I have been a fitness enthusiast for the past 20 years, and a personal trainer for another decade. Over my career I have made quite an effort to stay active in all sports. However, I do not enjoy exercise as much as some of my peers. Maybe you are thinking what should you do for exercise? My advice is to try different forms of exercise during the week and see which one you like best. Then plan a few days dedicated to exercising on your off days. If that does not work out, try something completely new. Some exercises may seem hard at first. But once you get accustomed to them you will find they become fun. Here is a list of exercises that you can try on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
You do not need any specific strength training to learn how to do this. Just stand straight with one leg up straight and arch your back and arms over your head. Push yourself back so that your butt presses against the ground into the dirt. Slowly lower yourself down until your butt is touching the ground again. Next push your hips up and raise your right foot off the ground. Raise your left leg and tuck into it to return to the starting position. Repeat for the other side. When you complete each repetition, slowly return to the starting position while keeping the weight in the front of your body. Make sure you are maintaining contact with the floor and moving through the motions. Keep doing each set and then start repeating. After about five minutes you should be able to do this standing position without using your feet. This is a great workout if you want to work out without getting sweaty. It also works because you can use weights to help you get your cardiovascular system pumping up.
2) Barbell Bench Press
Stand with both legs slightly bent on a barbell bench press rack and place one hand on top of your elbow. Your back should form a line with your knees. Keeping the weight above your upper chest, push the weight with your arms across your body to hit the deck. As you move towards the weight, return to the starting position and let go the weight as you return it. Slowly lowering back to the starting position while building up the weight back up. Hold this for several seconds as the last part and then repeat with the opposite arm. This should be done twice each day as a circuit workout to strengthen your whole body. Once your arms get tired from the weights, you can start lifting them off the bars. To make each session more challenging, use heavier weights or heavier bags. Use these workouts to keep your metabolism going throughout the week.
3) Mountain climbers
I found this exercise on YouTube after I saw it on Instagram! All I had to do was climb a few stairs and reach the end of each level. Start with the farthest reaches, as long as you are strong enough. There are several ways to do it. First, go from the bottom to the top, then return to the top and do the same thing backwards. Each level requires roughly 30 seconds to complete. Try working on the last run and repeat for the next day. The harder you try, and the longer the run the better for your muscles. Be patient and don’t rush. This does not mean you cannot complete this on any given day. You will soon master the skill. I have learned how to do multiple levels. Plus to build up muscle size. Another way to do it is by climbing the wall one floor at a time. One step forwards and one step back. Take advantage of every opportunity to build muscles and make yourself stronger each day.
4) Bodyweight squats
Stand to squat. Now, bend over slightly and squat down. Lower until your shoulders are at least 90-degree away from the ground. Bring your hips up to your ribcage and keep them low and the weight under the hip. Keep your core tight as you move forward. Return to the starting position and bring both hands together over your head in a row from side to side. Do the same thing for the opposite knee. Get into the plank position and push through the ground while pushing down for the opposite foot. Keep those arms raised high out to the sides of your shoulder. Breathe deeply in and out. Inhale for a count of four and exhale for another count. Continue the movement with the opposite knee facing the ground with your feet planted on either side. Again, hold for a count of four and return to the starting position.
5) Bicycle crunches
Stand with your feet slightly to the ground and your arms outstretched in front of your chest. Bend your knees slightly and lift all of the weight on your heels above your toes. While keeping your head, look down your body for where your hands are to be placed. Make sure all your major points of focus remain there. Pause and repeat until the weight is lifted off your heels. Keep returning until you feel like your elbows are just barely touching the ground. On the next few rounds you want to keep the weight in the overhead position. For each round you can start with light weight and keep adding weight while alternating movements. The hardest you can push yourself is when you can no longer bear the weight. By the time you’re at the point when you can no longer lift the weight, it is probably too late to do anything else.
6) Full Setup/Dip setup
Stand with two legs slightly bent toward the middle of your thighs. At the very top of each leg, put a dumbbell in each hand. Don’t stretch out the arms, as this makes it more difficult to do. Slowly start to sit up straight and with your hands underneath your shoulders. Lift the weights over your chest and swing them around. Make sure your core is tight and you are looking up. Now slowly bend over, making sure to support your hips off the ground. Stay in this position for a count of three and then move back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times for each exercise without stopping. Keep stretching as you return to the normal form. The most important part of full squats is finding the range of motion where your back doesn’t sag. The other movements are similar except on the opposite leg, but then instead of bending over put your palms under your shoulders. That way you aren’t trying to support your waist on the ground as well. This is how many people find their strength with more heavy weights. It takes a little bit of practice and consistency to build up the strength.
7) Side Lunges + Hip Thrusts
Stand with your legs slightly bent with your arms reaching out in front of you. Place a big plate or object on the side of you in front of you about nine feet in front of you. Jump with your arms out in front of you and drive your right leg forward at the peak of hip flexion. With the other leg, bend down. Move only your body to go along the plate or object. Let your knee go beyond your toes as you bounce forward. Then return your knee to the ground. Quickly lower your feet back to the starting position. Drive the remaining leg forward at the max range of hip extension. Repeat for the other leg. Make sure to start slow and make sure that your back and hip are not supporting anything. This works because by bringing your knees down, you are pressing them through the ground and your front knee is on the plate. Keep working on the exercises for another ten to fifteen minutes or so and don’t stop. Once you are comfortable with your own body, take a break for a few days and go back to doing this exercise group by exercise group.
8) Single Leg Jumps and Calf Raises
Stand with your feet a couple inches apart and your arms at your sides and your backs against a wall. Squint your eyes and feel the ground behind your feet. Step forward with the right leg and begin jumping with your left leg. Return to the starting position and immediately kick the ball with your right hand to jump. Keep bouncing until you hit the ground. Then repeat the process and return to the starting position by kicking the ball with the left hand. Keep bouncing until you hit the ground and then repeat the entire sequence. Work your calf muscles to return to the starting position and then keep bouncing until you hit the ground before coming to a halt.
9) High Knees
Stand with two knees slightly bent and a back slightly bent but still straight. Keep your spine stable by pulling your arms back as much as possible. Remember to breathe deeply enough so that you are not straining your lungs. Hold that position for a count of five and then slowly bend your knees down to return to the starting position. Follow the pattern that you did with the other leg, with the slight difference that now your knee should be coming up by the end of your thigh. Go back to the starting position and repeat for each leg as closely as possible. Finally, come back to the starting position by driving down fully into your front calf. Hold for a count of six and return to the starting position. Do this for 60 to 90 seconds and slowly increase the tempo to 2 minutes. If you are able to maintain this pace for another minute, that means you are capable of doing the exercises in each group by themselves.
10) Hanging upside down in a chair or lying down with a pillow
Stand with your legs slightly bent to the sides at a 45-degree angle. Put your arm on the chair and extend yourself up. Walk your way to the right side of the chair, putting your left hand at the back of the chair and pushing it as far out as you can. Turn around and repeat the same process on the left side. Slowly put your right foot behind the chair and return to the starting position by putting both hands on the legs of the chair. Tighten your core and tighten your grip on the chair