We all endured a wild 2021, and you might have managed to make muscle gains along the way, too. Through another year of ups and downs, you still managed to make your health and fitness a priority—and even if you didn’t, it’s never too late to start.
Whether you’re looking to maintain those gains through the ultra-busy holiday season or start a brand new healthy habit, you’ll be able to get the most out of a little time with these two circuits. The first pushes your legs to learn key movement patterns; the second builds the upper-body strength you need.
Do them three times a week to be primed for 2022 and beyond.
Directions: You’ll do 2 circuits in this workout. Do 5 rounds of the first circuit, resting 60 seconds between each round. Rest 2 minutes, then do 5 rounds of the second circuit, again resting 60 seconds between each round.
Inchworm to Scorpion
Start standing. Place your hands on the floor in front of you. Keeping your core tight, walk them forward until you’re in pushup position. (This will stretch your hamstrings.) Lower into a pushup and glue your chest to the floor. Lift your left leg and touch your foot on your right side, stretching your hips. Repeat with your right leg. Push up, then walk back to standing, warming up your abs. That’s 1 rep; do 5.
1. Air Squat
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, abs and glutes tight, hands held in front of you. Push your butt back and bend at the knees, lowering into a squat. Lower until your thighs are just below parallel to the floor. Stand, squeezing your glutes. That’s 1 rep; do reps for 30 seconds.
2. Good Morning
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, abs and glutes tight, hands behind your head. Keeping your abs tight, slowly push your butt back and lower your torso toward the floor. Stop lowering when you can no longer push your butt back. Pause, then stand, squeezing your glutes. That’s 1 rep; do reps for 30 seconds.
3. Alternating Reverse Lunge
Start standing, abs and glutes tight. Step back with your left foot, then bend at the knees and hips, lowering into a reverse lunge. Lower until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Pause, then drive through your right heel to stand back up. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do reps for 30 seconds.
1. Slow-Mo Pushup
Start in pushup position, abs and glutes tight, hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Keeping your abs tight, bend at the shoulders and elbows, lowering until your chest is an inch from the floor; take 2 seconds to do this. Pause. Press up, also taking 2 seconds. That’s 1 rep; do reps for 30 seconds.
2. Bent-Over Bodyweight Row Hold
Stand, then push your butt back and lower your torso until it’s at a 45 degree angle with the floor. Let your arms hang naturally. This is the start. Keeping your elbows flared wide, squeeze your shoulder blades and row your upper arms back so they’re parallel to your torso. Pause; hold 10 seconds, then release; repeat 3 times.
3. Bear-Plank Hold
Get on all fours, hands directly below your shoulders, knees slightly wider than hip width, abs and glutes tight. Look at the floor. Tighten your abs. Keeping your back flat, lift your knees off the floor; your shins should be parallel to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.
Wondering about the man behind these moves? His name is Tim Francois, and he’s part of the second squad of trainers to participate in Strength in Diversity, a newish Men’s Health initiative that’s pushing to build diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fitness industry. Due to a weight rack full of systemic issues, trainers from marginalized communities don’t always get the tools they need to forge successful fitness careers, and Strength in Diversity offers those trainers a jump start with guidance and resources. Tim played football in college and has spent the past three years training clients at Equinox. By next year (and with a little help from Strength in Diversity), he’ll add a C.S.C.S. certification to his resume. Watch for more of him—and the whole Strength in Diversity crew—in the coming months on all of MH’s channels, and give Tim a follow on social. He’s worth it.
A version of this story originally appears in the December 2021 issue of Men’s Health, with the title “THE 25-MINUTE BODYWEIGHT SIZZLER”.
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