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Tone up your body in just four weeks with this exercise plan

Robin Wulffson MD's picture
fitness, Christine Bullock, exercise, pilates,  New Year's resolution

Not uncommonly, many of us vow to get in shaped for the New Year. However, we soon get caught up in work, family activities, and other activities that supersede our fitness plan. “No excuses for the New Year,” says Christine Bullock, a Pilates, Yoga, group fitness and pre/post natal instructor. She recommends a five day workout schedule and explains, “Alternate the Tabata and Stair workout. Add the Cardio workout when you have more time to spare. You need hand weights, stairs and a timer.”

She notes that if you want fast results, and you want to start today, there is no easier way than her four-week exercise plan. Short and effective at-home routines that work the whole body, develop core strength, increase energy levels and sculpt a lean physique. When workouts are shorter going all out is more doable and may actually be better for revving your metabolism than longer sessions. Here's how to maximize the minutes you think you don't have:

Tabata: 20 minutes with Weights

Tabata is a four minute session with 8 intervals of high intensity exercise for 20 seconds. After 20 seconds of the exercise, do 10 seconds of standing knee lifts or sit ups. Repeat 20:10 cycle until 8 intervals are complete.

1. Squat with Alternating Shoulder Press and Rotation. (Hold weights
next to shoulders with elbows bent, squat low; stand and rotate torso
to the right as you press weight in left hand above shoulder.
Alternate.) 2. Burpees with Push Up (Jump into air, land and place
hands on ground; jump or step back to plank, do 5 push ups; jump or
step forward and stand.)

1. Side Lunge with Bicep Curl. (Arms by side with weights, step into
side lunge lowering until weights touch floor; stand back to start
position adding a bicep curl.)

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1. Single Leg Straight Leg Deadlift with Front Kick. (Weights in hand,
extend right leg to back, lower chest parallel with floor; lift chest
then kick extended leg forward. Alternate sides after 4 sets.) 2.
Alternating Jump Lunge (Place right foot forward, hands on hips. Jump
while switching feet in air. Land with left foot forward.)

Stairs: 20 minutes with weights
Full body drills that focus on your glutes, the biggest muscle in your body, to burn more calories. Complete the circuit twice. Step onto first stair or increase challenge by increasing amount of steps for each exercise. Divide alternating sides into 30 second spurts.

  • Minute 0:00-1:00: Step-ups (Step up and down on step of a staircase as fast as you can.) *Jump on and off stair.
  • Minute 1:00-2:00: Knee Tucks with Pull Down. (Facing stairs, place right foot on step and
  • reach hands overhead with weights. Lift left knee toward chest as you bend elbows by sides; lower leg and raise arms to start.)
  • Minute 2:00-3:00: Decline pushups with leg lift. (Start in plank position with feet on the first stair and hands on the floor. Lower chest and as you press back to plank lift alternating leg.)
  • Minute 3:00-4:00: Step Jumps. (Facing stairs, place right foot on bottom step and jump up, swing opposite arm forward and same arm as leg back while lifting left knee toward chest. Return to start.)
  • Minute 4:00-5:00: Reverse Lunge with Lateral Arm Lift. (Stand on bottom stair, lunge back with left leg while lifting arms to side shoulder height; return weight to foot on stair, raising left leg behind you while lowering weights to side.)
  • Minute 5:00-6:00: Tricep Dips. (Face away from stairs, place hands on stair, fingers facing body, feet on floor with knees bent; bend elbows to 90 degrees, lowering body toward floor; Press arms back to full extension.) *Add a kick as press to extension
  • Minute 6:00-7:00: Side-step squats with overhead press. (Stand with right side toward stairs, place right foot on the step, arms are bent at 90 degrees, palms facing forward; lower into squat while extending arms overhead; return to start.) *Add a side kick when standing
  • Minute 7:00-8:00: Bridge with Chest Press. (Lie face-up on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on first stair. Place arms at side bending elbow at 90 degrees, palms face feet. Raise hips so body forms a straight line as lift arms until palms touch over chest.) *Extend single leg to sky
  • Minute 8:00-9:00: Side Plank. (Lie on your left side with your feet on first stair and legs straight. Prop you upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your angles to your shoulder. Alternate sides.) *Raise your top leg as high as you can and hold it there for duration of exercise.
  • Minute 9:00-10:00: Jump Lunges. (Place right foot on bottom step, hands on hips. Jump while switching feet in air. Land with left foot on stair.)

*Increase difficulty of exercise in second cycle

Cardio: 30 minutes
This high-intensity walk-run session burns about 10 calories per minute.

  • Minute 0:00-2:00: Walk at a slow-to-moderate pace.
  • Minute 2:00-5:00: Jog.
  • Minute 5:00-7:00: Walk at a moderate pace.
  • Minute 7:00-10:00: Jog.
  • Minute 10:00-25:00: Sprint for 1 minute, then walk or jog for 2 minutes. Repeat combo 4 times total.
  • Minute 25:00-30:00: Walk or jog at a slow-to-moderate pace.

You will continue to burn calories at a higher rate long after you are done exercising with these metabolism burning routines. Get started today with this at-home workout program that will save you money and time without sacrificing results.

About Christine Bullock:
Practicing what she preaches for most of her life, Christine Bullockhas turned her lifestyle expertise on all things relating to fitness, nutrition and beauty into a business empire. Growing up in an active family, she began her own health conscious lifestyle at the age of three, when she became a ballerina and continued her discipline with a mixture of school sports for more than 17 years. Christine has spent the last decade working with health and beauty industry leaders all over the globe and has counseled and trained thousands of people who are looking to improve their health and well-being both inside and out. Christine has a B.A. in Psychology and Education from Chatham University and has certifications in Pilates, Barre, and Yoga, as well as being certified in nutrition and Massage Therapy. Christine is also completing her Pre- and Post-Natal certification process in Nutrition and Fitness and spent a year and a half studying the positive effects of yoga on the mind and body. For additional information, click on this link.

See also: Physician offers 4-step PLAN for successful weight loss