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7 Exercises That Can Transform Every Part Of Your Body In 4 Weeks

7 Exercises That Can Transform Every Part Of Your Body In 4 Weeks

Exercise can be tough because it’s not always easy to figure out which ones to do for specific body parts. Additionally, it can be hard to find the time to do them. That’s why I’ve found these seven exercises that target every single part of your body and only take 10 minutes a day!

1. Plank

6-exercises-you-are-doing-wrong-plank_ywnmve

    Planks are an amazing exercise to tone your glutes, back, and arms! It only takes 60 seconds a day (if you can’t do 60 seconds work your way up with the plank challenge!) and is super easy. To do a proper plank:

    • Cross your hands together
    • Place your elbows about shoulder width apart under your chest
    • Curl in your tail bone to straighten your back
    • Hold for up to 60 seconds

    2. Push-ups

    pushup

      Pushups are perfect for exercising your chest and arms. In order to do a pushup correctly:

      • Place your hands chest width apart
      • Lower your arms until your upper arm is parallel to the floor
      • Push back up to the original position

      3. Squats

        In order to do a perfect squat:

        • Keep your feet flat on the ground
        • Ensure your knees are behind your toes
        • Your hips should be below the top of your knee
        • Don’t round your upper back
        • Keep your chest up

        4. Ball Twist

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        balltwist

          Here’s a great one for your core. All you have to do it:

          • Start with your back against a wall
          • Bend your knees outward
          • Hold a medicine ball at chest level
          • Slowly twist from side to side

          5. Table Top Leg Extension

          tabletop

            This exercise is great for your thighs and bottom! It’s a great variation on your typical tabletop exercise. For added benefit, use some ankle and wrist weights. These will give you some added resistance and more exercise.

            • Prop yourself up on your hands and knees
            • Stretch one leg up and back
            • At the same time, stretch the opposite hand up and forward
            • Hold for five seconds
            • Return to starting position and work opposite side

            6. Dead Bug Exercise

            abs

              Despite the creepy name, this exercise is also great for your core. It’s called the “dead bug exercise” because you sort of look like a bug lieing on it’s back. Weird, I know, but stick with me!

              • Lie on your back and stretch your arms up to touch your knees
              • Lower one leg and arm down until it almost touches the floor, keeping the opposite leg and arm in the same position
              • Return to the initial position and work the other half

              7. Downward Dog Leg Pull

              downdogabs

                If you’re familiar with the yoga pose “downward dog”, this exercise will feel right at home to you. It’s a great way to work your core, thighs and bottom!

                • Start in the downward dog position, on all fours pressing back into your heels
                • Lift one leg straight back and up like the top image above
                • Bring that leg down and in to your chest
                • Repeat on the other side

                The Four-Week Plan

                Now that you have the exercises, here is the four-week plan to get you toned and in shape!

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                Week 1:

                Do the following for six days:

                2 minutes plank;

                1 minute push-ups;

                1 minute dead bug;

                1 minute downward dog leg pull;

                1 minute ball twist;

                2 minutes plank.

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                Have a ten-second break between the exercises.

                Week 2:

                Alternate the following sets for 6 days.

                Set 1:

                3 minutes plank;

                3 minutes dead bug;

                3 minutes downward dog leg pull.

                Have a 15-second break between the exercises.

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                Set 2:

                3 minutes ball twist;

                3 minutes push-ups;

                3 minutes downward dog leg pull.

                Have a 15-second break between the exercises.

                Week 3: repeat the Week 1 set.

                Week 4: repeat the Week 2 sets.

                If you follow this for the full 4 weeks, you’ll be looking and feeling better than ever before! Good luck!

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                Last Updated on February 18, 2019

                8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

                8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

                When people think of cardio, usually a boring treadmill, elliptical machine, or other mundane activity comes to mind. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

                When you’re short on time or easily distracted, there are a variety of fat-burning cardio alternatives that will increase your body’s metabolism, boost weight loss, and keep you interested.

                Here’s a list of different types of cardio workouts:

                • Steady State (Burns less fat, but isn’t as demanding on the body)
                • Interval Training (Burns more fat)
                • HIIT
                • Spinning
                • Stairs
                • Weight Training (Supersets) short rest periods
                • Weight Training (Compound Sets) short rest periods
                • Machine Circuit Training

                And I’m going to talk about each of them in detail:

                1. Steady State

                Steady state cardio involves working at a low to moderate intensity — around 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, for a sustained period of time. This type of cardio doesn’t burn a huge number of calories, but it does burn a high percentage of fat tissue for fuel, and it isn’t too draining.

                An example of steady state cardio would be a long outdoor walk at a moderate pace. Interval training, on the other hand, is much more intense.

                2. Interval Training

                Similar to HIIT but with exercises that are slightly longer in duration, interval training alternates levels of intensity. For example, if you enjoy running, you would run or sprint for 30 seconds, then bring down your heart rate and walk for two minutes.

                Pick two intensities per interval, usually one at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate and the other at 60 percent, and alternate between them. I find that 85% for 30 seconds and 60% for one minute, not only burns more calories but increases my energy level as well.

                Another example would be jumping rope. Jump rope for two minutes, rest for one minute. Begin again, this time jumping rope for one minute and resting for one minute. On the third and final round, jump rope for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds. Repeat five sets of this routine.

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                3. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

                Have a busy schedule? Fifteen minutes a few times a week is all you need. HIIT is an extremely popular workout because it can be done quickly, burn calories in a short amount of time, and can even be done in your home or during a lunch break at work. And the best part – You don’t need any equipment.

                With the use of your body weight, HIIT is typically 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of active rest which means your heart rate remains elevated for the entire 15-minute workout.

                Check out this HIIT routine by Fitness Blender: 15 Minute HIIT Workout

                4. Spinning

                Spinning is a great way to get your heart up and keep it up in a 45-minute spin class. Our thighs and back are our largest muscles so they work the hardest.

                To get the most out of spinning, try to stay out of the saddle throughout an entire spin class. That way, you are forced to hold up your body weight which burns more calories and increases intensity.

                It’s also great for stabilizing and building strong core muscles, versus cycling outdoors, where most of the time you are sitting in the saddle and going for distance (steady-state cardio).

                5. Stairs

                One of my favorite places to get out of the gym for cardio and trim fat from my thighs and butt is the Santa Monica Stairs, near California’s most popular beach. Climbing 170 steps a few times builds the glutes, leans the thighs, strengthens the calves, and builds endurance.

                So, if the gym is not your scene and you love the outdoors, climbing stairs is a great alternative. Find a place with multiple steps, do six or seven rounds, and you’ve easily burned around 600 calories.

                6. Supersets

                A superset is two exercises that work opposing muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings, or different body parts such as the lower and upper body with little to no recovery between sets.

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                The superset may include two to five sets of 8 to 15 repetitions of each exercise or more.[1]

                So, if you love to workout with weight-training but aren’t really feeling cardio, supersets with no more than 30-second rest periods between exercises will keep your heart rate up. Not only will you build muscle, you will burn fat!

                For example, say you are doing a leg workout, five sets of exercises with high reps and low weight is all it takes to turn your weight-training into a cardio workout.

                Here’s one of my leg training workouts:

                i. Dumbbell Step-Ups on a secure bench or box (4×15, each leg)

                ii. Front Squat (4×15)

                iii. Wide Stance Dumbbell Goblet (4×15)

                iv. Leg Extension (4×15)

                v. Leg Curl (4×15)

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                  Photo Credit: Shape Magazine

                  vi. Front Squat


                    Photo Credit: Stack

                    vii. Wide Stance Dumbbell Goblet Squat

                    viii. Leg Extension

                    ix. Leg Curl

                      Photo Credit: T Nation

                      7. Compound Sets

                      Compound exercises are exercises that recruit muscles in the entire body, such as pull-ups, squats, bench press, etc. However, a compound set simply means to “compound” the number of different exercises into a series of sets with little or no recovery between, similar to supersets.

                        This may be accomplished by performing four to five exercises for the same muscle group, opposing muscle groups or total body exercises performed in succession such as full body extensions, followed by squat/cleans and complete the compound set of compound exercises with lunges with biceps curls.

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                        Compound sets put stress on the body and are great for expending additional calories while strength-training.

                        8. Machine Weight Training Circuit

                        Like compound exercises, a machine circuit workout targets the entire body, upper body, lower body, or core. The difference is, with the use of machines instead of free weights, muscle strength is increased by by making your muscles work against weight.[2] By limiting rest periods between exercises to 30 seconds, your metabolism will go into over-drive!

                        Machines also give you better control over the exercises, which decreases risk of injury.

                        Here’s a machine circuit training example: Muscle and Strength Machine Workout

                        The Bottom Line

                        The above-mentioned workouts should be completed within 30 minutes, unless you’re taking a class which is typically 45 to 60 minutes, giving you time to get on with the rest of your day.

                        By keeping your rest periods to a minimum between exercises, your heart rate will stay elevated and you will burn more calories, get lean, and have more energy.

                        Don’t be a gym rat, spending unnecessary time doing lengthy workouts that give you minimum results. For efficient weight loss, perform these workouts three times a week and watch the fat melt away while achieving your fitness goals.

                        More Resources About Weight Loss

                        Featured photo credit: Spencer Dahl via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] Mountain Life Fitness: Super sets, compound sets and giant sets
                        [2] Better Health Channel: Resistance training – health benefits

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