Summer is almost here, and you will no doubt be on the move once again. Whether on the beach, touring the city or lakeside, you need a workout that travels light and gets the job done quickly. You need bodyweight training.
Bodyweight training has been around as long as humans have been exercising. Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks … all of these calisthenics are the foundation of physical fitness. However, over the last handful of years, bodyweight training went from basic and boring to sizzling hot.
Making fitness accessible to anyone, anywhere and anytime, bodyweight training leaves little room for any excuses. Couple its accessibility with the growth of boot camps and functional fitness, which put bodyweight training front and center, and it’s no surprise it has been named one of the top fitness trends.1
Now, if bodyweight training still brings to mind your elementary school P.E. class, you haven’t seen all that it has to offer. Exercises have evolved, progressed and multiplied. There are countless moves to sculpt your body while also eliciting a high aerobic demand. Combine such exercises in a high-intensity circuit-training format, and you have a formula for a killer total body workout done in 30 minutes or less.
Our Get Ripped and Toned Bodyweight Workout featuring three-time Arnold Bikini Champion India Paulino offers 10 unique exercises that will challenge your body and view of basic bodyweight training. No plain old jumping jacks here. In fact, we are certain you will have fun with this workout while burning serious calories!
• Perform circuit style – completing one set of each exercise and then proceed to the next.
• Complete three to four rounds.
• Minimize rest between exercises. Rest one to two minutes after each round.
• Perform reps with perfect form. If your form is suffering, slow down and/or take a quick rest.
Tuck Jump Burpee: 60 seconds
Pike Push-up: 15 reps
Bulgarian Split Squat: 10 reps, each side
Glute Bridge: 20 reps
Single-leg Mountain Climber: 30 seconds, each side
Single-leg Floor Triceps Dip: 10 reps, each side
Side Plank Crunch: 10 reps, each side
Plyometric Deadlift: 30 seconds, each side
Superman: 20 reps
Alternating Leg Raise Toe Touch: 10 reps, each side
Tuck Jump Burpee
Targets: Total Body, Conditioning
Stand with your feet together to start. Squat to place your palms on the ground. Jump your legs out to a plank position. Complete a push-up. Jump feet back in, stand up and jump in the air, pulling your knees to your chest. Land in starting position and repeat.
Begin in a plank position and walk hands in toward feet until your body forms an inverted “V” (similar to a downward dog). Rise up on toes and then bend elbows to lower head toward the ground. Then, press up. For more of a challenge, you can also perform a handstand push-up against the wall.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Targets: Legs, Glutes
Place one foot on the top of a bench positioned behind you. Lower into a lunge so that your knee is just above the floor. Drive up through that front heel using your glutes and hamstrings. For more of a challenge, add a jump to the end of the rep.
Targets: Glutes, Hamstrings
Lie on the ground on your back. Bend knees and position feet about hip-distance apart. Pressing through heels, lift hips as high as possible while keeping your upper back and shoulders on the ground. Contract the glutes hard at the top.
Single-leg Mountain Climber
Targets: Core, Conditioning
Begin in a plank position. Lift one knee toward your chest and hold it. Then, bring the other leg forward and back as you would a typical mountain climber for the duration of the 30-second set. Then, switch legs and repeat.
Single-leg Floor Triceps Dip
Targets: Triceps, Core
Seated on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, position hands behind hips with fingers pointed toward feet. Lift hips up such that arms are extended straight and your body from shoulders to knees is in line. Lift one leg straight up toward the ceiling. Keeping hips level, bend elbows to lower into a triceps dip. Complete all reps with one leg extended, then switch legs and repeat the movement.
Side Plank Crunch
Lie on your side and prop yourself up onto your palm. Stack your feet and rest your weight on the outside of the bottom foot. Pick your hips up and position top arm behind head. Contracting the abs, bring the elbow of the top arm toward the ground and then back up toward the ceiling. Complete all reps on one side, then proceed to the other.
Targets: Hamstrings, Glutes, Conditioning
Stand on the right leg and bend forward at the hips until the left leg and chest are parallel to the floor. In one explosive movement, lift the torso, swing the back leg forward, driving the knee up and jump in the air. Land back on the right leg and lower back to the starting position. Complete all reps standing on the right leg and then move onto the left leg.
Alternating Leg Raise Toe Touch
Targets: Upper and Lower Abs
Lie on the ground on your back with arms extended above your head. Lift left leg off the ground while simultaneously lifting your torso off the ground and reach the right arm toward the lifted leg. Lower down to start and repeat the movement with the opposite arm and leg.
Targets: Lower Back, Glutes
Lie facedown on the ground with arms extended above head. Lift arms and legs off the ground by contracting your lower back and glutes. Lower down without completely releasing to the ground.
Burn, Baby, Burn
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) completed an exclusive study examining the health and fitness benefits of boot camp workouts featuring all bodyweight exercises. The workout included both aerobic and strength moves like this Get Ripped and Toned Bodyweight Workout. The researchers found that the average exerciser burns about 9.8 calories per minute in a typical boot camp workout.2 On average, individuals worked at 77 percent of heart-rate max (HRmax), a level that would enhance cardiovascular fitness according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). However, because boot camp workouts cycle intensity throughout, heart rates had peaks and valleys – the highest being 91 percent HRmax. The bottom line? Bodyweight workouts, when designed to challenge you aerobically and recruit large muscle groups, can improve conditioning, build strength and burn 600 calories per hour!
‘Get on it, sister!’
IFBB Pro Bikini champion India Paulino shares how she gets pumped for a tough workout, her best advice, and more!
FITRX: Bodyweight workouts require that you bring the intensity to the workout. Do you have any pre-workout rituals to get prepared for a tough session?
INDIA: Oh … my rituals are probably a comical sight to other drivers. Before any workout, I like to have “me time.” “Me time” is driving to the gym, drinking coffee and blasting a song that gets me pumped, excited and focused. I dance and sing my butt off. (I’m a horrible singer by the way.) It helps get my mind where it needs to be so that I can kill my workout.
FITRX: Your approach to fitness has evolved over the years. What do you do differently now in comparison to years past?
INDIA: Over the years, I have learned that there are a million ways to get from point A to point B. It is about learning YOUR body and what works for YOU. Train smart – anything in excess is not good. At one point in my fitness career, I was doing three hours of intense cardio when prepping for a fitness competition (because I put my body in a position to need that due to overtraining.) Now I do 30-45 minutes if I am not in contest prep and one to one-and-a-half hours during contest prep. To get my body from needing the three hours to lose weight to only needing an hour or so took a lot of consistency, trial and error and patience.
FITRX: What advice would you give to women who want to be in shape like you?
INDIA: Get on it, sister! If you are having a hard time beginning the process, ask yourself: What is it in my life that is stopping me from accomplishing MY goals? First step is to have a goal, then make a plan and the last step is to work toward it. Getting started is usually the hardest part for most people. Motivate yourself to get on some type of plan, and yes, I said motivate YOURSELF! Self-motivation is the best motivation there is. You are capable of doing whatever you dream of; just find that fire within you and light it!
FITRX: Any other words of inspiration and encouragement?
INDIA: I am a professional life and wellness coach. I always knew I was meant to help people. I was in law enforcement for 7.5 years to help people. Although I was able to touch many lives, I knew I could help people in a deeper way. One of my favorite things to do is to help remove negativity from the mind to make room for positive energy, clarity and stillness. It is very easy to get caught up in silly things that hold you back from what you want or from simply being happy. I offer online training plans for my wellness coaching clients who want to get in shape, and I offer contest preps for NPC/IFBB competitors and incorporate the life/wellness coaching aspect. I see competitors get so consumed in the competitive aspects of the sport that they lose sight of life, family, job, etc. I want to help them create a healthy lifestyle and not get caught up thinking that stepping onstage is ALL there is in life. I’ve been there in the past and know how hard it can be.
1.Thompson WR. Now trending: worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2015. ACSM Health Fitness J. 2014; 18 (6): 8-17.
2. Porcari, J., Hendrickson, K., Foster, C., Anders, M. Drop And Give Me 20!: Exclusive ACE study investigates the fitness benefits of popular boot camp-style workouts. ACE Fitness Matters. 2008; 14(4): 6-9.