Today’s New Year’s Challenge workout includes an especially innovative design. As you transition from move to move in this total-body strength workout, you’ll also be transitioning from standing upright, to the floor, and eventually back to standing again. You’ll begin the workout in a standing position, where you’ll do some squats. From there you’ll move to the floor for planks, then rise up again halfway for the bear crawl, and then finish with standing again for the walking lunge to back pedal. Moving from those high to low to high positions is just one more way to keep your body challenged throughout the workout.
Heads up: If walking lunges (forward lunges) don’t feel great on your knees, you can modify by doing reverse lunges in place for about 10 seconds, then back pedal in the space you have, do more reverse lunges for about 10 seconds, and back pedal to your starting point.
Don’t forget to spend time warming up first, and take time to cool-down once your total-body strength workout concludes. You’re powering through this first week and we’re so proud of you!
Directions: Do each exercise for 45 seconds, resting 15 seconds between exercises. At the end of each round, rest 60-90 seconds.
Beginners: Do 2-3 rounds
Advanced: Do 3-5 rounds
x 45 seconds
- You’ll need 1 or 2 dumbbells to do this exercise.
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and core engaged. If you’re using 1 weight, hold the weight at chest height, close to your body, with both hands. If you’re using 2 dumbbells, hold one in each hand at your sides.
- Send your hips back and bend knees to drop into a squat, allowing knees to bend to at least 90 degrees.
- Return to starting position by squeezing your glutes to stand.
x 45 seconds
- Start in a forearm plank position, with core engaged and legs extended behind you. Raise hips slightly.
- With core tight, rotate hips to the right and downward, keeping legs straight. Stop just above the floor.
- Now rotate hips back upward through starting position, then immediately to the left and down toward the floor.
- Continue to rock hips back and forth in a slow, controlled motion. Keep legs straight and core engaged throughout.
x 45 seconds
- Start in an all-fours position with wrists directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips.
- Lift knees a few inches off the floor, so weight is in your toes and hands, and engage your core.
- “Step” forward with your right hand and left foot, keeping hips level and not letting knees touch ground. Next “step” forward with your left hand and right foot.
- Continue to crawl forward as space allows, then turn around and crawl back to your starting point until the time runs out.
Walking Lunge to Back Pedal
x 45 seconds
- Stand tall with your feet together, core engaged, and hands on your hips.
- Step forward with your right (as if you are about to start walking), and immediately bend both knees to 90 degrees, dropping into a lunge. Keep your core engaged and be conscious of keeping your pelvis in a neutral position.
- Continue to walk forward, dropping into a lunge each time, as your space allows.
- When you come to the end of your space, back pedal, by running your feet in quick, small steps back to your starting point. Keep a tight core, and keep your knees slightly bent throughout the back pedal.
- Repeat until the time runs out.
Top image: Photographer: Catherine Servel at Brydges Mackinney. Hair: Tetsuya Yamakata at ArtList. Makeup: Seong Hee at Julian Watson Agency. Manicure: Julie Kandalec at Bryan Bantry. Stylist: Sara Van Pée at Quadriga. Model Mia Kang is wearing Zana Bayne harness, similar styles at zanabayne.com; Fabletics top, similar styles at fabletics.com.
Workout images and gifs: Photographer: Katie Thompson. Hair: Jerome Cultrera at L’ Atelier. Makeup: Deanna Melluso at See Management. Stylist: Sara Van Pée at Quadriga. Workout images: Fabletics top, similar styles fabletics.com; Alala Score Seamless Tight, $54, alalastyle.com; Women’s Techloom Pro Grey, $140, athleticpropulsionlabs.com. Gifs: Alala Surf Bra, $85, alalastyle.com; Carbon38 High Waisted Takara Legging, $109, carbon38.com; APL Women’s Techloom Breeze, $200, athleticpropulsionlabs.com.