By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
Summer is just around the corner! So to help you prepare, there’s nothing like a great strength-based workout that can help rev your metabolism by helping to build some lean muscle. One of the biggest mistakes I think that people make is to just do cardio-based workouts, and skip out almost altogether on strength-based moves. So in this workout I’ve focused on simple, strength based moves that are entirely body weight (although you can certainly add in some weight) that you can do anywhere, anytime.
This workout is designed as a circuit and should be repeated three times. You can either do this workout with a set number of repetitions (for example 12, 15, 20) or you can set a minute for each move for a total of 21 minutes.
What you’ll need:
Warm up: 2 minutes
Exercise 1: Sumo Squats
Sumo squats are one of my favorite exercises because they target the glutes more than regular squats do. In regular squats, feet are hips-width apart and toes point forward, whereas in a sumo squat the feet are significantly wider (about 3 feet apart) and toes point out at a 45 degree angle (see picture). Squeeze glutes on the way up from the bottom of this pose.
Exercise 2: Push-up Press
Pushups are a classic move because they work so many muscles, including the core, glutes, quads and more. This version is a full drop to the ground (chest on the ground) and pick up hands, squeezing back and shoulders, then back up into plank and repeat. You can use your knees if you need to on the way up.
Exercise 3: Tricep Dip
Clients are always asking me how they can make their arms look and feel stronger; triceps are it! These tricep dips can be done on the ground or on a platform like a step or a bench.
Exercise 4: Reverse Lunge with Twist
I love reverse lunges because they’re fairly simple and work for most people. To make this more of a core exercise, add a twist after you step back and twist in the direction of the front leg (as in the picture). Make sure to keep repetitions even on each side.
Exercise 5: Plank
This move we’ll do slightly differently. You’ll hold your plank for 30 seconds for the first circuit, then 45 seconds for the 2nd, then 1 minute for the last round. You can either do it in high plank (on your hands) or in low plank (on your forearms).
Exercise 6: Glute Bridges
Again let’s target your glutes! The glutes are largely underused by most of us and really important for balance and mobility. This is a fairly straight forward move (see picture). To make it harder lift one foot off the ground and make sure to repeat evenly between the two sides.
Exercise 7: Commandos
Finally, let’s finish with some commandos or “up-downs” as they’re sometimes referred to. Start in a plank on hands, and one side at a time, go down to a forearm plank (left then right) then back up to a plank on hands (left then right) and repeat. If you need to use your knees here, go ahead!
Once you’re done with the circuit, repeat another two times, for a total of three.
Warm down: Stretch it out and make sure that you stretch quads, glutes, hamstrings, triceps and abs, and drink plenty of water!
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