“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” We took that motto to heart when creating this 7-day summer fitness challenge! It won’t be easy but it’s definitely doable.
With summer fast approaching, we want to look and feel our best in a two-piece. But let’s face it—our lives are pretty crazy. Oftentimes, it’s hard to find the time to workout. Now, you can easily squeeze a workout into your busy schedule. Over the next week, try our super speedy summer fitness challenge. Ready, set, go!
7 Days, 3 Moves, 3 Rounds
The number 7 represents something extraordinary. After all, there are 7 wonders of the world, 7 colors in a rainbow and obviously 7 days in a week. Committing to this challenge for 7 days is just the right amount of time to elevate your fitness without dragging on for so long that you either give up or burn out.
Over the next 7 days, add these 3 moves—squats, push-ups and planks—to your daily routine for 3 rounds to get in shape from home! Every day, you’ll add 5 seconds to the moves—by Day 7, you’ll be up to 60 seconds for 3 rounds of each exercise. Save the program to your phone or desktop to get started!
*Complete each round with no rest between exercises. At the end of each round, take a short break—30-second rest for Day 1, 35-second rest for Day 2, etc.
There’s a reason why squats are one of the most popular exercises among cross-fitters, athletes and bodybuilders. They’re the foundation of your overall strength, targeting every major muscle group in your lower body—hips, thighs, glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. Just remember: when performing the squat, make sure to maintain proper technique and listen to your body—if you feel any pain, stop.
How to Perform Squats
- Start in an upright position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed straight ahead.
- When squatting, move your hips back and down and push your knees out, keeping them behind your toes.
- Your heels should stay flat on the floor throughout the movement while keeping a flat back.
- Once you lower to a parallel position (knees and hips at 90 degrees), keep your chest up and drive the weight through your heels as you extend to the start position.
Tip: Remember to squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement to activate your booty.
If you’re looking for a fast and effective way to build upper-body strength, look no further. Push-ups are a great upper-body strength-building exercise that works your triceps, pectoral muscles and shoulders. When done properly, they can also strengthen your lower back and core. And you can literally do them every day!
For the best results, continually add variety to your push-up routine. Once you master push-ups from your knees, move on to hand-release push-ups or tricep push-ups. To increase your cardio, add mountain climbers or tuck jumps to your push-ups. The sky’s the limit when it comes to push-up variations. If you need some inspiration, head to Gymondo, where you’ll find 100s of workouts with unique and fun push-up, squat and plank variations.
How to Perform Push-Ups
- Get down on all fours and stack your shoulders, elbows and wrists.
- Straighten your arms and legs and lift your entire body off the floor, assuming a plank position.
- Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor, making sure to keep your elbows tight to your body. During the movement, don’t allow your hips or lower back to sag or peak.
- Pause at the bottom, then push yourself back up.
Tip: For a modified version, start with a wall push-up while maintaining an upright position. Continue to descend along the wall until you can perform a standard push-up from the floor. As you progress, you will continue to build more and more core strength.
If there’s one exercise we love to hate and hate to love, it’s the plank. This simple, effective bodyweight exercise targets more than just your core. Prepare to hit your arms, shoulders, lower back, abs and glutes all in one exercise. Reap the benefits of holding your body as stiff as a board!
How to Perform a Plank
- Place forearms on the floor with elbows aligned below shoulders and arms parallel to your body at about shoulder width. If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together.
- Ground toes into the floor and squeeze glutes and core to stabilize your body.
- Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot directly in front of you on the floor. Your head should be in line with your back.
- Hold the position until time expires. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising your form.
Tips: If the forearm position is too challenging, plant your hands directly under your shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width) like you’re about to do a push-up. For complete beginners, rest your knees on the ground in a plank position. This takes the stress off your lower back and allows you to concentrate on your form.
This weekly summer workout challenge mixes in total-body exercises using only your body weight. You’ll do something every day for 7 days. Just remember, think quality movement over quantity. And be sure to stay tuned for more summer challenges from us. Enjoy!