I said it before and I’ll say it again, if you are 40+ and looking for a great way to work a strength, cardio, sculpting, HIIT regimen into your week… especially if you are limited on time and patience…. a full body workouts 3-4 days a week are the way to go.
(Full disclaimer: I actually think a full body workout can be just as effective for someone in their 20s or 30s as it can be for someone over 40 like myself)
YES, you can do a full body workout at the gym with weights and machines and TRX’s and the fancy stuff BUT: 1- Most of us don’t have access to a gym right now (Covid restrictions or concerns) 2- The workouts I’ve been doing from home during the Pandemic of 2020 have been incredibly effective and I don’t use weights (I sometimes incorporate various fitness pieces but MOST of what I do relies on body weight and tempo).
I’m going to share with you a series of workout routines you can use for the month of December. Each routine is designed to hit every muscle group. Over the next week I’ll give you 6 workouts you can do during the first 2 weeks of December and another 6 for the last 2 weeks. If you are really feeling like this full body thing is working for you, then I would suggest starting over and repeating every step for the month of January. Go back to square one.
WEEK 1: WORKOUT 1: EQUIPMENT- Basketball, yoga mat, standard large towel
- Warm up- Brisk walk out jog for 5 minutes. An easy run-in-place for 5 is good too.
- Warm up- 50 bodyweight squats (Arms extended to the front)
- Warm up- 30 mountain climbers (15 each side/leg. Cross your body with the knee and touch the opposite elbow.)
- Legs + Shoulders- Squat+Reverse lunge+Side lunge combo with towel pulled tight above the head and/or extended to the front. Mix it up and do a little of both. (6 reps each variation. 36 total. Do 2 full sets).
- Glutes + Hamstrings- Glute Bridges (hold the rep at the top for a count of ten. Do 10-15 reps with the hold then 10-15 full reps with no hold. If your flexibility is limited try to work up to a full range of motion but do partial reps for the time being)
- Back- Superman Towel Lat Pull Down. Start face down, towel extended and pulled tight (2 sets of 15-20 reps)
- Back + Chest- Loaded Beast to Push up. (2 sets of 15 “one to one” reps. focus on going low and stretching the arms and lower back to really work the lats in this move)burn
- Chest- Close-grip push ups using a basketball ( 2 sets of 10-15. Using the basketball elevates the hands and goes easier on the wrists. To push past failure do negative reps down and push up from the knees).
- Shoulders-this is usually where I work the shoulders but your shoulders will be LIT from using the towel during that squat session so its okay to skip the extra shoulder work today.
- Biceps- Use the towel to do slow controlled standing bicep curls (2 sets 25 reps). This is not the most intense bicep workout you’ll ever have but if you focus on pulling/stretching the towel you can target the outer bicep and get a nice burn. This is obviously something you do if you don’t have any weights or resistance bands at home.
- Triceps- Standing one arm overhead triceps extension (2 sets 25 reps). Use the towel. Pull up on the towel with your right hand extended over your head your back. For resistance pull down on the towel, behind your back with the left hand. Then repeat using the other arm. You will get some good tricep work from doing close-grip pushups BUT if you want to isolate the tri’s and spend a little extra time on working the arms do these. Again these are good if you don’t have access to weights.
- ABS- If you can come up with 3 ab exercises that you like, compose a triple set and do each exercise one after the other and repeat that cycle twice. Do 20 reps each set. Here’s an example….
- ABS- 1) 25 Sit ups with basketball extended overhead at the bottom of the move. bring the ball up and over with straight arms as you sit up and extend your arms to reach the ball out in front of you as far as you can to squeeze the rep at the top and bring it all back down so you are lying on your back with the ball extended out. 2) 30 Russian twists touching the basketball to the ground on each side of you. You can also just extend the ball out in front of you and slowly swing it from side to side out in front of you with arms extended. 3) Ankle touches. Do 30. Get in a crunch position with feet on the ground and reach up to touch each ankle with the same side hand. Keep the abs engaged in a semi crunch but focus on the side to side squeeze to work obliques.
Thats it for Workout 1. Make whatever modifications you want but make you are pushing yourself with each set to get the most out of the session. Also remember to stretch. Spend 15-20 minutes stretching after this workout and stretch before bed. I usually drink a high quality protein drink after my workouts. There are many great choices out there for a good post workout boost but let’s discuss another day. Drink lots of water throughout the day and if you are really sore tomorrow, give yourself an extra day to recover before you do a new session.
STAY TUNED FOR WEEK1:WORKOUT 2: EQUIPMENT- TWO 2.5 Gallon Water Jugs with a Handle!!