This easy-to-learn workout proves you don’t need a gym or fancy machines to tone up. It’s based on body weight exercises that can be performed anywhere, anytime. Following this full-body cardio-based workout at least three times per week will tone multiple muscle groups while helping improve your cardiovascular system and overall health.
Place feet a little wider than shoulder width apart with your hips stacked over your knees, knees over ankles. Roll your shoulders back and down away from your ears. Extend your arms straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down. Or, if it’s more comfortable, pull your elbows close to your body, palms facing each other and thumbs pointing up.
Initiate movement by inhaling into your belly and unlocking your hips, slightly bringing them back. Keep sending your hips backward as the knees begin to bend. Make sure your chest and shoulders stay upright and your back stays straight. Keep your head facing forward with your eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine alignment.
Let your hip joint squat lower to the ground than your knees, if comfortable. (Pro tip: Try squatting onto a box.) Engage your core and exhale while driving through your heels to return to standing. Imagine your feet are spreading the floor (the left foot to the left, right foot to the right) without actually moving your feet.
Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle. Keep your weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position. (Pro tip: Add weights either holding dumbbells on each hands or by putting a bar on your shoulders.)
Bring your hands to the floor just in front of your feet, then jump your feet into a plank position. Do one push-up. Jump your feet back to your hands, and from this crouched position, jump up, similar to a squat jump. Jump as high up as you can.
Standing Calf Raises
Stand on the edge of a step. Stand tall with your abdominals pulled in, the balls of your feet firmly planted on the step and your heels hanging over the edge. Rest your hands against a wall or a sturdy object for balance. Raise your heels a few inches above the edge of the step so that you’re on your tiptoes. (Pro tip: Use dumbbells in each hand.) Hold the position for a moment, then lower your heels below the platform, feeling a stretch in your calf muscles.
Jackyson Bazile is certified by the American Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and earned a XPE sport-specific certification through renowned sport trainer Tony Villani. Bazile has worked at the Greater Naples YMCA since 2006.
Bring the moves with you. Download pdf instructions.
Photo credit: Sharon Mammano