Summer is just months away, and we’ll be enjoying our vacations soon! But that also means we have to lose our “winter weight” and sculpt our trouble zones for this wonderful season. The sooner, the better, so now is a great time to kick off a magnificent workout aimed at toning up our physical appearance and improving our mood.
The Bright Side team has put together a program of exercises that will be useful for both your body and soul. In the beginning, it requires less than 15 minutes a day and no special equipment, so let’s start the transformation!
This is a 5-week program (6 days a week), which combines 8 types of simple exercises, and is divided into 2 blocks.
As we can see, the blocks alternate with each other and the number of repetitions increases gradually. Let’s take a glance at what week 1 looks like:
Day 1 — block 1 (15 jumping jacks, 15 leg lifts, 15 squats, 10 push-ups).
Day 2 — block 2 (15 mountain climbers, 10 sit-ups, 15 lunges, 10 burpees).
Day 3 — block 1 (15 jumping jacks, 15 leg lifts, 15 squats, 10 push-ups).
Day 4 — block 2 (15 mountain climbers, 10 sit-ups, 15 lunges, 10 burpees).
Day 5 — block 1 (20 jumping jacks, 20 leg lifts, 20 squats, 10 push-ups).
Day 6 — block 2 (15 mountain climbers, 10 sit-ups, 15 lunges, 10 burpees).
Day 7 — rest.
Note: This is the minimum amount of repetitions for every type of activity. If you’re willing to spend more time and energy, as well as receive potentially better results, you can repeat the respective blocks 2-3 times during one session.
When you get involved in a workout program, make sure to drink enough water and eat healthy food that gives you energy. People usually feel the first results from the workout within a week or 2.
Block 1 (days 1, 3, and 5)
Don’t forget to warm-up a bit before starting a workout!
1. Jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are a compound kind of cardio workout, which cover your back, shoulder, arms, abs, glutes, and legs.
The starting position: Stand with your feet together and your arms against your sides.
Hop and separate your feet to nearly shoulder-width apart, while bringing your arms above your head (without touching palms).
Hop again and bring your feet and arms back into the initial position.
2. Leg lifts
A leg lift is a simple exercise, which develops abs, hip flexors, and lower back muscles. Besides, it also improves posture and balance.
The starting position: Lie on the floor with your face up and legs straight. Put your hands by your sides or beneath your pelvis for better support.
Lift both of your legs up. They should stay straight and long.
Raise them up to the point where your hips feel completely flexed and your legs can’t go any further.
Slowly and carefully lower your legs down. Repeat.
Doing squats helps to build calves, hamstrings, and other leg muscles. In addition, squats also burn fat and tone up the back and abs.
The starting position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your arms on your hips or in front of you.
Slowly bend your knees and lower down on your legs like you’re going to sit in a chair. Your upper body should stay straight.
Go down as far as you can, but don’t let your torso lean forward too much.
Unbend your legs and return back to the initial position.
Push-ups mainly focus on the upper body: chest, shoulders, triceps, “wing” muscles, and abs.
The starting position: Take a face-down position on the floor with your palms and toes on the ground, arms straight and shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight.
Gradually drop your torso down using only your arms until it almost touches the floor.
Gradually lift your torso back up into the starting position with your hands.
Remember to keep the back flat and toes engaged during all drops and lifts.
The schedule for weeks 2, 3, 4, and 5, for block 1, should look like this:
Day 1 — 20 jumping jacks, 20 leg lifts, 20 squats, 10 push-ups.
Day 3 — 25 jumping jacks, 25 leg lifts, 25 squats, 15 push-ups.
Day 5 — 25 jumping jacks, 25 leg lifts, 25 squats, 15 push-ups.
Day 1 — 30 jumping jacks, 30 leg lifts, 30 squats, 15 push-ups.
Day 3 — 30 jumping jacks, 30 leg lifts, 30 squats, 15 push-ups.
Day 5 — 35 jumping jacks, 30 leg lifts, 30 squats, 20 push-ups.
Day 1 — 35 jumping jacks, 35 leg lifts, 35 squats, 20 push-ups.
Day 3 — 40 jumping jacks, 35 leg lifts, 35 squats, 20 push-ups.
Day 5 — 40 jumping jacks, 40 leg lifts, 40 squats, 25 push-ups.
Day 1 — 45 jumping jacks, 40 leg lifts, 40 squats, 25 push-ups.
Day 3 — 50 jumping jacks, 45 leg lifts, 45 squats, 25 push-ups.
Day 5 — 50 jumping jacks, 45 leg lifts, 45 squats, 30 push-ups.
Block 2 (days 2, 4, and 6)
Don’t forget to warm-up slightly before beginning your workout!
5. Mountain climbers
Mountain climbers represent a compound cardio and strength workout to build various muscles: shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, obliques, abs, hips, and hamstrings.
The starting position: Take a face-down position on the ground with your hands and toes on the floor, and with your arms straight and shoulder-width apart. Your back should stay flat.
Bend your right knee and pull it to your chest. Arms and back should be straight.
Return your right knee back to the starting position. Almost simultaneously bend and pull your left knee to your chest.
Create a rhythmic motion by switching knees as if you’re climbing or “running.” Don’t forget to keep the spine and arms straight.
Sit-ups are a great exercise for flattening your belly zone and training your abdominal muscles.
The starting position: Lie on your back and bend your knees. Your hands should be placed behind your ears, crossed at the chest, or put slightly over the back of your head, but not interlocked (to prevent you from lifting with the use of your neck).
Elevate your upper body off the ground using your ab muscles and try to approach your thighs. Don’t forget to keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Smoothly lower your upper body down and return to the starting position. Repeat.
Your hands should stay in the chosen initial position throughout the whole routine.
As an option, you can use an exercise ball to diversify your routine and support yourself during sit-ups.
Lunges are one more exercise you can use to tone up your glutes, calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings. They also improve your balance and coordination.
The starting position: Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Your back should stay straight through the whole exercise, while arms can be placed wherever is convenient.
Step forward with your left leg and drop your weight down so you literally place it on your right foot. Keep your right toes on the floor.
Lower down until your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your left knee makes a 90-degree angle. Your right knee should almost touch the ground.
Use your left leg to shove off and return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
Burpees are a sort of universal exercise that trains your overall body, including chest, shoulders, arms, abs, glutes, and legs.
The starting position: Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Drop your body down like you’re going to squat. Put your palms on the ground against your sides and slightly in front of you.
Gradually walk back or sharply kick back your legs to get into a push-up position. Arms should stay straight and hold you up.
Drop your chest and do a push-up.
Gradually walk or jump your feet back and stand up straight. Hop off the floor and clap your hands over your head.
The schedule for weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5, for block 2, should look like this:
Day 2 — 20 mountain climbers, 15 sit-ups, 20 lunges, 10 burpees.
Day 4 — 20 mountain climbers, 15 sit-ups, 20 lunges, 15 burpees.
Day 6 — 20 mountain climbers, 15 sit-ups, 25 lunges, 15 burpees.
Day 2 — 25 mountain climbers, 20 sit-ups, 25 lunges, 15 burpees.
Day 4 — 25 mountain climbers, 20 sit-ups, 30 lunges, 15 burpees.
Day 6 — 30 mountain climbers, 20 sit-ups, 35 lunges, 20 burpees.
Day 2 — 30 mountain climbers, 25 sit-ups, 40 lunges, 20 burpees.
Day 4 — 35 mountain climbers, 25 sit-ups, 40 lunges, 20 burpees.
Day 6 — 35 mountain climbers, 25 sit-ups, 45 lunges, 25 burpees.
Day 2 — 40 mountain climbers, 30 sit-ups, 45 lunges, 25 burpees.
Day 4 — 40 mountain climbers, 30 sit-ups, 50 lunges, 25 burpees.
Day 6 — 45 mountain climbers, 30 sit-ups, 55 lunges, 30 burpees.
This workout, divided by blocks and days, will help you achieve 2 things: slim your body and build a training schedule into your day-to-day life. Remember to pair your exercises with a diet that is appropriate for you.
Have you ever heard of any of these exercises? Or maybe you have personal stories about sculpting your body over a couple of weeks? Please tell us about them in the comments below.
Preview photo credit Depositphotos.com
Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova for BrightSide.me