip for summer workouts is to make the most of your surroundings. "When I'm at home, I take my mat to a nearby park so that I'm outside in nature and opt for a 20-minute Pilates flow, or go for a run and make the most of the good weather," she shares. "It doesn't matter about the distance or how long or short - it's about keeping it enjoyable."

She stresses that what's most important is working out what works for you and your body and opting for workouts that you really look forward to. "When the sun's out, I incorporate more 20-minute home HIIT workouts instead of longer weight sessions," she explains. "This is just what works best for me, but it's best to really think about what your body is craving, what you need, and what's actually going to make you feel good, rather than trying to stick to a schedule that might make you miss out on some sunshine."

One thing that keeps her moving, even in the sunnier months? "Working out helps me to feel my best both physically and mentally. There's nothing like that post-workout feeling, and I always try to take the time to appreciate how lucky we are to be able to get outside and enjoy movement in the sunshine," she goes on.

1. 14 minute banded upper body workout

What? A short but sweet upper body workout that includes multiple different moves so you won't get bored.

Why? "This upper body workout is everything I adore - that intense burn that pushes me to new limits. With supersets and trisets, it's designed to deliver exceptional results. Whether I'm targeting my back, shoulders, chest, or arms, this workout covers it all. Don't forget your exercise band as it's the essential tool for this workout," shares Williams.

How long? 14 minutes.

2. 16 minute shoulder and core workout

Why? Another quick session that works not just your core, but your arms and shoulders, too.

What? "This abs and shoulder workout is one of my top routines," shares Williams. "The focus is on building your core muscles and getting the abs you want while targeting your upper body for that perfect pump."

How long? 16 minutes.

3. 17 minute ultimate banded leg HIIT workout

What? A lower-body focused session that only requires a resistance band.

Why? "This HIIT leg workout is my go-to for a killer leg band session," she PT explains. "It ignites the fire in my legs, pushing me to feel the progress with every move. The ultimate leg day companion for the leg gains I love."

How long? 17 minutes.

4. 18 minute leg pump

What? A lower body workout that'll leave your legs feeling seriously strong.

Why? "This legs and booty workout will set your lower body on fire," shares Williams "You can do this anywhere, even on holiday, and it's one of my favourite ways to train legs. Your glutes and quads are going to love this one."

How long? 18 minutes.

5. 18 minute arms and abs workout

What? Another slightly longer upper body focus which requires zero kit other than a good sports bra.

Why? "This arms and abs workout embodies everything I love: sculpting biceps, defining triceps, and carving out those six-pack abs," shares the trainer. "With no equipment needed, it's a go-to for strengthening your core and arm muscles and targets the upper body and abs. It's the fiery kick I sometimes crave in my workouts."

How long? 18 minutes.

6. 25 minute leg day workout

What? Last but by no means least, this effective 25-minute session works both your legs and glutes.

Why? "I love this intense lower-body workout. It fully targets your thighs and booty, making it the best way to feel the burn and get summer-ready with no equipment needed."

How long? 25 minutes.

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Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and is a stickler for a strong stat, too, seeing over nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.