Think you need to join a gym to get a great workout? Think again! Anyone can get started with a workout routine, you don’t need a gym and in fact, you don’t even need any equipment. The 5-4-3-2-1 workout features exercises that use your own body weight as resistance, making it ideal for beginners and anyone who wants to get a great workout in the comfort of their own living room.
This entire routine takes only 15 minutes, so it’s great for anyone with a busy schedule. You’ll combine strength work with cardio exercises for a full body workout, and you’ll be finished in less time that it takes to watch your favorite TV show.
So lace up your sneakers and push the coffee table out of the way, because the workout gets started in 5-4-3-2-1.
Instructions and Exercise Descriptions
After a three-minute warm-up of marching in place or light jogging, we will start with the five-minute cardio section.
Take breaks when you need then, especially between each section. If you want to make the workout more challenging limit your breaks and repeat the workout for a total of two or three times through.
5 Minutes: Cardio
1 Minute High Knee Run
Do this at your own pace. The faster you run the harder the workout.
• Pull in your abs in so your core is contracted and run in place bringing your knees up in front of you.
• To modify, simply alternate the knees up in front of you, this will take the impact out if the exercise.
• To make it harder try to get your knees up to hip height.
1 Minute Jumping Jacks
Perform a basic jumping jack.
• To modify, alternate one leg out at a time as you bring your arms up. To make the exercise harder, pick up your speed.
1 Minute Front Kicks
This move is borrowed from kickboxing and works the legs and abs.
• Stand with your abs contracted, arms in front of you and bent up at 90 degrees.
• Lift your right knee up in front of you to hip height, with your foot flexed, kick straight out. Push with you kicks like you’re kicking through an imaginary door.
• Bring your foot back to the floor and repeat with the left leg. Alternate your kicks back and forth; pick up speed to make the exercise harder.
1 Minute Jumping Jacks
1 Minute Run In Place
4 Minutes: Cardio and Strength
1 Minute Lunges or Walking Lunges
Lunges work the entire lower body especially the glutes and the thighs.
• For lunges: Stand with your abs contracted and your hands on your hips.
• Step back with your right foot and sink down until your left knee is bent to 90 degrees.
• Make sure your knee stays over your ankle and doesn’t extend past your toes. This prevents injury.
• Press your weight through your left heel so you feel your glutes contract, then press up to stand. Repeat with the other leg. Alternate lunges back and forth.
• If you have more room you can do a walking lunge. Start in a standing position and take a big step forward with your right leg. Sink down until the right leg makes a 90 degree angle and you thigh in parallel to the floor. Keep your knee behind your toes.
• Press through your right heel and stand. Repeat with the left leg. Do walking lunges for as far as you can then turn around.
1 Minute Mountain Climbers
You’ll work your core and upper body and add a bit of cardio.
• Start in pushup position on your toes, abs contracted and shoulders aligned over wrists.
• Keep your abs tight as you alternate bringing your knees in, aiming them between your elbows.
Complete one more minute of lunges followed by one more minute of mountain climbers to reach four minutes total of cardio and strength work.
3 Minutes: Upper Body
Pushups are one of the most effective upper body exercises.
• On the floor, align you shoulders over your wrists and keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
• To modify drop to your knees.
• Contact your abs and lower down, then push yourself back to the starting position.
• Keep you back flat and abs tight!
• Do 10 pushups, rest as long as you need then move onto the tricep dips.
15 Tricep Dips
Dips tone the triceps and tighten the back of the arms.
• Sit on a chair or bench with the heels of your palms on the bench right next to your seat.
• Move you seat just off the bench and sink down until your elbows make a 90 degree angle.
• Use the backs of your arms to press yourself back to the starting position.
• Rest until you can go back to the pushups.
Repeat the 10 pushups and 15 tricep dips until the three minutes are up.
2 Minutes: Lower Body
30 seconds Squats
Squats are one of the best lower body exercises.
• Start in a standing position with you shoulders rolled back and abs contracted.
• Sit back like you are sitting in a chair and bring your arms out in front to help you balance. Keep your back flat and the weight in your heels.
• Aim to bring thighs parallel to the floor.
• Press your weight through your heels as you stand up.
30 Seconds Jump Squats
The jump squat makes the squat more intense. If you want to modify the exercise and just hold the low squat positions instead of jumping.
• Start in the bottom of the squat position. Feet straight ahead, back flat, weight in your heels, knees back behind your toes and legs bent at 90 degrees.
• Instead of standing jump straight up, then softly land back in the squat position.
Alternate 30 seconds of squats and 30 seconds of squat jumps for a total of 2 minutes.
1 Minute: Abs
1 Minute of plank
Yoga frequently uses plank position since it recruits all of your abdominal muscles. It’s an isometric exercise, which means you hold the position instead of changing the length of the muscles as you work.
• On the floor, align you shoulders over your wrists and keeps you hands right under your shoulders.
• To modify drop to your knees.
• Contact your abs and hold this position.
• Take breaks when you need them, start with 15 seconds at a time and work up to one minute of straight plank.