The “Look Great in a T-Shirt” Workout

<div class='at-above-post addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide' data-title='The “Look Great in a T-Shirt” Workout' data-url=''></div><div class='at-above-post-recommended addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide'></div>Six gym-free exercises for "Sun's out Guns out!" season.<div class='at-below-post addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide' data-title='The “Look Great in a T-Shirt” Workout' data-url=''></div><div class='at-below-post-recommended addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide'></div>

Why is this here?  Well, looking your best is in part finding clothes that fit. The other part is truly being fit. Living a healthy lifestyle plus dressing well is the ultimate combination. More about our trainer at the end of the post.

“Sun’s out, gun’s out!” my husband excitedly shouted as we drove through our downtown.


He then explained to me that the scrawny kid skateboarding down the street had his shirt off. But does that exclamation statement apply to all who walk around shirtless? Turns out it does.

Interesting. There is a time and a place to walk around baring your “guns” for all to see. A sunny afternoon in a public shopping area does not qualify as an appropriate place to do so. And no offense, but this is especially true if you look like you don’t work out. When is it okay to bare it? Beaches, pools, or anywhere you’d be wearing swim trunks. The occasional super-hot day when you are washing the car in your driveway or mowing the lawn also could pass. But if you are going to bare it, and most women would agree; it would be nice if it looked like you put effort into the way you look.

You can show your “guns” off while keeping your clothes on as well! Most women, and men for that matter, can tell if a guy works out or not even when he’s fully clothed.

Henry Cavill

I realize not everyone is going to have muscle lines built into their outfits, but he looks dang good outside his suit as well. Henry Cavill photo credits here, here and here.

So, you don’t have to look like Superman in order to look good in a T-shirt (or out of one), but you do have to put some effort into your body. Not everyone is going to have a perfect everything, but people can tell if you take care of yourself. If you choose not to exercise and eat healthy, then ripping your shirt off, “guns-a-blazing” might not be for you.

Clothed or not, for me personally I like to see strong arms (full shoulders, horseshoes on your triceps, full biceps), full chest, defined traps, a flat stomach and a wide back. Wow- that’s a lot of muscle groups! And it’s easier to build up and define those muscles than you might think. The best exercises to develop your upper body may not require a gym or weights at all, so no excuses! Here are six key exercises that’ll have you looking great in a fitted t-shirt in no time. Remember: always warm up prior to exercising, and stretch afterwards.

t shirt trifecta

Pull ups, Puhsups, and Tricep Dips. The trifecta for great shoulders and arms.

1. Pull-ups– Good old fashioned pull-ups work your shoulders and back. You can buy a pull-up bar for relatively cheap and it’s a great piece of equipment to have. They are super easy to put up and takedown, so no need to worry about having it out all the time. That is unless you plan to show off your skills to visitors. Can’t do one? Work your way into full pull ups by using a chair at first to assist.

2. Push-ups– Great way to work your chest, arms and your whole body. And you don’t need any equipment except for yourself to do them.

3. Tricep dips– Just use a chair! Make it harder by stacking your feet or holding one leg up while dipping down.

4. Plank it out– Have you ever tried to hold a plank for 5 minutes straight? It’s hard. You can build up to it though. When watching TV, try planking during every commercial (usually 30 seconds). Planks are a great way to work your abdominal muscles, your back, abs and arms.


Keep your core in a straight line during a plank.

5. Sit-ups and crunches– You can vary it up and do bicycles, toe touches, reverse sit ups, etc. Try for 15 minutes of abdominal work every other day. You don’t need to do a hard core (pun intended) abdominal routine every day, and you shouldn’t.

6. Supermans– (Back to him again?) Most people just focus on their abdominal muscles, neglecting their lower backs. Your back is super important!! Just doing abdominal work can create an imbalance of muscles, leading to potential injury. Keep your back strong by doing Superman’s: Lying face down on the ground with your arms extended, lift your arms and legs up in the air and hold. Your core should be taking most of the weight. Hold for up to one minute. Rest, repeat.

Do this work out a few times a week, and you’ll be looking good in a fitted shirt or ….ahem… not wearing anything on top.

Contributor Kelly Sturdy is a Certified Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition. While not training her clients or competing in Bikini Class body building competitions, Kelly can be found in her organic garden, possibly talking to a chicken or two. For more of her articles, click here.