As published on SELF.com
We’re so excited that you’ll be joining us for four weeks of cardio and strength workouts. All of these workouts were designed exclusively for SELF by me, Amy Eisinger,. I'm a certified trainer and the host of Sweat With SELF, and I can't wait to work out with you this month. Have you printed your workout planner yet? If not, do that now!
For this workout, along with several of the strength workouts throughout this challenge, you’ll need either a set of weights or one heavy weight. You can use dumbbells or kettlebells, and we’ve included specific notes below on how you can modify depending on what you’ve got.
You can also tailor these workouts to fit your schedule and level of difficulty. Every workout in this challenge is designed as a circuit, and you can do that circuit three to five times, depending on how you feel. All of the workouts are also timed—meaning you should move at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Whether you do 20 reps or 8 reps, you should always focus on maintaining proper form.
Start with this bodyweight four-move warm-up (or any other warm-up of your choice!) and then dive in below!
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the moves you’ll do.
Do each move below for 40 seconds, resting 20 seconds between moves. At the end of each circuit, rest for 60 seconds. Do the entire circuit 3-5 times. At the end of your last circuit, try the Bonus Move.
x 40 seconds
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and core engaged. If you’re using 1 weight (a dumbbell or kettlebell), hold the weight at chest height, close to your body, with both hands. If you’re holding 2 dumbbells, hold one in each hand at your sides or with elbows bent, hold them at your shoulders.
Send your hips back and bend knees to drop into a squat, allowing knees to bend to at least 90 degrees.
Return to starting position by standing and squeezing your glutes at the top.
x 40 seconds
Lie faceup with your knees bent, and heels a few inches away from your butt, so that when your arms are at your sides, fingertips can touch your heels.
Lift your hips, squeeze glutes, then lower hips slowly back to floor.
x 40 seconds alternating sides
Stand with feet hip-width apart and core engaged. If you’re using a weight, hold the weight at chest height with both hands.
Step forward with your right foot and bend both knees to 90 degrees to sink into a lunge.
Push off right foot to return to starting position.
Repeat on the other side, and continue to alternate sides.
Make it harder: As you sink into your lunge, push your weight overhead, keeping your core engaged, glutes engaged, and hips tucked under.
x 40 seconds
Sit tall with knees bent and feet flexed, so heels rest on the floor. Keep your back as flat as possible, chest up, and core engaged.
If you’re using a weight, hold one weight with both hands close to your chest. If you’re not using a weight, hold hands in a prayer at chest height.
Rotate your torso and arms to the right, bringing hands down by your side. (Your hands do not have to touch the floor.) Keep your legs and hips as still as possible, and do not arch or round your spine as you twist.
Repeat on the other side. Move as quickly as possible, rotating side to side, while maintaining good form.
Make it harder: Lift feet off the floor, so shins are parallel to the floor, and you balance on your sits bone throughout the exercise.
Forearm Plank Hold
x 40 seconds
From an all-fours position, lower on to your forearms one at a time, making sure your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders.
Extend your right foot, then left foot behind you, lifting knees off floor, and engaging your core.
Hips should be level, core and glutes engaged, and feet flexed. Gaze just in front of your fingertips to take the creases out of your neck, and hold.
x 40 seconds
You’ll need 2 dumbbells or 1 heavy dumbbell or kettlebell to complete this move.
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold one weight in each hand.
Bend knees slightly, and then in one explosive movement push the weight overhead and straighten both legs simultaneously. You may feel yourself come up onto your toes, or even give a small hop as you push the weight overhead until arms are fully extended.
Slowly lower weight back to chest height and re-bend both knees to complete the rep.
At the end of the circuit, rest for 60 seconds. Do the entire circuit 3-5 times, then try the Bonus Move.
At the end of your last circuit, try the move below.
x 60 seconds
Stand with feet together, core engaged, and arms by your sides.
Hop in place, then hop feet hip-width apart, and drop into a squat by sending hips back, squeezing glutes, and tapping the floor with your right fingertips.
Stand and hop feet together to return to start. Tap left fingertips to the ground during the next squat.
Continue to move as quickly as possible, hopping once before dropping into a squat.