Yep, itís summer! When the ESPN cameras pan the Connecticut Sun fans on game day, I want everyone flexing their well-toned muscles. So here is the first of four columns devoted to beach muscles. In this column, the core is a little out of sight (in comparison to the previous columns), but definitely not out of the mind. All of the exercises are focused on strengthening the upper body while stabilizing your abs and back muscles.

Today, we are focused on chest exercises. Remember, just like the Sun play up-tempo, heart-pumping basketball, we also train that way. So in Sun fashion, there is no rest in between exercises.


Perform each of the exercises once and repeat the circuit.

Cross-Touch Push-ups

  1. Start in a traditional push-up position
  2. Instead of descending your body, stabilize your core and touch the opposite shoulder.

Perform 12 touches total

Dumbbell Punches

  1. Start in a traditional dumbbell chest press position.
  2. Press both of the dumbbells up inline in front of you.
  3. While stabilizing one of the dumbbells, descend the opposite, then alternate arms.
  4. This should be performed in a punching format, with abs tight and at a steady pace.

Perform 12 reps total

Ball Push-ups

  1. Start in a modified push-up position.
  2. Stabilize your core and perform a regular push-up. Remember to use your chest and core to stabilize the ball.

Perform 6 full push-ups

Single Arm Dumbbell Press

  1. This is a variation of the traditional dumbbell press, but only using one arm.
  2. In this exercise, the involved arm presses the dumbbell and varies the grip with every rep.
  3. The uninvolved hand is placed on your abs to help you focus on keeping your core tight.

Perform 6 presses with each arm

Check out past columns by Lisa in the News Archive.