It’s that time of year! The time when practically everyone you meet is talking about hitting the gym, getting fit and losing a few pounds. If you’re revved to tackle your fitness resolutions head on, keep reading—our latest Be Well Workout of the Week will turn your resolution into reality.
For this week's workout, you'll tackle three groups of exercises, starting with a five-exercise set you'll complete three times. You'll do the next four-exercise set twice, top to bottom, then move on to the three-exercise set, which you'll complete one time through.
Notice that while the number of exercises you're doing in each group decreases, the rep count increases: 10 reps of each exercise in the first group, 20 reps of each in the second, and 30 reps of each in the third. And that's not all: After the third exercise group, you'll do some cardio, completing a mile of walking or running on the treadmill, elliptical or bike, or outside. If you're feeling really ambitious, finish off by working your way back up the ladder: two set of 30 reps, two sets of 20 reps, and finally three sets of 10.
Here's what it's going to look like...
BeWOW: New Year's Resolution-Crushing Workout
Complete three sets, doing 10 reps of each exercise.
Pull-ups (See below for modifications if pull-ups are too challenging.)
Complete two sets, doing 20 reps of each exercise.
Complete one set, doing 30 reps of each exercise.
Alternating overhead press
Cardio: Run (or bike, or elliptical) one mile.
For advanced: Work backwards up the ladder,starting with one set of 30 reps.
Explanation of exercises
*Click the links for video how-tos.
Lunge jumps: Start standing with feet together and step forward with the left leg into a lunge, bending knee to about 90 degrees. Jump as you stand back up and switch legs before you land, so your right leg is forward. Lunge again, then jump, putting your left leg forward, and so forth. Left and right counts as one.
Pull-ups: Suspend yourself on the pull-up bar with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up, keeping your body as straight as possible, until your chest reaches the bar. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Too difficult? Try one of these pull-up alternatives.
Burpee: Just like an up-down in football. Put your hands on the ground, jump your feet out behind you so you’re in push-up position, lower to the ground, bring your feet back in, and stand up.
Plank row: In a push-up position with your hands on free weights, row one weight up and back, keeping your hips square to the floor and squeezing your shoulder blade. Lower and repeat on the other side.
V-ups: Lie flat on your back with legs outstretched and arms above your head. Sit up, lifting arms and legs and reaching your hands and feet toward the ceiling. Shoulder blades should come off the mat as you reach for your toes. Hold for a beat, then return to the starting position.
Push-up: Start lying face down with your chest on the floor, with hands facing forward and palms down in line with your shoulders; elbows should be pointing back. Push up until arms are extended (the inside of the elbow should be facing forward) and drop back down.
Squat jumps: Stand with feet hip-width apart and perform a squat, dropping your rear until your knees are just behind your toes and your hamstrings are parallel to the floor. As you stand, propel yourself upwards and jump. Return to standing and squat again.
Dips: Using a bench or a chair, step your legs out a few feet in front of your body. Steady your hands on the bench or chair and, with your back just a few inches from your fingertips, lower your body to the ground. Then raise your body back to the starting position by pushing into the bench or chair. Repeat.
Ab twists: Sit on the floor with knees bent, heels pressing into the ground. Lean back slightly and use your abs to twist side to side.
Ski jumpers: Start in a skier’s stance (like a squat, but bent forward at the waist slightly). Using your arms for momentum, jump up and to the left, landing on both feet. Jump to the right. Repeat.
Alternating overhead press: Holding free weights in each hand, stand with the weights at your shoulders, hips tucked under, and abs very strong. Start by pressing your right hand to the ceiling, return it to your shoulder, and then press with your left. Do these as fast as you can with good form.
Crunches: Get in sit-up position, with knees bent and hands behind the head. Without pulling the neck, squeeze your abs and sit halfway up. Hold for a beat, and return to starting position.
Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every Monday right here on Be Well Philly.