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30 Day Fitness Challenge: Challenge Four: Tone and Strengthen Your Whole Body!


We’ve come to our fourth workout video in our 30 Day Fitness Challenge. It’s time to bring together all of the elements we introduced in the Upper Body and Lower Body workouts. This sequence includes the glute bridge, squat, forearm plank, push-up, and up/down plank. You’ll be working a whole range of muscles throughout your entire body, including your arms, core, glutes, and legs. In our first post of the Challenge, “What Does It Mean to be Fit?,” we talked about the importance of having a solid foundation. In this workout series we offer some tools to help you build that foundation, work towards your fitness goals, and generally feel better and stronger throughout your day-to-day life.

As with all of the workouts in this series, your body weight provides the resistance and no special equipment is needed. This circuit was created for individuals of moderate to high fitness levels with no injuries or musculoskeletal problems. Consult with your physician or other health care provider before beginning this or any exercise program.

This time we begin with the glute bridge. Tips to remember with this exercise are:

  • Engage your abdominals and squeeze your glute muscles even before you begin to raise your hips
  • As you raise your hips, try to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your knees
  • Pause at the top and slowly lower back down. Repeat 10 times.

The second exercise is the squat:

  • Keep your feet shoulder width apart
  • Raise your arms up to parallel height for balance
  • Engage your abdominals
  • Initiate the motion with your hips (not your knees) as you sit back as though you were sitting in a chair
  • Keep your knees in line with your toes
  • Repeat 10 times

The third exercise is the forearm plank:

  • Keep your elbows under shoulders
  • Keep your legs together with only your toes on the floor
  • When you raise your body, create a straight line from your head to your tailbone and keep your glutes tucked under
  • You can hold the plank for 15-30 seconds. If you feel strong and your fitness level is high, you can try for about a minute.

The fourth exercise is the push-up:

  • Keep your hands underneath your shoulders
  • Keep your abs and glutes tight so you create a straight line with your body
  • Slowly lower your body to a position where your elbows are flexed approximately 90 degrees
  • Think about breathing in on the way down, and out on the way up. The breath will support your movement and make your sets stronger and easier, so don’t forget about it!
  • If you need to modify this exercise, you can come down to your knees
  • This exercise can be repeated about 10 times

And finally we finish with the up/down plank. This exercise begins with the same form as the forearm plank:

  • Keep your elbows under shoulders
  • Keep your legs together with only your toes on the floor
  • Create a straight line from your head to your tailbone and keep your glutes tucked under
  • Bring your right arm up and place your palm flat on the mat, immediately followed by your left arm. Then place your left forearm back down on the mat, immediately followed by your right arm. This movement is much easier to understand when you see it in action, so refer to the video!
  • As you perform this exercise, really focus on keeping your abs tight and your body in one straight line as you raise yourself up and down-try not to sway from side to side.
  • Perform 5 repetitions starting with your right arm, and then 5 repetitions starting with your left, for a total of 10 repetitions.

Depending on your fitness level, you can repeat this entire circuit about 3 times. Work at your own pace and if you need to rest between sets or exercises, by all means take a rest. As with any such program, if at any point during your workout you begin to have pain, feel faint, or experience significant physical discomfort of any kind, you should stop immediately and consult a physician.

Jamie Osmak, strength and conditioning specialist

Jamie Osmak is a certified strength and conditioning specialist at the Tisch Performance Center. Jamie is a USA Track and Field Level 1 coach and corrective exercise specialist with a degree in Exercise Science from Rutgers University.

Topics: Performance
The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.