The landscape of fitness is constantly evolving and innovating. Now more than ever, we have many ways to work up a sweat, and we should take advantage of that! Fitness isn’t going anywhere, and the more we move now, the more our future selves will be ready for what’s to come. With that in mind, here is a workout to help your present self be ready to become your future self.
This workout will make your future self happy by using some old-school strength-training techniques from the years when fitness first became popular: the era of physical culture at the end of the 19th century. Using heavier weights than you may be used to will push you out of your normal comfort zone and challenge you to really focus on form and technique, which can help you achieve a flow state.
- Sit quietly with your eyes closed and think about how you want to move in the coming workout. Think about the exercises you will be doing and how they will affect your body.
- Focus on steady, deep breathing to bring more oxygen into your body in order to prepare it for the movements ahead.
Squat to High Plank
Complete two sets of four to six reps, resting 30 to 45 seconds between sets.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Push your hips back and lower yourself into a deep squat. At the bottom of the squat, place both hands on the floor in between your legs.
- Slowly walk your hands forward until your body is straight and you are in a high plank. Press your hands into the floor and hold for three to five seconds, then walk your hands back so that you return to the bottom of the squat position.
- Return to standing.
Side Plank With Reach Through
Complete two sets of five to seven reps on each side, resting for 45 to 60 seconds after completing both sides.
- Lie on your right side, with your right elbow on the ground directly under your shoulder so that your torso is propped upright, and resting on your right leg from hip to the right side of your right foot on the ground. Your left leg should be propped up on top of your right. Keep both legs squeezed together.
- As you press your right forearm into the ground, engage your core and push your left hip up to the ceiling to increase the tension (and muscle activation) in your body.
- Use your left hand to reach under your right rib cage and then upward toward the ceiling.
- Perform five to seven reps, then switch sides.
Body-Weight Hip Hinge
Perform two sets of eight to 12 reps, resting 30 seconds between sets.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your head behind your ears.
- Keep your spine long and knees slightly bent, push your hips back and keep your spine straight as you lower your chest toward the floor.
NOTE: If you feel your spine start to bend, STOP and return to the starting position.
Complete six reps. Rest one minute and perform a total of four sets.
- Use a standard barbell with enough weight to make six repetitions hard to very hard. (You should not be able to complete a seventh repetition).
- Stand facing the barbell with your feet hip-width apart, push your hips back, keep your spine straight, and hinge forward from your hips to grab the barbell with both palms facing down.
- Push your chest up and contract your back muscles to create stability as you grip the bar with both hands. At the starting position, both shins should be vertical.
- Push your feet into the floor and drive your hips forward as you lift the barbell. Pause at the top and slowly lower the bar to the ground.
One-Arm Overhead Press
Perform five to six reps with each arm for a total of four sets, resting 30 to 45 seconds after using both arms.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your right foot is slightly forward.
- Grip a heavy dumbbell in your right hand, and place it by your right shoulder so that your right elbow is next to your rib cage.
- Quickly dip your hips and then press your feet into the floor as you extend your right arm to press the dumbbell directly overhead.
- From the top of the move, pull the dumbbell down. (Don’t just let it fall.)
Perform as many reps as you can until fatigue. Rest one minute and then complete a total of four sets, resting for at least one minute between sets.
- Hang from a pull-up bar, gripping the bar with your palms up.
- Keep your spine long and pull your chest to the bar. (Avoid moving your lower body.) Lower slowly back down with control.
Complete as many reps as possible with good form. Stop as soon you feel your hips start to sag. Rest one minute and complete a total of four sets.
- Start in a high-plank position with your hands under your shoulders so that your elbows are rotated back to face your feet.
- Squeeze your abs and glutes (to stabilize your spine) and bend your elbows to slowly lower yourself to the floor.
- Pause at the bottom and then quickly push yourself up to return to the top.
- Sit quietly; focus on breathing.
- Inhale for a count of seven seconds, hold for seven seconds and exhale for seven seconds.
- Focus on feeling the muscles used in the workout. Visualize your future self. Think about the type of shape you want to be in five, 10 or 20 years into the future.
- As you see your future self, make the commitment to make it possible. If we can visualize something with our mind, we have a better chance of making it happen in real life. Meditation plays an important role in this and can be used to help strengthen the most important muscle in your body: the brain.
Photo credit: LarsZahnerPhotography, Thinkstock