This week, I’d like to give you a one week, at-home workout program. If you have any injuries, aches or pains (out of the normal discomfort of your muscles working during a movement), you should definitely omit or substitute any exercise described below.

For this program, there are a few optional easy to find pieces of equipment, but really all you need is a small space, your body weight, and a positive attitude!

Before getting started, be sure to include a 5-10 minute dynamic (movement based) warm-up before each workout. For example, do 10 repetitions of arm circles back and forth, leg swings (leg straight, hand against the wall, swing leg back and forth), body weight squats, inchworms, and jumping jacks. For any questions about these warm-up exercises, you can easily find demonstration videos online.

Let’s go!

DAY 1

Repeat circuit of 5 exercises 3 times. Allow yourself 2-3 minutes rest in between circuits. Rest in between individual exercises as needed, but try to go quickly from one to the next.

  • 10 Push-ups
  • 10 Reverse Alternating Lunges
  • 6 Inchworms (standing to plank and back to standing)
  • 30 second wall sit
  • 30 second plank

Workout considerations for proper form:

  • Push-ups: these can be done on your knees or toes, and your focus should be on keeping your shoulders down (away from your ears), and core tight, pulling your bellybutton towards your spine.
  • Reverse Alternating Lunges: Slow and controlled, keep weight on your front heel, feeling the burn primarily in the glute of your front leg. Take a wide step back.
  • Inchworms: Begin in a standing position, reach hands to the floor and walk out to plank position. Push back to down-ward dog, now walking hands back towards the feet and rolling up back to standing.
  • Wall-sit: thighs parallel to the floor, weight in the heels.
  • Plank: Core tight, low back not arching down to the floor, hands or forearms are fine. 

Day 2

You will need a sturdy chair or the edge of a bed for this workout. Repeat circuit of 5 exercises 3 times. Allow yourself 2-3 minutes rest in between circuits. Rest in between individual exercises as needed, but try to go quickly from one to the next.

  • Sit-to-Stands on chair, 8 each leg
  • 30 seconds of mountain climbers (in plank position)
  • 30 seconds bicycle crunches
  • 10 Alternating lateral lunges with arm reach
  • Balance Reach, 8 on each leg

Workout considerations for proper form: 

  • Sit-to-stands: Begin in a seated position, with one foot touching the ground and weight predominantly in the heel. Push up to standing, and slowly lower down to seated. After 10 reps, switch to other leg. Add a pillow for height if you cannot lower down in a controlled manner.
  • Mountain climbers: Begin and maintain plank position, quickly bringing knee to chest and switching legs (like running). This is meant to get the heart rate up.
  • Bicycle crunches: Laying on the floor or a mat, place hands gently behind your head and bring knees to 90 degrees (low back not arching off the floor). Alternate knee to opposite elbow, switching back and forth.
  • Lateral lunges with reach: Begin standing feet together, and take a wide step out with one leg, coming into a lateral lunge. Keep weight on the heel of the foot you step out with, maintaining other leg straight. Reach up with arms as you come to center, and repeat on other leg.
  • Balance reach: Begin standing and balancing on one leg. With control, extend floating leg back as you reach for the ground with the opposite hand, and come back to standing. Repeat all reps on one leg, then switch.

Day 3

Repeat circuit of 5 exercises 3 times. Allow yourself 2-3 minutes rest in between circuits. Rest in between individual exercises as needed, but try to go quickly from one to the next.

  • Supermans, 10 reps
  • Arm Circles (20 each direction)
  • Bodyweight Squats, 10 reps
  • Side Plank, 20 second hold each side
  • 30 seconds high knees (sprint!)

Workout considerations for proper form:

  1. Supermans: Lay on your stomach, arms outstretched overhead. Inhaling, lift arms and legs off the floor and hold for a few seconds, slowly coming back to the ground. Repeat.
  2. Arm Circles: Bring arms straight out to each side, parallel to the floor. In quick, small and controlled movements, move them in circles, 20 forwards and 20 backwards.
  3. Squats: Feet should be just past shoulder width apart, weight on the heels. As you come down, lead with your glutes (as if you want them to hit the wall behind you). Push up through the heels, coming all the way to stand, and repeat.
  4. Side plank: On forearm or hand, keep core tight and hips up high.

Day 4

You will need a sturdy chair or the edge of a bed. Repeat circuit of 5 exercises 3 times. Allow yourself 2-3 minutes rest in between circuits. Rest in between individual exercises as needed, but try to go from one to the next without too much pause.

  • 10 Regular or modified Burpees
  • 10 alternating forward lunges
  • 10 tricep dips using chair
  • 10 plank forearm to palm
  • 30 seconds frog squats

Workout considerations for proper form:

  • Burpees: For a more advanced option, begin standing and bring palms to the floor, jumping into a plank position. Jump feet back to hands, and jump up quickly, hands to the ceiling, and repeat. For a modified version, step hands in and out (instead of jumping), and simply reach up to the sky with your hands, omitting the jump.
  • Forward lunges: Take a big step out with one foot into a lunge, being sure that your front knee does not move out much past your toes. Bring your back knee straight down, hovering over the floor. With control, come back to center and repeat with opposite leg.
  • Tricep dips: On the edge of a chair, place hands just outside of hips. Now, moving your hips off the chair, come into a dip with your elbows pointing straight back (not out to the sides). Come down to 90 degrees if you can (shoulders down away from the ears), and back up. Repeat.
  • Forearm to palm plank: Begin in a forearm plank. Leading with one arm, bring yourself up to a plank on your palms, then back to forearms. That is one repetition, switch leading arm each time.
  • Frog-squats: With your feet just past hip width apart, come down to touch the floor with your fingertips and jump up towards the ceiling. These should really raise your heart rate.

Day 5

Today is different! Weather permitting (or even if not, get geared up), you’ll use this Friday workout to get outside. Depending on your fitness level, preferences and potential injuries, you can go for a run, a long walk, a bike ride, or a hike. If the weather makes it impossible to be outdoors, try a yoga or pilates class. The point of today is to switch it up, have fun, and challenge your body in a new way.

You can take this one week plan and progress it as you feel stronger. Include more repetitions of exercises, less rest time, and repeat the circuit 4 or 5 times over the weeks. If you are truly motivated to commit to a workout plan, all you need is your body weight as resistance, a good attitude, and some fun music couldn’t hurt!

Rachel Fiske, NC, CPT-NASM Rachel Fiske is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and graduated from Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition in Berkeley, California, and a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Rachel works with clients individually via skype, focusing on issues of weight management, GI problems, hormonal imbalances, fatigue and more via a whole foods diet and lifestyle changes. Consultations include diet journal analysis, individualized menu planning, and herbal/supplementation protocols.