I hope you’ve enjoyed the first three weeks of my strength sessions! This is the final week. If you’d like to keep going, start from the beginning again, but increase your weight and/or choose the more difficult variations if you feel up to it. Any soreness you may have felt in the first week or two should be much improved. Always be sure to work to a level that is right for you. If you’re struggling with an exercise, try an easier version (e.g. if you’re finding the plank with arm lifts too hard this week, just hold a plank or half plank or if you’re finding the weights too hard, go through the motions without the weights). You might notice that I repeat press-ups and side plank for many of the sessions. This is because most women find these difficult (myself included). The more you practice them, the easier they will become and higher intensity variations can be added later on.
Please note that I am not a health & fitness expert, I created this plan based on the exercises that have worked best for me and my mum friends. Please consult your physician before beginning any new fitness plan, especially if you are pregnant or have a health condition.
Minimal equipment is required. My workouts can be done anywhere, as long as you have:
- a mat (a yoga mat is fine)
- a set of dumbbells at an appropriate weight for you (you may find after a couple of weeks you need to go up a kilo)
- Something you can use as a timer (e.g. your phone, watch or fitness tracker)
There are three strength sessions per week, ideally with a recovery day in between. Each session is a full body workout. This is not a weight loss programme, however if you wish to lose weight while you tone up, you can reduce the number of calories you are consuming (a fitness tracker app would be ideal to help you with this) and/or add cardio workouts in between the strength sessions (I like to power walk with the buggy or run!).
Do each exercise for one minute and repeat three times. Click the links to see how each exercise is performed. Each session should take almost exactly an hour (with a short break in between sets).
- Sumo squat with upright row
- Plank with arm and leg raises (or half or full plank)
- Curtesy lunge + L fly
- Side plank, one minute per side
- Tricep press-ups
- Reverse plank
- Forward lunge with bicep curls
- Bicycle crunches
- Half or full press ups
- Planking cross body knee drives (or half or full plank)
- Squat to bicep curl
- Tricep dips
- Reverse lunge to lateral raise (alternating legs)
- Half or full roll down
- Side plank, 1 minute per side
- Glute bridge with leg lifts