Around this time of year many people are looking at starting a new fitness regime whether it’s at home or at the gym. If you are one of those people or if you are just looking to mix up your fitness routine then why not try my “Get fit in February” challenge. The principle is very basic, a 4 week programme that involves just 6 bodyweight exercises. The aim is to complete the workout 3 times per week with the workout getting progressively harder over the time. The workout is designed to be completed in under 20 minutes using only your own body so lack of time or no equipment available is not a factor!
Outlined below are the 6 exercises used along with options to increase or reduce the level of intensity. Also outlined is how the challenge works over the 4 week period.
The basic plank is a great exercise for strengthening the core. If you struggle to hold the position for the outlined amount of time then simply lower your knees onto the floor while holding perfect posture through your back.
The simple squat is a fantastic exercise to help strengthen all the major muscles of the lower body. If you find the movement easy to complete then increase the difficulty by adding a jump as you stand up. As soon as your feet hit the ground immediately bend your knees and drop back into the squat and repeat.
3: Press up
Target the upper body muscles of the chest, shoulders and back of the arms with this old school classic. If you can’t manage a full press up straight away then simply place your knees on the floor for an easier version.
4: Forward Lunge
The forward lunge will help to strengthen your lower body muscles as well as test your stability and balance. As with the squat if you want a harder variation then try a jump lunge instead. Starting from a lunge position you quickly switch your front and rear leg by performing a small jump.
5: Prone rows
This is a great exercise that works the upper body muscles of your shoulders and back while testing your core stability. To perform it start in a press up position with your hands around shoulder width. From here simply lift one hand off the ground and pull your elbow into your body whilst trying to maintain perfect posture and keeping your hips as still as possible. Return the hand to the floor and repeat off the other arm. Just like the press up this exercise can be performed with your knees on the floor for an easier variation.
The burpee is a great whole body exercise and for me a must do for any body weight programme. If you find the standard burpee difficult then perform a lower impact version by walking your legs back one at a time rather than jumping them back. For a harder version try adding a vertical jump as you stand up or a press up at the bottom of the movement.
Perform each exercise for just 20 seconds aiming to have little or no rest in between each one. At the end of the circuit rest for 1 minute and then repeat. Complete 3 full circuits in total.
This time you complete 25 seconds on each exercise but reduce the rest between circuits to just 50 seconds. Once again complete 3 full circuits.
Now the exercises are performed for 30 seconds each with only 40 seconds rest between circuits. You are still aiming for 3 complete circuits.
For the final week its 3 full circuits again but this time 35 seconds on each exercise with only 30 seconds rest between circuits.
Well done you have now completed the challenge and now are ready for something new. Either that or give yourself a week’s break from it and then try it again. Maybe try switching the order of exercises or mixing in some new ones. Here at Results we are always on hand to offer you new ideas and advice so feel free to get in touch.