Fitting fitness into your life in a consistent manner is a challenging task for everyone. We are all going to have periods of consistency and inconsistency. It simply happens, life can move pretty fast and force itself right into your lane, derailing us from our self directed course of wellness. Don’t get overly caught up with this. Most times in life to be successful at anything you have to move in a zig-zag manner, not the straight line we often think of. Hang in there, you can do this! You are worth the time and deserve the time you set aside during the day/night for fitness. But you need to fiercely protect that time and as soon as that time comes, you have to take it and spring into action or you will lose your window to exercise.
I used this workout when I had some fitness inconsistencies and an injury to my lower back. The workout will focus on core and large muscle groups coupled with a circuit training flow allowing you to complete very timely. You can perform 2 or 3 sets, or simply start with 2 sets for 2 weeks and increase to 3 sets for the next 2 weeks. Please keep in mind, the 3rd set is the “money set”. I truly believe to get improvements in your strength fitness 3 sets or more are absolutely needed.
Start this workout with a stretch that involves all the major muscle groups, lower back, hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, quads, calves, upper back, chest and shoulders. Nice job! You are ready for the first circuit. Abdominal crunches, lower back extension, bodyweight squat.
Abdominal crunches 25-50 reps (Abdominals)
Lower back extension 10-12 reps (Erector Spinae, Glutes)
Bodyweight squat 12-15 reps (Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes)
Perform each exercise and seamlessly move into the next exercise to complete the first circuit. When performing the crunch lead with your chin, as if you were pointing to the ceiling with it. Cross your arms at your chest or hold the hands behind your ears, unclasped without pulling on the neck, keep elbows out of view. Only allow your shoulders to touch the floor, not your head. During the back extension, be sure NOT to hyperextend your lower back! Once you get to the appropriate extension squeeze your glutes for maximum lower back and glute activation. For squats start out with your feet shoulder width apart and bend at the knees and hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. For fun try some muscle activation primers with a wide stance and a narrow stance, wider will recruit and work more inner thigh and narrow more outer thigh.
Second Circuit will consist of band twist, calf raise and pushups.
Band twist 30-40 reps (Obliques)
Calf raise 12-15 reps (Calves)
Push up 10-15 reps (Chest, triceps, shoulders, core)
Same approach as before, perform all exercises in a circuit manner. For your band twist try to safely anchor the band between a door or on a weight bench. Stand with your feet hip width apart, arms extended out in front of you, both hands on the handle of the band, draw your belly button into your spine and twist to the right with your arms leading the way. Then back to the midline of the body and across to the left. For calf raise, I love to use a step. Line up your feet/heels so you can get maximum range of motion and stretch as you lower your heels down. Pause for a second or 3 and raise the heels up until you are in a tip-toe position, pause again. Challenge yourself by using both feet then progressing one foot. A progression from bilateral (two feet) to unilateral (one foot). Push-up, start off with hands shoulder width apart, the torso and hip aligned and the feet hip width apart. Do not let your hips fall down towards the floor. I recommend checking in with your posture with each completed rep. This way you can decrease your chances of injuring your lower back and shoulders. Also it is completely okay to start off on your knees, then progress off of your knees to your feet.
Hip-ups 20 reps (Glutes, Hamstring, Lower back)
Dips 10-12 reps (Triceps, Chest, Shoulders)
Reverse fly 15-20 reps (Rear deltoids, upper back)
Lay on the floor on your back, glutes on the floor, heels 10-12 inches away from your glutes. Raise your pelvis/hips toward the ceiling until fully extended, hold 2-3 seconds and lower slowly to the floor. For dips use a chair, a weight bench, or as I just purchased a dip/row stand. If you are using a chair, place your hands shoulder width apart, knuckles facing forward, legs and feet can be slightly in front of you, or fully extended, even elevated for a greater challenge. Bend at the elbows and allow the body to lower down to the floor, then straighten the elbows and hold for 2-3 seconds at the top. Focus on contracting and activating the triceps. Feel the back of the arms squeeze. Lastly, the reverse fly! The silent killer in the best way, again use a chair, a bench or a Stability ball. Lean forward on the chair, bench or ball. Place your arms on the outside of you or the bench/ball. Make certain that your arms are not too far forward or backward, maintain alignment with the head of your shoulders and your hands. Raise both arms away from your side until level with the shoulders (making a T with your arms) lower back down almost all the way to your side. Try to keep constant tension on the muscle to really help isolate it.
Finish with a foam roll session to cool down and work/roll out some tight knots of the muscles. Acknowledge yourself and give yourself credit for following through with your exercise plan. Great job! This can be done twice or three times a week, T/Th or MWF. Enjoy, and remember the secret to living life, is to live your life.