30 Minutes To A New You Exercise Routine #2

October 27

30 Minutes to a New You

Are you inspired to get in shape and motivated to get started? Okay ladies, I hear you loud and clear! Many of you have been writing to say that you’re ready to exercise. Let me tell you, that thrills me to no end. So, I want to give you a few workouts from my 30 Minutes to a New You exercise program to get you started. My previous post covered the exercises in the 30 Minutes To A New You Routine #1. Today, if you are ready, we will move on to Routine #2.



Note beside each exercise—I have included the number of reps and sets that I recommend for best results. Also, included after each exercise is a challenge for you to take that exercise to the next level.

Remember: Before you begin any exercise program, you should consult your physician.


What you will need:
• An exercise mat.
• 3, 5, or 8 pound weights for working out.
• Plenty of water to keep you hydrated during your workout.
• You’ll also need a pair of good shoes or sneakers. Make sure they fit well and that your feet are not cramped but also are not slipping around inside the shoe. If your feet hurt, your workout will suffer.

First off, let’s start by warming up those muscles. You can do this by just moving around, making the bed, jogging in place, or jumping rope. What you don’t want to do is go from a sedentary position straight into exercising. Your muscles are sort of like a new pair of pantyhose, they need to be stretched a bit before putting them to work. So you need to stretch your muscles for at least 3 minutes, paying special attention to your breathing. Allow your body to get plenty of oxygen.

Fitness4Her encourages incorporating the Pilates principle of “Engaging the Core” into “ALL” Exercises. Engaging the core means to suck in your stomach by pulling in your core. In effect you draw your belly button into your spine, which contracts the transverse abdominals. The trans abs are the muscles that help to strengthen your back and give you a tighter, slimmer waist.

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Exercise #1

Our first exercise today is the Push Up. This exercise will help to strengthen your arms, core, trans abs and front thigh muscles. You should even feel a tightening in your glutes, if you are getting the full effect of this exercise. Think about the muscles that you are working. This will give you that mind/body connection that it takes to really work those muscles for the full benefit.

Push-ups—4 Sets, 15-20 Reps

Kneeling on a mat in a modified plank position with your weight distributed on your elbows and knees. Inhale and lower your torso towards the mat, exhale and press your torso back up. Keep your shoulders pressing down your back, abdominals engaged, and hips in line with your shoulders, ribcage and knees. All the while engaging your core.

Photo Above : Knee Pushup

Photo Above: Knee Pushup

Take it to the next level: Do a full push-up to work your chest, back, arms and core. This means that instead of being in a modified plank position, you will need to have your weight distributed on your hands and toes, lowering your entire body down, in one fluid motion. Try not to jerk or bend your body when doing a full push up. The emphasis should be on your arms, legs and torso, don’t bend at the waist when doing a full push up.

Regular Pushup

Photo Above: Regular Pushup

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Exercise #2


This exercise, the Shoulder Bridge, works your abs and your hamstrings. Keep your core muscles engaged by mentally commanding your stomach muscles to draw inward, as you press your lower back down onto the mat.

Shoulder Bridge—4 Sets, 15-20 Reps

Lying supine on a mat, or rather lying on your back on a mat, bend your knees and place your feet hips width apart, arms extended by your sides, palms facing downward, elbows extended with your shoulder blades reaching down your back. Draw your navel inward towards your spine and press your lower back down towards the mat keeping your chin level. Inhale, lift your hips away from the mat by rolling up one vertebra at a time, exhale return your hips to the mat again rolling one vertebra at a time. This should be a slow fluid movement. You might want to practice lowering and raising your spine in this slow-motion movement to get the hang of it.

Take it to the next level: Add a chest press, working your core and balance. Lower one vertebra onto the mat at a time, like a string of pearls, lower your back until you are touching the floor. This should be a gradual fluid movement, practice this technique until it feels natural to you.

Shoulder Bridge

Photo Above: Shoulder Bridge

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Exercise #3


This next exercise, Pilates Single Leg Stretch, is excellent for strengthening your abs and your back. Keep your core muscles engaged and envision the muscles that you are using. This mind/body connection will give you optimum results.

Pilates Single Leg Stretch—4 Sets, 5-10 Reps each side

Lie on center of mat with knees bent toward chest. Lift head, neck and shoulders, curling chin toward chest. Inhale as you draw left knee toward chest, placing left hand on left ankle and right hand on left knee. Extend right leg about 45 degrees to floor. Continuing to inhale, switch legs and arms, extending left leg while hugging right leg toward chest. Repeat, exhaling for 2 counts. Do 5 to 10 reps per side.


Photo Above: Pilates Single Leg Stretch

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Exercise #4


This exercise, the Lunge with weights, strengthens the core muscles. Try to work slowly and with good form, rather than attempting to race through this exercise. Concentrate on the muscles that you are working.

Lunge with weights – 4 Sets, 10 reps alternate side

Hold two dumbells in your hands by your sides. Step forward with one leg and lower your upper body down, bending your leg (don’t step out too far). You should have about two to two and a half feet between your feet. Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, keeping your front shin perpendicular to the ground. Push up and back and repeat with the other leg or do all the reps with one leg then switch.

The farther forward you step, the more the glutes and hamstrings you will use (closer works the quads more, just don’t go too close). It is very important to keep your upper body vertical. Go down until your bottom knee almost touches the ground. Think about sitting back when doing these. This will prevent you from leaning too far forward. It is best to do this exercise all on one leg without standing up each time. Stepping forward can overstress your knee. Simply do all your reps on one leg then switch legs and do all your reps on the other leg.

NOTE: Leaning forward on the way down can cause you to lose your balance and can place unnecessary stress on your back. Always strive to keep your upper body vertical. Do these in a mirror or in front of a horizontal bar or table (so that your abdomen will hit the bar or table if you lean forward) and be sure to focus on sitting back during the descent.


Photo Above: Lunge With Weights

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Exercise #5


This next exercise the Pilates 100 is an excellent exercise to strengthen your back and flatten your stomach, for the long lean look of a dancer’s body. Keep your core engaged!

Pilates 100 – 10 Full Breaths

Lying supine or on your back on a mat with your legs in tabletop position, which is to hold the legs up, bent at the knee with shins parallel to your body like a tabletop. Now, draw the navel inward towards your spine and press your lower back down towards the mat. Keep the spine long, chin level, shoulder blades on the mat, back of the ribcage on the mat, and your lower back on the mat, arms extended with palms down by your sides. Breathe in, and then exhale and roll your upper body off the mat, looking down towards your navel, exhale for a count of five, pumping your arms up and down.

Take it to the next level by extending your legs, toes pointing to ceiling or extend legs, hips extended to about a 45-degree angle with toes pointed. Be sure to keep squeezing the inner upper thighs together.


Photo Above: Pilates 100

Exhale and rise to a sitting position. Raise your right arm, bend at elbow, now pat yourself on the back—you’ve just completed a full session of my 30 Minutes To A New You exercise program. Stretch your muscles for about 3 minutes following your exercise routine.

Take a walk after a healthy lunch or dinner. Try to make a point of being more active all throughout the day in addition to your 30 minutes of exercise. This will strengthen your cardiovascular system and speed your weight loss results.

Allow yourself to enjoy life and be grateful for all that you have. Be good to yourself, by eating delicious, nutritious foods, exercising regularly and getting a good night’s sleep. You’ll be healthier and more productive when you treat your body right.

30 Minutes To A New You is based on 3 days of strength training workouts, like the exercises we just completed, and 3 fun days of aerobic activity, which can be any sort of physical activity that increases your heart rate for 30 minutes.

Tomorrow, we’ll hit the street for a nice long walk or bicycle ride for 30 minutes. But, even if you are stuck inside on a treadmill, aerobic activities can be lots of fun. Just remember to stay hydrated and stretch before and after exercising.

You know, exercise is wonderful for losing weight and staying healthy. But in order to get the most out of your workout routine, it is important that you get enough rest each day to rejuvenate your body and restore your strength. Diet, exercise and adequate rest are the foundation of a healthy and happy lifestyle.

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Would you like to be a fitness model for Fitness4Her?



I’m looking for fitness models of all sizes and shapes and would love to add your fabulous photo to my collection. All you have to do is send me a picture of you doing one of the “30 Minutes To A New You” exercises. Each month I will select different models for each new routine posted. This is a fun way to show off your modeling skills while helping others learn body-slimming exercise moves.

So, who’s going to be Fitness4Her’s Next Fitness Model?Could it be you? Click Here to view a list of “30 Minutes To A New You” upcoming exercises

Instructions for sending your photo:

Send in your photo using this form. Your photo should be in the form of a .JPG, .GIF or .PNG and be sized no more than 1024 KB then keep checking to see if this was your week to be featured!
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~ Karen Ficarelli

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Posted In: Exercise

One Comment

  1. for exercise 1 try doing it on a bedroom wall rather than a floor in the same positition i find it easier and can feel the workout.

  2. demise on 06/23/2010 at 3:41 pm

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