January Total Body Tune-up

30-Day Workout

It’s that time again! New Year, new you, the time to restart your fitness routine and chase your fitness goals all over again, and blah blah blah blah blah.

You’ve heard this all before. And that’s why you know the real secret to your 2021 fitness journey: Longevity. Sure, everyone else may come out red-hot to start the new year, but research has shown time and time again that most people don’t stick with it. The key to being different? Starting just right. You need a workout that’ll push you (because your body is indeed built to go hard), but it shouldn’t kill you. It needs to hit key muscle groups and build the starting strength that you’ll be able to add to in 3 to 4 months. And yes, it needs to get you breaking a sweat.

This is that jumpstart session, a total body session you can do 3 or 4 days a week (or even more!), whether you have access to a gym or not. It builds strength, adds flexibility and mobility, and it’ll leave you feeling more energetic when you’re done. And get ready to build on it in the months to come.

DIRECTIONS: Do this workout at least three days a week, and don’t be afraid to hit it more than that, too. You’ll need about a half-hour for each session. Aim to use dumbbells or kettlebells for this workout, which works best in the gym. Don’t have gym access in what’s been a weird start to the year? Adapt. Grab a backpack and fill it with books, or place towels around gallon water jugs (each weigh about eight pounds) and use those as dumbbells (there are multiple ways to get work done). Then get after it.

Do the exercises in order. Complete each set, rest 45 seconds, then do the next set. Rest 90 seconds between each exercise. Enjoy the burn. Rest at least one day every week.

Spiderman Lunge to Thoracic Rotation

Start in pushup position, hands directly below your shoulders, core and glutes tight. Shift your right foot just outside your right hand. Squeeze your glutes. Lift your right hand and reach it overhead, rotating your chest open. Reverse back to pushup position and repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 6.

Alternating Piston Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

Start standing, holding weights at your sides, feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your core tight, hinge forward until your torso is at a 45-degree angle with the ground. This is your starting position. Row the right dumbbell upwards. As you lower it, row the left arm upwards. Keep the motion going until you’ve done 10 reps on each side. Do 3 sets.

Suitcase Position Squat to Single-Leg Knee Drive Balance

Start standing, holding dumbbells at your sides, core tight. Bend at the knees and hips, lowering into a squat. Stand back up; as you stand, drive your right knee up high so you’re standing only on your left knee. Balance for 2 seconds, keeping your core tight. Then return your leg to the ground. That’s 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 10 per side.

Hollow Body Single-Arm Floor Press

Lie on your back in hollow body position, core tight, straight legs an inch above the ground, shoulder blades an inch above the ground. A dumbbell or kettlebell should be held above your right shoulder, arm straight. Bend at the elbow and shoulder, lowering the dumbbell until your upper arm touches the ground. Drive back up, squeezing your chest and keeping your core as still as possible. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 10 to 12 per side.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Lie on your back, heels near your butt, core tight. Lift your left leg, pointing the heel toward to the ceiling. Squeeze your right glute, driving your hips high. Lower. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 10 to 12 per side. 

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

Fitness Director for Men’s Health Magazine and CSCS trainer -

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men's Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He's logged training time with NFL and track athletes, and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men's Health in 2017, he served as a sports and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.