Your enthusiasm lasts long enough for you to buy a new pair of sports shoes, look up some simple yoga exercises, or hit the streets to run a couple of times.
And then comes the day when you feel too tired to exercise. There was an emergency at work and you had to pull a couple of late-nighters that totally threw you off your exercise stride. Or it’s freezing cold, or pouring with rain, or boiling hot, and you don’t have the energy to workout in this weather.
You tell yourself that you’ll pick up again tomorrow, but then the next day comes and goes and you still didn’t workout. You decide to start fresh again next week, but somehow, that doesn’t happen either.
If you’re sick and tired of beginning workout plans that you don’t end up finishing, we’re right there with you. That’s why we’ve built down a monthly workout plan that you’ll actually see through.
The Monthly Workout Plan That You’ll Stick To
These exercises are all super easy, so anyone can get started with them. As you build up your strength, you should increase the number of repetitions and try adding weights in order to continue to push yourself.
Here are 8 basic exercises for working your entire body. It’s up to you whether you want to do a short workout each day and focus on one area of the body at a time, or run through the entire workout each time, but take a rest day or two in between sessions.
We recommend designating Mondays and Thursdays as “stomach days;” Tuesdays and Fridays as “butt and legs” days, and Wednesdays and Saturdays as “arms days” and then taking Sunday as a total rest day, but do what works for you.
It should take you around 15 minutes to do each set of exercises, which is hopefully an amount of time that you can spare in your day. If you want to do the entire workout — all 3 sets of exercises — it will take you around 45 minutes.
Simple Exercises For A Flat Stomach
A plank is a really simple exercise but it’s highly effective!
- Begin by getting on all fours.
- Make sure that your hands are resting on the floor below your shoulders.
- Now press your toes into the floor and raise your knees.
- Straighten your legs and “walk” your feet backwards until your entire body is in a straight line.
- Make sure that your hips are stable, not sagging towards the floor or rising to be higher than the level of your shoulders.
- Begin by holding your plank for 30 seconds (or as long as you can), and gradually push the time till you can hold it for a minute without difficulty.
- If you want to add a challenge, lower first one arm, then the other so that you are supported by your forearms, and then raise first one arm, then the other so that you are resting on your hands with straight arms again.
- Sit ups
Sit ups are the classic way to tone our stomach and strengthen your core, but you have to do them right. Here’s how:
- Begin by lying on your back on your mat
- Bend your legs in front of you and plant the soles of your feet on the floor
- Place your hands begin your head to support your head and ease pressure on your neck
- As you exhale, slowly raise your upper body towards your knees, and then lower it again
Begin with just 5 repetitions (or as many as you can manage) and aim to add another 2 repetitions every other workout.
- Leg raise
Leg raises are amazing for strengthening your stomach muscles.
- Begin by lying on your back on your mat with your legs stretched out straight ahead of you and your arms by your sides.
- Raise first one leg, then the other so that they are extended straight into the air at 90° from your body.
- Take a deep breath and engage your stomach muscles, tightening your pelvic floor.
- As you exhale, slowly lower your legs together until they almost, but don’t quite, touch the floor.
- Then raise them again, and repeat.
5 repetitions is plenty at the beginning. Add more repetitions as you gain strength.
Easy Exercises To Tone Your Butt And Thighs
- Step lunge
Step lunges work your knees, thighs, and glutes, and improve your balance too. Here’s what to do:
- Begin by standing straight with your feet the same distance apart as your hips.
- As you exhale, take a good step backwards with one foot.
- At the same time, bend the knee on your frontmost leg to lower your body towards the floor, but don’t bend over while you do so.
- Your back knee may lightly touch the floor.
- Engage your glutes to push yourself back to a standing position.
Repeat 8 times with each leg. You can add hand weights to increase the challenge when you get stronger.
Nobody loves to do squats, but there’s a reason why every personal trainer worth their salt will get you to do them! Squats are the best way to strengthen and tone your butt and thighs, as well as strengthening your core and improving your balance. There are many kinds of squat, but it’s best to start with a basic squat.
- Begin by standing straight with your feet the same distance apart as your hips.
- Slowly lower your bottom back and down, as though you’re sitting on an imaginary chair, and bring your arms out ahead of you at the same time.
- Try not to let your knees push out further then your toes, or turn in to each other or point outwards.
- Don’t let your back curve.
- Hold the squat for a count of three, then push with your heels to stand up again.
Begin with 12 squats, and add an extra 3 every other time you do the workout. You can add small hand weights to increase the challenge when you get stronger.
A glute bridge strengthens your entire lower body — butt, thighs, inner thighs, and even your stomach muscles. You’ll begin by lying on your back on your mat, with your hands by your sides and your knees bent in front of you so that the soles of your feet are planted firmly on the floor.
- Pushing with your heels, slowly raise your hips, followed by your lower back, one bit at a time until your entire body is raised on the floor and only your shoulders are still pressed down on the floor.
- Don’t let your stomach sag.
- Slowly lower your body again to your starting position.
Begin with 5 repetitions and keep adding an extra one every time you do this exercise in a workout. As you get stronger, you can place a weight over your pelvis to increase the challenge.
Exercises To Strengthen And Tighten Your Arms
- Arm circles
Arm circles are so easy, you can do them anywhere, anytime, without any weights or extra equipment.
- You’ll begin by standing with your feet a shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides.
- Now raise both arms so that they are pointing straight out from your body at 90°.
- Slowly and carefully, rotate your shoulders and arms in large circles.
You should begin with 15 repetitions, and then reverse the direction of your circles for another 15 repetitions. You can do this exercise with weights too.
- Tricep dips
You can do these easy triceps dips using any solid, stable piece of furniture that is strong enough to support you and won’t slide away in the middle of the exercise. Here’s how to do it:
- Place your hands behind you on the piece of furniture that you’re using.
- Slide your pelvis and lower body forwards so that there’s around 3-6” between you and the piece of furniture.
- Plant your feet firmly on the floor in front of you and bend your legs at a 90° angle.
- Slowly lower your body down to the floor, using your arms to control your slide downwards.
- Raise your body back to the starting position.
Begin with 8 repetitions, and keep adding more as you gain in strength.
Do you need a little more help following through on your exercise plans? No problem! Try these 5 hacks to up your chances of really completing a whole month of workouts.
- Choose a workout that you’ll enjoy
If you love to dance, pick a dance-based workout like Zumba that is fun and fast-paced. If you prefer something slower that nourishes your soul, try yoga. If you feel energized by contact with nature, get out and run on nature trails.
- Be realistic
Let’s be honest: if you haven’t succeeded in exercising once in the last 2 months, you’re not likely to suddenly be able to work out every day. Set realistic goals that you feel you can achieve, like exercising twice a week, and then build up from there.
- Make it a habit
The real secret to maintaining your workout is to turn it into a habit. You’ll have a better chance of doing that if you exercise at the same time every day or week. For example, decide to exercise every Monday and Thursday at 8pm instead of “sometime this week.”
- Work out with a friend
Finding a workout buddy is an excellent way to trick yourself into sticking to your good resolutions. Even if you’re not in the mood to work out today, you won’t want to let your friend down. And everything is more fun when you do it with a friend.
- Track your achievements
Nothing succeeds like success, so give yourself a shot in the arm by keeping a journal of your progress. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated; note down things like increasing the weights you’re working with, running the same distance in less time, or only needing 2 days to recover from the workout instead of 3.
Did you find your sports shoes yet? It’s time to get started! Keep in touch, we’d love to hear if you stay the course.