“40 in 40”: the efficient total body workout

We all have reasons and excuses why we don’t work out as often as we should.  Some of the most common reasons i hear include “I can’t afford a gym membership” and “I don’t have any equipment”.  Well, I’m here to provide you with a solution!  In this blog, I’m going to share with you my “40 in 40” workout.  Not only is this a great “resetting” workout for when you have been on a fitness “hiatus”, but it is also an excellent in-home, limited space-using, inexpensive total body workout!  Once you get the hang of these exercises, going through this workout should take no longer than 40 minutes.  And the best part is, you only need 4 things:

  • a sturdy chair or box (that would support you standing on it safely)
  • a bath towel
  • something that weighs between 10 and 30 lbs (depending on your fitness level).  Dumbbells are ideal, but really anything you can hold and lift (Gallon jugs filled with dirt/sand make great “weights”!)
  • the will to become better!

Go through these, in this exact order.  No rest between #’s 1-19, and no more than 30″ rest between exercises #20-40.  1 set of each, the indicated number of reps.  If you wish to expand on this for a longer, more intense workout, from add a second set of #’s 20-40.  If you’re unclear about any of these exercises beyond what I describe, feel free to email me if you can’t find them on YouTube.

  1. Seat belts (shoulder diagonals) – reaching up and out like you’re grabbing a seat belt and pulling it down across your body x 10, then repeat up and across your body x 10 (picture reaching for the driver’s side seatbelt with your right hand). “Click it or ticket!”
  2. Back scratches – keeping a fist, reach over (R) /under (L) with opposite arms trying to reach for an itch in the middle of your back x 10 each side, alternating sides. “Reverse self fist-bump”
  3. Standing ankle mobility: standing with your shoes parallel and shoulder width apart, rock forward and backward, going up onto toes then back onto heels x 10 slowly.  Now perform rocking in/out (flatten arch/lift arch) x 10 slowly  “Dig your feet into the sand”
  4. Quadriped Thoracic Rotations:  Check the video.  Repeat x 10, switch sides. “Reach for the money, then show it off high”
  5. Butterfly wall slides:  Sit butterfly style (shoes flat together, pulled in towards groin, knees out) with your butt, back, and head against a wall.  While actively trying to move your knees towards the floor, slide your arms up the wall (keeping elbows and hands in contact with the wall) x 10 slow.  “Touchdown!”
  6. Quadriped Rotational Lat Stretch: On all 4’s, reach your (R) hand out in front and across your body, then sit back towards your heels.  Stretch should be felt in your side.   Hold x 15″ each side. “Prayer”
  7. Hamstring Pumps: Here’s a visual.  Repeat  x 10 each side.
  8. 1/2 Kneeling Posterior Pelvic Tilt:  Kneeling on your (R) knee, (L) hip and knee flexed at 90 deg, keep good posture while you “scoop” your pelvis forward and up x 10, 3″ holds.  Repeat other side. “Pelvis Elvis”
  9. 1/2 Kneeling Trunk rotations: Same start position as #8, arms extended out to the side, rotate x5 towards your front knee, and x5 away from your front knee.  Switch legs.  Keep your head forward, and do not move your lower body (unlike this lady).   Switch legs. Trunk-rotation-in-half-kneeling
  10. Plank with hip abduction: Hold plank position (on hands – beginner, on forearms – advanced) and slowly move straight leg out to the side x 10 each side.  “Don’t spill the coffee cup on your back”.
  11. Side Plank with Marching: Hold side plank position (on forearms) and march upper leg x 10.  Switch sides. “Sideways Marching”
  12. Single Leg Bridge with Marching: Lie on your back, shoes parallel, shoulder width apart, heels directly under knees.  Lift hips, then alternate marching your knee towards your chest.  Push through your heel.  x 10 each leg. single leg bridge marching
  13. Leg Drops: Lying on back, both legs up in the air, lower one leg at a time a) straight down x 5 each, then b) out to the side x 5 each. “Scissors/Windshield Wipers”
  14. Single Leg Bridge Up with Knee Hug: Same start position as #12, but hug your (R) knee to your chest while your lift your hips away from the floor.  x 10 each.

    Single leg bridge with knee hug

    Single leg bridge with knee hug

  15. Pretzel Stretch:  Just look at the picture.  x 15″ each side.pretzel stretch
  16. Supine Lower Trunk Rotations:  Lower your legs to the side, stopping when your opposite shoulder blade starts to come off of the floor.  x 10 each sidelower trunk rotations
  17. Bird Dogs: Here’s a video. x 15 each side
  18. Dead Bugs: Check the picture.  The key here is to keep your back flat on the floor and move slowly.  x 15 each sidedead bug
  19. Hinging Quad Stretch:  Stand on one leg, grab your other ankle behind you, and hold your leg while hinging at your hip and reaching forward.  Try to get your body parallel to the floor. x5 each side “1-legged Superhero”
  20. Inch Worms in Place:  Start in push up position, then do as the picture shows.  (x5 walking hands back, x5 walking feet in)inchworms
  21. Lateral Lunges:  x 10 each sidelateral lunge
  22. Knee Hugs: Standing tall, (L) foot flat, slowly hug (R) knee x 10 while balancing.  Repeat other side.
  23. Supine Towel Row/Leg Press: Lying on your back, legs up in the air.  Hold the ends of a towel and loop it around your feet.  While keeping your back flat, resist yourself trying to “leg press”, then use your legs to resist pulling back down with your arms.  Who will win?  Legs or arms??
  24. World’s Greatest Stretch with Rotation: Here’s a good video by RockFitTV.  Perform x 5 each side.
  25. Push Up:  I hope you know what this is.  On your toes, not your knees.  x 15
  26. Split Squat:  Step forward into a lunge, then drop your back knee towards the floor.  Keep front shoe flat and posture tall.  x 10 each side
  27. Bent Over Row:  Grab your weighted object(s).  Bend your knees, hinge forward at the hips, keeping the back flat and shoulders back.  Perform a rowing motion with a focus on pinching your shoulder blades together at the top of the motion.  x 15
  28. Forward Lunge with Rotational Reach:   Step forward like #26, but this time when you drop down rotate and reach up towards the side with the leg forward.  Alternate x 8 each side
  29. Toy Soldiers:  Standing tall, kick your straight leg up forward (keeping stance foot flat on the floor) x 15 each leg.  “Become a Rockette!”
  30. Backwards Lunge with Overhead Press:  This time, step backward into your lunge while holding your object(s).  At the bottom of your lunge, press your weighted object(s) over your head.  Lower arms, then stand up.  x 8 each leg.  “Superstar!”
  31. Single Leg RDL: Like #19, but don’t grab your ankle.  Hold your weighted object hanging in front of you as you hinge. x 10 each leg.
  32. Pike Push Ups:  Like a regular push up, except you start in the “A” picture of the inchworm (see #20), and push the ground away from your head.  x 15
  33. Lateral Low Walk:  Sit into an athletic position, then side step to the right 15 steps (keeping shoes parallel).  Repeat to the left.  “Stay under the low roof”
  34. 3-point Weight Drags:  Get into a push-up position with your weighted object to your (R).  Reach under and across with your (L) hand and pull the object across underneath you.  Then pull it back over with your (R).  10 each side.  “Don’t spill the coffee on your back”
  35. Hip Kicks in/out:  Standing tall, lift your (R) foot up and across to your (L) hand, then switch.  x15 each side.  Then lift your (R) foot up and out to your (R) hand, then switch.  x 15 each side.  “Leprechauns and Penguins”
  36. Chair/Box Step Ups:  Try to have it knee height.  Keep foot flat as you step up.  x 10 each leg.  “Get tall at the top”    high box step up
  37. Standing Curl to Press:  Holding your object(s) in front of you, with good posture.  Perform a bicep curl, then press overhead (without arching your back).  x 15 reps.
  38. Overhead Squat w/ towel:  Try to look just like this woman.  x 10 reps.   OH squat
  39. Bear Crawl:  Here’s a video.  Crawl slowly for 1 minute.
  40. Towel Helicopter:  30″ each side.  Just like you’re in the club or in the stadium.  Burn out that rotator cuff!  This is your celebration, you’re done!   towel waving

Questions?  Hit me up at RStevensATC@yahoo.com.

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