Fall is just around the corner and the weather is cooling. As we get back to school and say goodbye to vacations, it’s the perfect opportunity to re-commit to your fitness goals.
If you’re in need of a little motivation or if you just want to switch things up, refresh your workout routine and your body with a week’s worth of workouts. Then, on Saturday, put them all together for a total-body sweat sesh, and end your week with a day of resting and stretches.
Monday: Loosen Up
Start by limbering up with this set of four moves. Perform each move for 45 seconds, and rest 15 seconds before proceeding to the next move. Repeat the entire set two or three times, resting 30 seconds between sets.
Straddle Side-Lunge Stretch
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart.
- With your hands clasped in front of your chest and a tall spine, keep your left leg straight as you bend your right knee and sit into your right hip.
- Push through your right foot to return to center. Repeat on your left side.
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart.
- Extend your arms straight out to your sides with your palms at shoulder height.
- As you hinge forward, rotate your torso to touch the floor with your right hand and extend your left hand to the ceiling.
- Rotate to center as you return to standing, and repeat on your left side.
Wide-Standing Shoulder Stretch
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
- Rotate your shoulders back and down and clasp both hands behind your back. Lift and open your chest, locking your elbows to increase the stretch.
- Release your hands, relax and return to standing. Repeat.
Reverse Tabletop Lift
- Sit on the floor with your hands just behind your hips, palms flat on the ground and fingers pointed toward your feet, knees bent and feet on the floor about hip-width apart.
- Press your hands and feet down into the floor and lift your hips into a tabletop position, lifting as high as is comfortable. Keep your head and chin tucked back slightly to keep your head in line with your spine.
- Lower your hips and repeat.
Tuesday: Hello, Legs
Jump-start a fresh routine with this set of four leg moves. Perform each move for 45 seconds, and rest 15 seconds before proceeding to the next move. Repeat the entire set two or three times, resting 30 seconds between sets.
Medicine-Ball Rotational Squat
- Stand with your feet wider than your hips, holding the medicine ball in front of your hips, arms fully extended.
- Lower into a squat, bringing the medicine ball down to one side.
- As you stand, draw the medicine ball up and diagonally across your chest and over your head to the opposite side, like a wood chop.
- Keep your arms straight and let your torso rotate as you swing the ball up and then down to your starting position.
- Repeat for 20 seconds, then switch sides.
Medicine-Ball Jumping Squat Jack X Hop
- Stand tall, holding the medicine ball at your chest with your elbows bent.
- Jump down into a split lunge with your right leg forward, then spring back up and land in a squat.
- Jump up from the squat back into a lunge, alternating legs so this time your left foot is out in front.
- Continue jumping from squat spring to split lunge, alternating legs as you do.
- Stay low to load your legs, and don’t lock your knees as you come up out of the lunges.
Medicine-Ball Standing Arabesque Reach
- Stand tall with the medicine ball in front of your hips and your arms fully extended. Engage your core and shift your weight to your left leg.
- Hinge forward, keeping your hips and shoulders squared as you lift your right foot and leg straight behind you and extend the medicine ball forward.
- Bend your standing knee slightly for balance, as needed. Try to make a straight line from the medicine ball to your back foot.
- Lower your right foot and bring the medicine ball back to your hips to return to standing. Repeat, alternating legs.
Medicine-Ball Hip Bridge
- Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, with the medicine ball on the floor in front of your feet. Place both feet on the medicine ball.
- Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips as high as possible, making a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
- Lower your hips to the floor and repeat.
Wednesday: Core Revival
Start your spring countdown to summer abs with this set of four moves. Perform each move for 45 seconds, and rest 15 seconds before proceeding to the next move. Repeat the entire set two or three times, resting 30 seconds between sets.
- Lie on your back with your legs extended and your palms facing up.
- Engage your abs, keep your legs straight and your lower back pressed to the floor as you lift both legs to the ceiling, forming a 90-degree angle with your hips.
- Keeping your back pressed to the floor, slowly lower your legs together until your feet are 6 inches above the floor. Repeat.
Kneeling Medicine-Ball Rainbow Bend
- Kneel on the floor with your spine tall.
- Pick up a medicine ball with both hands and lift it overhead to start.
- Imagine you’re painting a rainbow with the ball, lifting it from one side up and overhead and then down to the other side.
- As you move, your trunk will bend and you’ll drive your hips away from the ball. Repeat.
Side-Lying Crunch and Knee Lift
- Lie on your side with your elbow and forearm on a small bench or step. Stack your feet on top of each other.
- Lift your hips into a side plank.
- Bring your top knee toward your chest, keeping your body long and strong.
- Straighten your top leg and return to side plank, then lower your hips to the ground to return to your starting position.
- Repeat for 20 seconds on each side.
- Start in a prone position, lying flat on your chest and stomach. Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers pointing straight ahead.
- Engage your glutes and back as you extend your arms forward and lift your chest, head and heels. Be sure to keep your neck neutral and your gaze on a spot on the floor in front of you, not straight ahead.
- Remaining lifted, bend your arms and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull your elbows down toward your hips.
- Extend your arms forward and lower yourself to the ground. Repeat.
Thursday: Upper-Body Pump
Sun’s out—and you know the rest. Refresh your upper-body workout with this set of four moves. Perform each move for 45 seconds, and rest 15 seconds before proceeding to the next move. Repeat the entire set two or three times, resting 30 seconds between sets.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp a light- to medium-weight dumbbell in each hand.
- Engage your core, bend your knees and hinge forward slightly. Let your arms hang straight and slightly in front of your knees.
- As you straighten your legs and squeeze your glutes to stand, draw your shoulder blades back and lift your arms to form a Y.
- Bracing your abs, bend your knees as you lower your arms and hinge forward slightly to return to your starting position. Repeat.
- Start in a high-plank position with your core engaged and your body in a strong, straight line from head to heels.
- Inhale as you lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor.
- Exhale as you press up, squeezing your chest, to return to the starting position. Repeat.
Tip: Don’t let your elbows extend more than 45 degrees from your torso.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasping a lightweight dumbbell in each hand, bend your knees slightly and hinge forward. Engage your core, pull your shoulder blades together and bend your elbows so that you’re holding the dumbbells next to either side of your rib cage.
- Keeping your upper arms still, extend your lower arms behind you to raise the dumbbells to the ceiling.
- Keeping your upper arms still, bend your elbows and move only your lower arms to return to the starting position. Repeat.
- Stand with your spine long and your shoulders wide. Grip one end of a dumbbell with one hand placed over the other.
- Engage your abs as you bend your elbows and press the dumbbell up to the ceiling.
- Bend your elbows, keeping them close to your ears and pointed to the ceiling. Lower the dumbbell behind your head.
- Keeping your upper arms as stationary as possible, press the dumbbell away to the ceiling. Lower it behind your head and repeat.
Tip: Breathe out as you raise the dumbbell, and breathe in as you lower it. The weight should be resting in the palms of your hands with your thumbs around it.
Friday: Rev Up Your Heart Rate
Harness that spring fever to refresh your cardio routine with this set of four moves. Perform each move for 45 seconds, and rest 15 seconds before proceeding to the next move. Repeat the entire set two or three times, resting 30 seconds between sets.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Keeping your torso facing forward, step your left foot across your right, rotating your hips and knees to the right as you extend your arms across your body to the left.
- Keeping your torso facing forward, rotate your hips to the left to cross your left foot over your right and swing your arms across your body to the right.
- Repeat this fluid side-to-side crossover step to travel a few feet to the right, and then reverse the motion to travel a few feet to the left, and continue switching your traveling direction.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.
- Jump your feet apart as you sweep your arms out to each side and up overhead, together.
- Reverse the arm motion as you jump your feet back together to your starting position. Repeat.
- Begin in a high-plank position, shoulders stacked over your elbows and wrists, your core engaged and your body in a stiff, straight line from head to heels.
- Drive your right knee in toward your chest, lifting your right foot off the ground.
- As you extend your right leg to your starting position, drive your left knee to your chest. Continue, alternating sides.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.
- In one fluid motion, drop into a squat and place your hands on the ground, and jump your feet straight behind you to a high-plank position.
- Lower into a push-up, and as you push back up, jump your feet under your hips to squat.
- Push through your heels to jump straight up and land softly, dropping into a squat to repeat the sequence.
Saturday: Total Body and Done
Bring all the parts together with this four-set, total-body refresh—including a warm-up and cool-down. Perform each move in each set for 45 seconds, and rest 15 seconds before proceeding to the next move. Rest 30 seconds between sets and repeat the entire circuit two or three times.
- Straddle Side-Lunge Stretch
- Straddle Rotation
- Wide-Standing Shoulder Stretch
- Reverse Tabletop Lift
- Medicine-Ball Rotational Squat
- Y Scaption
- Kneeling Medicine-Ball Rainbow Bend
- Jumping Jack
- Medicine-Ball Jumping Squat Jack X Hop
- Reverse Crunch
- Mountain Climber
- Medicine-Ball Standing Arabesque Reach
- Triceps Kickback
- Side-Lying Crunch and Knee Lift
- Medicine-Ball Hip Bridge
- Triceps Extension
Reset and Restore
- Tai Chi Arm Swing
- Rolling Bridge
- Hip Square Off
- Straddle Surrender
Sunday: Reset and Restore
Refresh your recovery day routine with this set of four moves. Perform each move 45 to 90 seconds, and rest 15 seconds before proceeding to the next move. Then get out and enjoy your day!
Tai Chi Arm Swing
- Start in a neutral stance, feet hip-width apart, knees softly bent.
- Begin to gently rotate side to side and allow your arms to swing with you and wrap around your body. Allow your full body to rotate with you, including your head and neck, and allow the motion to increase as you go.
- Repeat for 45 to 90 seconds, alternating repetitions, then settle in the middle—standing still—and observe your energy.
- Start on your back, feet planted firmly hip-width apart, hands pressed into the floor at your sides.
- On an inhale, press into your feet and lift your hips up as high as comfortable.
- Release by rolling your spine down slowly, one vertebra at a time, beginning with the thoracic spine.
- Once complete, contract your core and pull your knees into your chest, wrapping your arms around your legs. Lift your head and shoulders and roll into a little ball, rocking back and forth along your spine.
- Release gently back to the floor and repeat for 45 to 90 seconds, moving slowly with conscious breath.
Hip Square Off
- Start seated in a cross-legged position, spine tall and core engaged.
- Stack your right shin on top of your other shin for a seated hip stretch. Flex your feet and press your hips down for a deeper engaged stretch. Allow your hands to balance, as needed, while trying to use your core to mobilize the movement.
- Lift your top leg and swing it out to the side, attempting to keep it elevated and parallel to the floor as if in a side-kick position; try to keep your knee straight and foot flexed.
- Pull your leg back straight behind you, the top of your foot flat on the floor, into the seated hip stretch and lean forward over your legs.
- Swing your leg back to the cross-legged position and repeat, moving slowly and enjoying the dynamic opening of your hips. Repeat on the other side.
- Rest on your back with your legs up in the air directly over your pelvis—use a strap, if needed, or rest your legs against a wall. Arrange your neck and spine to be relaxed with your core engaged to maintain the leg position.
- Gently allow your legs to fall open to a straddle position (or a V) suspended in the air. Hold your thighs with your hands, if needed, and bend your knees, as required. If you can elevate your hips with a pillow or bolster, your body will receive increased relaxation and restoration from the pose.
- Stay for at least 45 to 90 seconds, or for as long as you feel like relaxing.
Photo credit: UberImages, Thinkstock